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Countries of All Sizes Determining their Place in the Renewable Revolution

WING - Electrical and Mechanical Services Department Headquarters Photovoltaics.

Could it really be, at least by viewing the latest price trends, that by 2020, the average cost of electricity generated by solar and wind sources will be at the “lower end of fossil fuel prices”? With the vast majority of the world’s population living in countries that are net energy importers, (80%), renewable sources like hydropower, bioenergy, solar, geothermal and wind will be critical for future energy needs argues Adnan Z. Amin of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Some of the more notable trends that have been developing over time include:

Nations of All Sizes Obtaining More Energy From Renewables:

In Europe, Germany generated 40 percent of its electricity through renewable sources in 2018. Costa Rica’s electricity was generated entirely from renewables for 300 days in 2017 and Denmark generated more than half of its electricity from renewable power. Portugal and Germany ran entirely on renewables for several days in 2018. Further proof that countries of varying sizes, levels of economic development and geographies have made a commitment to clean renewable energy.

Fossil Fuel Exporters will Need to Diversify and Risks Abound:

If Saudi Arabia has seen fit to invest more heavily in solar power and devote more of their sovereign wealth fund to energy sources beyond petroleum, its becoming more obvious that all nations should consider these options. Across other areas of the middle east with abundant sunshine, solar is beginning to take on a stronger foothold and is being seen as less of an alternative to traditional energy sources.

With respect to materials required for the large scale production of battery technology for EV revolution, Amin reports that the quest for these materials may drive tension. Those essential materials include cobalt and lithium. “More than 60% of the world’s cobalt supply originates in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

All in all, while renewables are making huge strides, countries will have to continue to diversify their energy resources and manage risks for the future appropriately.

Areg Bagdasarian's picture

Thank Areg for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on January 28, 2019

It's always great to see different types of road maps that people can follow that match how their situation looks. Do you have any insights into which 'type' or 'size' of country tends to have the most trouble with the clean energy transition?

Areg Bagdasarian's picture
Areg Bagdasarian on January 28, 2019

I think it ranges but perhaps larger countries with more decentralized governing appraoches may take longer to formulate unified policies on reforms. Or ones where decarbonization isn't a national intitiave. 

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