By Staff Writers
Bourton on Dunsmore, UK (SPX) Jun 11, 2014

File image: Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia.

One of the highlights of the 2014 World Cup of football is the use of solar energy to power the large stadiums. However a new report reveals that one-third of the countries competing in the FIFA 2014 World Cup are unable to produce as much solar energy as one of the stadiums they are competing in.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Iran, Ivory Coast and Uruguay all produce less solar power than the 2.5 MW solar capability of the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia. Ghana produces the same amount.

The findings come on the back of a new Poor Peoples’ Energy Outlook report by British NGO Practical Action. The report, which shows what is needed to end energy poverty, calls for a Total Energy Access approach to delivering energy which targets the home, work and community.

The report also analyses the policy, capacity and financial measures needed and the actions that governments need to take, together with the private sector and development agencies, in order to promote universal access. It stresses that ‘business as usual’ approaches will not end energy poverty by 2030; the goal of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

Simon Trace, CEO of Practical Action said, “It is absurd that there has been a greater investment into renewable energy for a single sporting event than in 11 of the countries competing in it.

“On one hand, the organisers and FIFA are to be congratulated for making a considerable financial investment and making this the greenest World Cup in history.

“However, it is also an indictment of the investment in renewable energy in the developing world that there are ten competing countries that do not even produce as much solar energy as a single World Cup stadium.

“Most of these are developing countries, in which economic growth, health and education of millions of people is severely restricted by the lack of access to electricity for the majority of the population.

“Currently more than one billion people live without access to reliable sources of energy. Without that, people cannot develop and there will always be a substantial proportion of the world’s population living in poverty.

“Our report found that the only way of reaching the vast majority of these populations is not via traditional grid-based electrification as found in the west, but via smaller scale, renewable off-grid solutions such as solar, hydro and wind.

“It is therefore vital that we follow the example set by the World Cup organisers and invest heavily in the new technology we are seeing used so well in Brazil.”

In addition to the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia., three other stadiums – the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte (1.4MW), the Itaipava Arena in Pernambuco (1MW) and the iconic venue for the World Cup Final, Estadio do Maracana (500KW) will be able to produce a combined total of 5.4 MW of solar energy.