Energy gives work

Publish date 17-05-2021

by Sandro Calvani



Innovation creates new opportunities.

Finding fuel to cook food and obtain energy for the home and for transport are the main concerns of families in poor countries, largely entrusted to women. Added to these is the constant demand for energy for production, schools and hospitals that too often governments fail to make available in outlying villages and sometimes not even in cities, where frequent blackouts discourage new ones. industrial investments. Many sustainable development efforts are conditioned by energy sources and their cost. Finally, the mitigation of climate change requires reducing or eliminating the use of fossil energy, such as gas, coal and oil.

For these reasons, many of the hopes for development depend on the production of renewable energies with low or zero emission of toxic gases. The most effective formula is a mix of solar, hydroelectric and other renewable sources such as wind blades. Such a profound transformation of the energy sector with solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric plants also offers great opportunities for decentralized employment, unlike the old polluting thermoelectric plants, which concentrated jobs in a few locations. Furthermore, these new green energies are low-cost and free women from their worries of searching for fuel.

According to the 2020 report of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Asia has taken over in this profound change in government energy programs and in the habits of the people. The installed renewable energy capacity in Asia nearly tripled between 2009 and 2018, from 349.1 Gi¬gaWatt (GW) to 1,023.5 GW. Growth is led by China, which represents about 68% of the region's total installed capacity. With its production of 695.8 GW per year, China is the largest producer of renewable energy, not only in Asia but also in the world, with double the capacity of the United States, which is in second place. Furthermore, China generates nearly half of its renewable energy from hydroelectric power plants.

Wind (26.4%) and solar (25.1%) are the other main sources of renewable energy in China. The Gansu wind farm with an expected capacity of 20 GW is set to become the largest wind project in the country. India is the second largest renewable energy producer in Asia (117 GW) and among the top ten in the world. Vietnam produces 2.4 GW in the Sơn La Dam hydroelectric power station, the largest in Southeast Asia. The government plans to increase hydroelectric power generation to 27.8 GW by 2030. Pakistan generates over 76% of its renewable energy from hydroelectric plants. In 2018, the country's wind and solar capacity were 1.1 GW and 1.5 GW respectively. The plan is to reach a renewable energy rate of 30% by 2030.

Jobs in renewable energy around the world are estimated at 11.5 million in 2019, 32% of them are women. Globally, Asia accounts for 63% of renewable energy jobs.

NP Febbraio 2021

Sandro Calvani

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