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Quote of the Week: Clean Energy Leapfrogging

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October 30, 2014

Clean energy is the low-cost option in a lot of these [emerging market] countries. The technologies are cost-competitive right now. Not in the future, but right now.”

 

Who said it: Ethan Zindler, Analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance

 

In Context: Emerging markets are installing renewable energy projects at almost twice the rate of more developed nations, according to a study of 55 nations by Climatescope. Zindler commented that the growth in use of renewables in so-called emerging markets is driven by economics, pointing out that an island nation like Jamaica, where wholesale power costs about USD 300 a megawatt-hour, could generate electricity from solar panels for about half the cost. Readers will recall that it is only about five year since renewable energy, particularly solar, was mainly the territory of venture capitalists, and a heavily subsidized luxury for wealthier nations. It was truly cost-effective only in a narrow niche of applications and locations. But costs for wind and solar power have fallen remarkably quickly – in part due to innovation all along the supply chain – but also in no small part to fierce global competition, particularly from China. Emerging market nations (including China, Brazil, South Africa, Uruguay, and Kenya) installed 142 gigawatts (2008 to 2013), compared to 84 percent growth in wealthier nations, which added 213 megawatts in renewable energy sources. Will EM markets soon leapfrog in clean energy and clean tech adoption in the same way some did in ecommerce and broadband mobile?

 

Where we found it:Bloomberg

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