Setting Technology Transfer Priorities with CDM-SET: Development of Sustainable Energy Technology Transfer Tool

Setting Technology Transfer Priorities with CDM-SET: Development of Sustainable Energy Technology Transfer Tool

Alexandros Flamos (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Charikleia Karakosta (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Haris Doukas (National Technical University of Athens, Greece) and John Psarras (National Technical University of Athens, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-737-9.ch007


There is no much meaning in separating “good” and “bad” technologies. A definitely more critical issue is to identify “good” and “bad” technological options for a specific country & region based on its specific needs and special characteristics. In this framework, aim of this chapter is the presentation of the CDM-SET3 tool that incorporates the potential host country’s priority areas in terms of energy services and the suitable sustainable energy technologies to fulfil these needs and priorities, taking into consideration several criteria that examine the benefits in the economic, environmental and social dimension and through a MCDA approach facilitates the identification of the most proper technology alternatives to be implemented under the umbrella of CDM to a specific host country. The application of CDM-SET3 in representative case study countries is also presented and the results are discussed. Finally, in the last section are the conclusions, which summarize the main points, arisen in this chapter.
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The Kyoto Protocol contains market mechanisms that enable industrialized countries to invest in greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction projects on the territory of other countries, either developing, or industrialised, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Joint Implementation (JI) (UNFCCC, 2001).

The CDM has a double objective, helping Annex I countries comply with their emission reduction commitments on the one hand and assisting developing countries in achieving sustainable development (SD). While its primary goal is to save abatement costs, the CDM is also considered as a key means to boost technology transfer and diffusion.

The selection of the most promising CDM technologies as regards their contribution towards the achievement of SD in the host countries is one of the most important elements of the CDM process (Anagnostopoulos et al, 2004; Doukas et al, 2008). Implementing such sustainable energy technologies in developing countries would stimulate SD on a global scale, which is one of the key objectives of the Kyoto Protocol as well as of the EU. The implementation of a sustainable energy technology generally requires that it passes through a number of research and development phases, such as exploring its technical (Flamos et al, 2004a), socio-economic (Flamos et al, 2004b) and market potential. In addition, due to the inadequate capacity building and development of the Kyoto mechanisms and the low awareness of the CDM modalities and procedures in developing countries, many projects proposals find great difficulties in order to be appropriately developed under the CDM.

Ideally, a CDM project would therefore be based on a clear assessment of the GHG emission reduction potential and a clear assessment of the technology needs and development priorities in the host country. Actual CDM practice, however, has shown that such projects are largely initiated by the demand for relatively low-cost Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), leading to a series of ad-hoc projects, rather than serving the overall policy objectives of the host countries. Figure 1, shows the amount of CERs issued based on ongoing CDM projects. As it can be seen China, India, South Korea and Brazil have thus far supplied 90% of issued CERs, (actually realised GHG emission reductions which have been verified and issued by the CDM Executive Board). In terms of expected credits (emission reductions expected from projects planned or ongoing), China, India, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico (in that order) presently have a share of 85% of the pipeline; in terms of proposed projects, this percentage is 80% (Fenhann, 2008; Kirkman et al, 2006).

Figure 1.

Share of largest CDM Host Countries in Issued CERs

In general, a few countries are responsible for the bulk of CDM-activity. This indicates that once the appropriate institutions, such as Designated National Authorities (DNA) are in place, CDM can develop rapidly. Nevertheless, it should be noted that a rapid take-off of CDM activity is usually also the result of genuine investors’ interest, which may serve as another indicator for a potential for CDM project development.

When the present pipeline is looked at in terms of division of projects across regions, Asia and the Pacific have 2899 projects in the CDM pipeline, Latin America has 757 projects, Africa has 71 projects, Middle-East has 52 projects, and Non-Annex I Europe and Central Asia have 40 projects (Figure 2) (Fenhann, 2008). For each region, the dominance of one or two countries is clear: China and India dominate the Asian region; Brazil and Mexico have most projects in Latin America; Armenia, Cyprus and Uzbekistan host most projects in the European/Central Asian region, in the Middle-East Israel dominates, while in Africa South Africa.

Figure 2.

Division of CDM Projects across Regions (as of September 2008)

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