Climatic changes have made transition to renewable energy essential. However, energy transition in the globalized world is challenged with diversification in culture, economic prowess, social development, and state structure. The global negotiations are always tough, among others, due to the split between the Global North (GN) and Global South (GS) countries. At the same time, the debates on how to deal with the inequalities in climate mitigation potential veils a thus far hardly acknowledged difference in energy transition potential and impact in the GN and GS countries. This paper, therefore, aims to contribute to bridging this knowledge gap by making a systematic comparative assessment of energy transition potential in the GN and GS with two regions as example cases.
We analysed and compared energy scenarios in two regions in the world: Overijssel representing the GN countries and Matura representing the GS south countries. Both regions are similar in economic activities, but differ in demography and economic development. We analysed and compared the current energy system in both regions and two development scenarios towards 2050: the BAU scenario and the zero emission scenario. Despite the differences in starting position, the energy systems in both regions move towards each other in the longer term, but change pattern and costs differ.
In both regions bioresources are the dominant renewable resource in an locally determined energy resource portfolio. However, the costs of getting into this longer term position are significantly higher in Matura than in Overijssel, whereas the general economic potential, as it looks in 2020, is worse in Matura. Our analysis therefore indicates that a renewable energy transition in the longer term can result in zero emission systems in both GN and GS countries, but with substantial differences in costs.