Welcome to Arcadia - the personal website of Simon Upton. You will find
here a selection of articles and papers together with the four-weekly upton-on-line.
A Few Facts about Renewable Energy
Paper delivered at the New Zealand Resource Management Law
Association Conference in October 2004.
Concerns about rising CO2 levels as a result of fossil fuel use and security of supply have caused renewed interest in renewable sources of energy. Access to renewable energy sources varies depending on regional conditions including latitude, topography and the hydrological cycle. As a result the overall potential of renewable energy, is often left undetermined. This paper, drawing on recent work by Smil (2004), seeks to describe the potential – and inherent limits – of renewable sources of energy at the global level and then, drawing on estimates by Sims, describe the potentials available in New Zealand. It then proceeds to discuss barriers to significant market penetration by renewable energy sources in respect of electricity generation and transport. Reference is made to recent work commissioned by the OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development and the results of the recent Mobility Project undertaken by members of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.