Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Developing Countries Begin to Take Lead in Green Energy Growth

Camel at wind farm  (Credit: Click to enlarge.
The growth rate of wind farms and solar plants in China, India and an array of smaller developing countries is starting to outpace that in many of the world’s richest nations.

Companies such as China’s Yingli and Trina Solar, two of the world’s largest solar-panel makers, and Indian wind turbine group, Suzlon Energy, are helping drive a major shift in green energy use, a year-long study of developing countries’ energy use suggests.

Until recently, it has been widely thought that poorer countries could not afford these newer types of green energy technologies and would have to keep relying on dirtier, fossil fuel systems such as coal power plants and diesel generators.

Wind turbines are seen at the La Ventosa project in Mexico's Oaxaca state. A new report Tuesday found that 55 emerging markets are installing renewable energy projects at nearly twice the rate of more developed nations.  (Credit: Reuters) Click to enlarge.
But the study found that the amount of new clean energy in the 55 countries studied, which ranged from China, the most populous nation, to tiny Belize and Barbados, has grown at an average of 19 per cent a year since 2008, compared with 13 per cent in the OECD group of rich nations over the same period.

The 55 countries added 142 gigawatts of new renewable energy generating capacity – more than the total current capacity of France – between 2008 and 2013.

These figures did not include big hydropower dams which have traditionally been a leading source of green energy in developing countries but can take decades to build.
The 10 top ranked countries identified in the report included some less obvious candidates, such as Kenya, which has made big strides attracting investment in geothermal power, and Uruguay, where reverse auctions for clean power attracted $1.3bn in new renewable energy financing last year.

The economic case for renewables is especially compelling in the many developing countries that rely heavily on diesel generators, the report says, a dependence that means some of the poorest countries have the most expensive electricity.

Read More at Developing Countries Begin to Take Lead in Green Energy Growth

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