Take a look around you. Whether it is the running of your car or the lighting of a lamp, everything requires energy. It is the source of life, so it is no wonder that fossil fuels have been placed on a pedestal in the technology-obsessed world of today. However, with their dwindling supplies as well as negative consequences, researchers began looking for possible alternatives. The age of nonrenewable energy may be behind us in developing nations
While clean energy from natural means such as solar energy and wind energy, among other possibilities became an option, these weren’t openly embraced. After all, just a decade or two ago, an investment into the same wasn’t a financially viable option for many countries. The technology required was expensive, and the result not quite as efficient as the fossil fuels. However, in the last decade, fast-growing developing nations such as India and China, members of the G 20, invested considerable sums in harvesting natural sources of energy.
In each of these nations, large populations remained without the priviledges of energy altogether. Importing fossil fuels or nonrenewable energy sources was expensive, and therefore not a viable option. As a result, while fossil fuels formed a majority of the energy supply, clean energy technology was invested in to provide an additional revenue. However, recent research uncovered a surprising twist.
The PEW Charitable Trust conducted various studies following the implementation of natural energy generating means across the globe. They discovered that between 2009 to 2013, the world saw nearly 100 nations outside the Group of 20 attract a total investment of $62 billion in renewable energy. Many of these investments were in relatively small, and comparatively unassuming, countries including Thailand; Peru; Bulgaria; Ukraine; and even Kenya. Taiwan, Province of China; Pakistan; Morocco; Vietnam; and the Philippines were also among the nations identified as the top 10 leading markets in the production of clean energy within the developing world. Unsurprisingly, each of their clean energy investments was primarily centred around solar energy – the natural and most abundant source of energy which is available plentifully in each of our lives.
This has led to the belief that the clean energy market is shifting base to the developing nations. Not only does this give them increased independence by reducing import, but also strengthens their security. Moreover, currently, clean energy is cost efficient, thereby reducing financial strain. After all, the present is the right time for such an investment as the market is flooded with competitive prices. This allows developing nations to reap the benefits of renewable energy at an afforable price. It is one of the best means of reducing energy poverty, preserving nature, and creating a future with the possibility of fog instead of smog.
One of the earlier complaints against clean energy and a plus for nonrenewable energy, was its lack of efficiency. While this may have been a valid argument a decade ago, today sees a different picture. Technology has improved in leaps and bounds, and solar cells with an efficiency of 40% are expected to hit the market in the near future. Today, renewable energy can be harvest in a much more economical and efficient manner than ever before. Therefore, this simple change can help developing nations power their progres. Their dedication to the same has resulted in the PEW’s prediction that the next 15 years will see them leading the world in the production of clean energy.
In contrast, only 5 of these top 10 emerging markets added fossil fuel plants to their list of investments and only one added a nuclear plant. These results can be seen as positive step towards a greener future.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.