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Technology and Innovation Report 2011

Powering Development with Renewable Energy Technologies

image of Technology and Innovation Report 2011

This report argues that responding to the dual challenge of reducing energy poverty and mitigating climate change requires a new energy paradigm. Such a paradigm would have renewable energy technologies complementing (and eventually substituting) conventional energy sources in efforts to alleviate energy poverty across the developing world. This is a realistic paradigm given that the world is faced with energy poverty issues that cannot be resolved using conventional fuel sources without risking irreversible climate change. In finding newer energy solutions that integrate renewable energy with existing energy sources, developing countries will need to develop technology and innovation capabilities. This report seeks to contribute to new policy insights in this extremely complex area.

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Conclusion

Energy poverty remains the key issue in the interface of climate change and development. As highlighted in this TIR, RETs offera distinct possibility of tackling the dual challenge of climate change and energy poverty. Established RETs offer an importantmeans not only of reducing energy poverty, but also of complementing national strategies for climate change mitigation. All countries have the potential to transition to an energy sector that contains suitable mixes of conventional and renewable energy sources in order to alleviate energy poverty, and to reposition their economies on greener catch up trajectories. However, the challenge for developing countries and LDCs is to build their technological capabilities and domestic markets so that they can promote the use, large-scale adaptation, production and innovation of RETs for development of manufacturing and ther sectors of the economy. The ensuing added benefits in terms of job creation and export potential will lend the much-needed impetus to their economic development.

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