5 min

by Ayele Addis Ambelu (Energy Program Producer)

The international conference on renewable energy sources, prepared for a long time at the invitation of the German government, opened yesterday in Bonn. More than 150 countries were represented at this conference by high government officials and social groups. A total of 3,000 delegates will participate in the first-of-its-kind, worldwide summit. The four-day conference that will take place on Friday is the question of energy sources from nature conservation.

�� It refers to development and planning, especially the fight against poverty.

The international conference, which will highlight the options and ways renewable energy sources such as sun, wind, water, biomass, and geothermal energy can be widely used worldwide, was chaired by Germany’s Development Cooperation Minister Heidemarie Wiechorek-Tsoil and Germany’s Nature Conservation Minister Jürgen Trittin. In addition to government agents, national and international companies, non-governmental organizations, and international institutions such as the World Bank, TBA Nature Conservation Organization, TBA Industrial Development Organization, alternative energy promotion companies, trade unions, and many other community groups, the conference was prepared. In September 1995, during an international conference on sustainable development in Johannesburg/South Africa, Gerhard Schroeder promised to host the same meeting on renewable energy sources. As the German Development Cooperation Minister Heidemarie Vichorek-Tsoil said at the opening meeting, the rising oil price makes it necessary to speed up and stimulate alternative energy sources.

Exploiting and depleting the oil field drives the development of alternative and renewable energy sources, an urgent issue. Moreover, as the minister notes, political disputes and wars disrupt the supply of crude oil and lower its price. This is what makes the alternative energy source mandatory. The damage caused by the oil crisis, especially to the economies of developing countries, cannot be readily estimated. In particular, according to the minister, it should be considered that the contract for the conventional energy source, which is covered by natural resources such as oil and coal, is a heavy load for the natural environment—biological residues such as oil, natural gas, and coal cause severe pollution in the air. Air pollution is a serious threat to human health. Therefore, the existing sources of energy–oil, natural gas, coal, and atomic energy Mugad Uran should be replaced step by step by renewable and clean energy sources that do not pollute nature–that is, solar heat, wind, and hydropower, biomass and geothermal energy. According to the current calculation, the share of renewable energy sources, about 14 percent of the total energy consumption, is expected to increase to 20 percent in the next 15 years–by 2000.

According to the conference forum, renewable energy sources are excellent support for the fight against poverty, especially in the rural areas of the participating countries. In other words, as the Minister of Development Cooperation explained in the opening ceremony of the conference, the option for renewable energy sources in the country to be activated and widely used is to enable the developing countries to save the enormous costs incurred abroad for the supply of energy sources and spend it on development programs in the rural areas, expand the electricity network and reduce poverty. It will enable them to use it for the struggle. According to the Minister of Nature Conservation, Jürgen Triton, the strength of this alternative energy source will bring light to life for the 2 billion people who do not have access to electricity today. A joint document called “Bon Declaration” is expected to be presented at the end of the massive conference in which Ethiopia and many other African countries will participate. We will provide a detailed report about this and other conference content the next time.