A number of new studies on renewable energy show that developing countries are investing in renewable energy projects at twice the rate of developed nations.
A recent study by Climatescope found that 55 developing nations including China, Brazil, South Africa, Uruguay, and Kenya, have collectively installed 142 gigawatts of power from 2008–2013. This is 60% higher than comparable investment from developed countries, which only accrued 213 megawatts.
According to Ethan Zindler, a Washington-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst, this new energy boom is probably a result of economic decisions. For example, an island nation like Jamaica could generate electricity from solar panels for about half the price of conventional electricity and a nation like Nicaragua can do the same with wind power. “Clean energy is the low-cost option in a lot of these countries,” Zindler said in an interview. “The technologies are cost-competitive right now. Not in the future, but right now.”
The nations in this study recorded renewable investment to the degree of $122 billion during 2013. By comparison, that number in 2007 was only $59.3 billion.
Dropping energy prices may be responsible for this increase in new energy investment. According to a Lazard report, new energy costs—especially wind—have significantly dropped over the past few years, dropping 58% over the past five years. This report was also followed by a report out of the EU highlighting the comparative cost of onshore wind versus fossil fuels; the EU report found onshore wind energy to be much cheaper than fossil fuels like coal and gasoline.
This certainly seems to be the trend for our planet’s future energy needs. According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy and hydropower are projected to supply almost half of the energy generation required for growth in Africa through 2040, considering that the sub-Saharan economy with quadruple.
These reports are very encouraging for the emergence of clean energy around the world!