|Environmental Handbook Volume I: Introduction, Cross-sectoral Planning, Infrastructure (GTZ/BMZ, 1995, 592 pages)|
|3. Overall energy planning|
Environmental impacts of the energy system will increase with growing energy consumption, and in densely populated areas have already reached levels (of air pollution for example) which pose an acute health hazard. OEP must take this situation into account with a view to alleviating environmental problems and reducing environmental loading to a tolerable level and, even at this early stage, laying the foundations for longer-term changes to the energy system.
It must be assumed that in many countries no great importance is attached as yet to the problem of carbon dioxide emissions, in view of very low per capita energy consumption. But if current growth rates (1980 to 1987) for fossil fuel consumption continue, developing countries will be responsible for 50% of CO2 emissions within the next twenty years. (Even though the deterioration in the greenhouse effect so far has been almost entirely due to the economic development of the industrialised countries, they will still bear primary responsibility for the problem). Only a global effort will have any chance of defeating the problem.
The basic elements of a strategy to reduce adverse environmental effects from the energy sector must be as follows:
(1) Saving of energy through rational, demand-led, economic use of energy in all areas. Here, as in the areas mentioned below, education and consciousness-raising are just as important as improved technical methods. Targeted use of financial incentives (pricing, taxes) or shaping of the economic framework, e.g. through dismantling of subsidies, are fundamentally important.
(2) Use of substitutes to replace energy sources which have a particularly adverse impact on the environment. Greater use of local resources and particularly of renewable energies. Here too, costs and financing are important issues.
(3) Full use of all possible technical and administrative means of reducing emissions of all kinds and of achieving acceptable ways of disposing of waste materials and residues. Development of appropriate (for the relevant target group) financing plans for requisite investments.
(4) Determination of the scope offered by changes in individual behaviour patterns and in general social and political conditions for shaping the future energy supply system. The OEP process should be anchored in a suitable institution representing the environmental concerns of OEP at all levels of planning and decision-making.
OEP has a wide range of tools to help it perform these tasks, ranging from direct financial incentives and regulatory measures to the promotion of research and development and provision of information to the public.