risks associated with unproven renewable energy contribute to make fossil

Risks associated with unproven renewable energy

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risks associated with ‘unproven’ renewable energy, contribute to make fossil energy systems appear as a low-risk and cost-efficient path to create wealth (Unruh & Carrillo- Hermosilla, 2006, pp. 1188-89). 9 As indicated by Smith (2002), a strong policy case can be made for energy access expansion among the world’s poor with fossil fuel energy, considering the disproportionately small emis- sion impact of such an expansion. 10 Including other liquid fuels as crude oil and lease condensate, natural gas plant liquids, bitu-men, extra-heavy oil, and refinery gains. Other liquids include gas-to-liquids, coal-to-liquids, kerogen, and biofuels. 11 NIMBY stands for ‘Not-In-My-Back-Yard’. 12 Incremental innovation means gradual changes within established trajectories in the high-carbon paradigm. Disruptive innovation is the establishing of new trajectories within a high-carbon paradigm without dismantling it. Ex-amples are the change from manual to electri-cal typewriters to personal computers with text software. This often involves creative destruc-tion and the emergence of new industries (mod-elled in the industry life cycle thinking), but this can take place perfectly well within the carbon-intensive paradigm. Arguably, the diffusion of renewables can take place to some extent as part of the carbon-intensive paradigm. Radical in-novation refers to a change of techno- economic paradigm by the introduction of energy sources that are able to completely replace carbon en-ergy; it also refers to the use of the most unsus- tainable renewable energy sources. Historically, this type of innovation has been realised only after decades of intensive state support. 13 Biomass is already the most important renew- able source of energy, 91% of total renewables in 2011 and 10% world energy demand (IEA, 2013). The most important share of biomass en- ergy consumption is concentrated in traditional biomass (57% of bioenergy in 2011) and in the developing countries building sector. Much of this production leads to deforestation, and the use of biomass for cooking and heating is done in inefficient equipment making traditional biomass a major source of indoor pollution. 106 GLOBELICS THEMATIC REVIEW
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14 As argued in last year’s thematic report, innova- tion system foresight may be one instrument for setting in motion inclusive, medium- to long- term vision-building processes aimed at present-day decisions. Innovation system foresight may also work to ensure joint action in order to build and strengthen LICS with the ultimate goal of promoting global low-carbon development (Johnson & Andersen, 2012). 15 Although as the costs of, e.g., storms and in- undations increase realisation of benefits from actions aimed at reducing climate change, the results will also benefit the current generation.
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