Thursday, July 22, 2021

Energy Poverty and Climate Policies

Access to reliable and affordable energy is essential in the struggle against poverty

By ——--July 21, 2021

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Energy poverty is not being able to afford adequate warmth, cooling, lighting, or the energy to power appliances that guarantee a decent standard of living and health. One shorthand rule is that a household is energy poor if it must spend more than 10 percent of its income on power. As renewable energy mandates are rising ‘ecological’ taxes have driven up electricity prices, and increases in energy poverty have become a problem in countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom. It is estimated that 50 million European households now qualify. 

Germany is considered by some to be the best success story in the world of effective solar and wind use, and you’ll often hear that they get a large percentage of their energy from solar and wind. Germany embraced solar and wind and ended up in energy poverty.

In Germany, electricity prices have more than doubled since 2000 when solar and wind started receiving massive subsidies and favorable regulations and their electricity prices are three to four times what one would pay in the US. (Because of its low reliability solar and wind energy options require an alternative backup—one that’s cheap, plentiful and reliable—to make it work, thus creating a more expensive and inefficient process.) 

A 2017 study found that the proportion of households in Germany spending more than 10 percent of their income on energy tripled from 7.5 percent in 1986 to 22 percent in 2013. Every year 600,000 households (2 million people) are getting their power switched off in Germany because they can’t afford the skyrocketing electric bills. This finding is consistent with other studies of the effects of climate policies on poverty, including a research project undertaken for the IPCC.

According to a 2018 report, there are currently 1 billion people in the world, 13% of the total population, with no access to electricity, mostly in Africa and South Asia. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that approximately 600 million people—57% of the population—live without electricity, against the 350 million people—representing 9% of the population—who lack access in developing Asia. 

If we compare data to the early 2000s, there has been a relevant improvement: regions such as East Asia and Latin America have have now reached a better energy access thanks to the extension of electricity networks.

Despite the progress, the environmentally sound aspect is still far from being applicable for most of them: it is estimated that nearly 2.7 billion people—40% of the world population—lack access to clean cooking facilities worldwide, relying instead on solid biomass, coals or kerosene as their primary cooking fuel, that we all know for being the most pollution energy sources available...........To Read More....

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