How BRICS can boost cooperation in renewable energy

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The world’s top five emerging market economies—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—are together known as BRICS. A think tank official says that the BRICS nations have made progress in the energy industry over the past several years, with China and the other BRICS members focusing their cooperation on renewable energy.

Yu Guo, president of the CNPC Economics and Technology Research Institute, during the very first BRICS Energy Cooperation Forum session which was held in Beijing on Tuesday June 5, noted that the BRICS countries make a complementary group as they are all both major producers and consumers of fuel.

Coal, oil, and natural gas still make up the majority of the world’s energy supply—71 percent, 30 percent, and 22 percent, respectively—and BRICS nations still rely heavily on these fossil fuels, but Yu noted that the member nations also have a wide range of opportunities for the development of renewable energy.

BRICS have consumed 16 percent of renewable energy, significantly less than the global fossil fuel averages for countries of 48.1 percent for coal, 22.2 percent for oil, and 13.5 percent for natural gas. However, the BRICS groups’ consumption of renewable energy has been increasing year over year, helping to drive the development of lower-carbon economies worldwide.

The institute’s research shows that the percentage of electricity produced by renewable sources increased from 19 to 37 percent between 2010 and 2020, while the percentage of nuclear power doubled over the same period, making up the majority of the increase in global nuclear power.

According to Yu, China has carried out a number of significant joint projects with other BRICS nations in recent years, including those involving renewable energy sources like wind power, solar power, hydropower and biomass energy, in addition to oil and gas projects. For future collaboration, a solid foundation is in place.

The BRICS nations have abundant access to both renewable energy sources and fossil fuels. BRICS hold 40 percent, 8 percent and 25 percent of the world’s reserves of coal, crude oil, and natural gas, respectively. In addition, biomass from Brazil, wind energy from China and Russia, and solar energy from South Africa, Brazil, and India all have significant resource advantages in the renewable energy sector.

China and India, the two largest coal producers in the world, produced 50 percent and 10 percent of the total global output in 2020, respectively. 12 percent of the globe’s oil and 16 percent of its natural gas was produced in Russia. Brazil has a large amount of biomass energy resources and in 2020 produced one-fourth of all energy in the world.

Yu said that in recent years China has achieved extensive energy partnerships with other BRICS nations, including trade in oil and gas with Russia, cooperation in the production of oil and gas with Brazil, a cooperative natural gas pipeline venture with India, and trade in renewable energy with South Africa.



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