A recent study carried out by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council highlights some of the major differences between developed and developing countries. As you will see, reduction is the key factor in how power needs are met in developing nations. Here are just some of the differences.
According to the NPCC, the single largest driver of energy savings is LED light bulbs. The council estimates that the region, which includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, can meet its power needs for the next 20 years easily if households make this simple switch.
There is also a shift away from fossil fuels that has been occurring. In the Pacific Northwest, that shift includes cleaner burning natural gas. In other regions, and indeed across the United States, nuclear is fast becoming part of that mix as well.
Developing nations have trouble meeting these upgrades. In places like India, residents may lose power for several hours each day as the power grid struggles to meet both residential and commercial demands. LEDs aren’t feasible for the entire population, and air conditioners are worth their weight in gold. That baseload demand isn’t going away, especially as the government ramps up for industrial production.
Even developed nations struggle with infrastructure challenges just to meet the baseload. According to Dev Randhawa, of Fission Uranium, “They are state-owned companies in China; have to go very slow. They have put in new anti-corruption laws a while ago. As a result everything takes much, much longer.” Clearing those hurdles is possible, and necessary, but will slow the progress of nuclear and cleaner burning fuel sources.
Developed nations do have a responsibility to practice conservation where they can, but they cannot change the demands placed on the worldwide power grid. Under developed and developing nations will need to explore cleaner burning fuel sources, and look at innovative and cost-effective ways to meet these challenges head on.