The fossil fuel-producing industries are quite mature and their technologies
are well developed. Biomass and small-scale renewables have potential in niche
markets but generally cannot compete with fossil fuels on a direct cost basis.
A serious obstacle is the lack of inclusion of external costs regarding social,
environmental, and even indirect economic gains which can affect country trade
balance involving hard currency for developing countries and CEITs (Moreira and
Fossil fuel technology is readily available in most instances from commercial
and governmental sources and can be, in most cases, readily licensed. For example,
technology to catalytically remove wax from lubricating oil was developed by an
oil company (Hydrocarbon Asia,1994). This technology replaced the costly and energy
intensive solvent dewaxing process and reduced energy consumption and therefore
CO2 emissions by about 85%. This technology is
now used both in developed and developing countries. In some countries, to facilitate
technology transfers, this technology is offered through a partnership with local
institutions. This is one of many technologies that together can result in significant
improvement in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions.
Deployment of new technology, improvement of operating efficiencies, and other
best practices to reduce GHG emissions are currently driven primarily by economic
opportunity. However, developing countries are not always aware of the opportunities,
and education and awareness programs should be encouraged. In the energy supply
sector, economic, educational and institutional barriers, rather than technology
availability, are more apt to be the cause for the failure to transfer technology.