Globalization and energy systems in the Global South

Document Type:Report

Subject Area:Geography

Document 1

Moreover, globalization is a multi-faceted thought that goes past certain indicators such as capital mobility and trade openness to entail even political and social aspects (Robinson, 2002). For example, the end of World War II marked the beginning of rapid transformation on openness and integration of financial circles among various countries as well as international trade; which marked the advancement of global economies. The concept of globalization which integrated the world economies into a single system has a major impact on energy. Various countries across the world are today interconnected through gas, oil, and coal resources (Golub, 2013). Precisely, countries have been brought together through energy trade. By 2014, 1. billion people across the world still lacked access to affordable and reliable energy (IEA, 2014). The global demand for electricity grows almost twice as fast as the total consumption of energy – a demand that cannot be easily met especially with the missing and aging infrastructure in the power sector.

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The global south and the world at large place a great deal of hope on sustainable energy for connecting economic growth to increased social equity with the preservation of natural resources. Electricity empowers communities by enabling kids to study after the dark and health centres to perform life-saving operations and store vaccines. There are significant potential sources of power in the Sub-Saharan Africa such as wind, solar, and hydropower. However, the region seems to concentrate on large-scale, centralized, and grid-based sources of energy thus dedicating few resources towards provision of energy to low-income households. The Need for More Energy Efficiency in the Global South Even with globalization, provision of access to affordable and reliable energy to all in the global south still remains an intertwined, manifold, and complex challenge.

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There lies great potential in reducing carbon emissions and lowering energy needs through increased energy efficiency as this will have positive influence on the climate trends as well as global energy. Some positive signs can be seen towards energy efficiency as China targets reducing its energy intensity by 16%, and the Japan aiming at 10% reduction in energy consumption (IEA, 2012). For instance, Brazil has become the world leader in renewable energy with the least carbon-intensive energy sectors (IEA, 2013). Renewable sources power generation grows twice as fast in non-OECD nations and continents of India, China, Africa, and Latin America. The global supply of renewable sources of energy power generation stands at 34% for wind energy, 30% for hydropower, and 18% for solar technologies (IEA, 2014). Socioeconomic benefits of access to Energy in the Global South Access to energy by the low-income families is central to alleviation of poverty in such families.

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However, this alone is not enough; access to energy must be coupled with productive use of such energy for achieving socioeconomic benefits in the south (Bazilian, Nakhooda, & Van de Graaf, 2014). Hydroelectric plants are occasionally at risk of droughts among other weather-related issues which compromises their capacity to supply the national power grid. Whenever hydroelectric plants fall short of power supply, alternative types of power supply like the thermoelectric supply are activated to fill the deficit at the consequence of increasing energy prices to the end users (da Silva, de Marchi Neto, & Seifert, 2016). The 2015 data by ANEEL shows the most important energy power plants in Brazil in terms of the country’s total energy generation as hydroelectric power thermoelectric power, eolic power, and thermonuclear power respectively (da Silva, de Marchi Neto, & Seifert, 2016).

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Currently, Brazil has a total energy generation capacity of above 135 GW. Some of the country’s largest hydroelectric power plants include Tucurui and Itaipu plants each contributing more than 7GW to the country’s national power grid (da Silva, de Marchi Neto, & Seifert, 2016). Cemig, serving Minas Gerais state at 7. Copel, serving Paraná state at 7. Light, serving Rio de Janeiro state at 7. CPFL Energia, serving São Paulo state: 6. De Matos et al. Energy governance and poverty, Energy Research & Social Science 1: 217–225. Castellano, A. Kendall, A. Nikomarov, M. Swemmer, T. Electricity supply security and the future role of renewable energy sources in Brazil. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 59, 328-341. De Matos, V. L. Antunes, R. Henderson, J. Nadvis, K. “Greater China, the challenges of global production networks and the dynamics of transformation,” Global Networks, Volume 11, Issue 3, pages 285–297.

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International Energy Agency [IEA]. World Energy Outlook 2012. org/rethinking/Rethinking_FullReport_web_view. pdf. Accessed December 6, 2017 Newell, P. The Governance of Energy Finance: The Public, the Private and the Hybrid. Global Policy, 2: 94–105.

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