Power companies worldwide expect generation and utilisation of wind energy and nuclear energy to increase substantially in the next five years, says a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report released on Thursday.
The ninth annual PwC report, based on responses from 114 power companies in 44 countries, warns however, that regulatory reform, as well as large investments in energy efficient technology are essential to overcome the existing power shortages. Climate change appears to have cemented its place in utility company strategy.
In 2006, the report reveals, only 17 per cent and 19 per cent of all power utilities were looking at wind and nuclear power respectively as alternative energy sources. But this year 48 per cent and 45 per cent of them are already doing so.
But the report warns that, without effective and consistent world-wide regulatory and market frameworks, actual progress may be limited. Manfred Wiegand, global utilities leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers said:
“It is clear that the climate of thinking and action around cleaner power, renewables and energy efficiency is shifting fast. The big question is the extent and pace of the actual shift that will take place in the energy mix. Economic signals and incentives will be critical for utility companies to be able to make a big shift. An effective signalling of carbon prices will need to exist across all regions, crucially covering high-emitting and high-growth countries such as the US, India and China.”
The survey shows an industry that believes that technological advances can take the world into a new era of energy efficiency. Expectations that technology can have an impact on energy efficiency have again shot up over the last 12 months – from 22% to 81% among American respondents, from 33% to 43% in Europe and from 41% to 62% world-wide.
Utility companies believe that the greatest energy efficiency gains could come from end-users, of all kinds – industrial, commercial and, especially, residential customers. Although utility companies feel that governments and end-users must set a lead on energy efficiency, companies are ready to invest significantly in efficiency, not just in their own production and transmission but also to help their customers become more energy efficient. Indeed, 72% of respondents from companies with supply businesses are making some investment in demand-side efficiency measures.
Sorry for the poor quality of the graphs,but that was what I had to work with. I also had to shrink them a little bit. These and other graphs are located in the pdf at the bottom of the press release.