A Scan of Critical World Developments
Sunny Days for Renewable Energy
The renewable energy industry is soaring, despite low coal, natural gas, and oil prices. Installations of wind turbines and solar panels grew rapidly in 2015, and 2016 orders across the globe for are again up sharply. A confluence of factors is at play, including improved technologies and lower costs. New international climate agreements, along with tighter national environmental regulations to reduce urban smog, have also sent powerful market signals encouraging investors to become more bullish on renewable energy. Although this is encouraging, massive investments must be sustained for decades to meet climate change mitigation targets. Notably, while almost half of the electricity generated in Denmark, the vanguard in renewable energy, now comes from wind power, wind and solar power combined accounted for just six percent of electricity generation in the US. Accelerating the shift, especially in the light of falling fossil fuel prices, will require significant fuel from the critical resource of political will.