Do Economics Outweigh Politics When it Comes to Renewable Energy?

 

Research analysts at Morgan Stanley believe that renewable energies are hurtling towards a level of ubiquity where not even politics can hinder them, as renewable energy is simply becoming the cheapest option. And despite the recent political developments analysts suggest that the US will exceed its commitments in the Paris agreement regardless of whether or not president Donald Trump withdraws, as he has stated he will.

RENEWABLES EDGE AHEAD

A recent report by the US Energy Information Administration has shown that the country has reached an environmental milestone in the first third of 2017, as the amount of energy generated by renewables topped that derived from nuclear power for the first time since 1984.

This means that renewables are now the second largest means of energy production in the US after fossil fuels. This is a major achievement, especially considering the Trump administration’s lack of enthusiasm for the topic. And as the Trump administration yanks the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement, claiming it will hurt the American economy, Beijing is investing hundreds of billions of dollars and creating millions of jobs in clean power. More than 2.5 million people work in China’s solar power sector alone, compared with 260,000 people in the U.S., according to the most recent annual report from the International Renewable Energy Agency.

China may be the planet’s biggest polluter but it’s also powering ahead of other countries on renewable energy. The country has invested heavily in solar and wind farms, fuelling the growth of major industries and exporting products around the world. And for the first time ever, China’s National Energy Administration established a mandatory target to reduce coal energy consumption at the beginning of this year. It also set a goal for clean energy to meet 20% of China’s energy needs by 2030.

Analysts at investment company Morgan Stanley stated that (with the exception of a few countries in Southeast Asia) renewable energy will be the cheapest form of power in almost every country by 2020. And in most cases, favorable renewables economics – rather than government policy – will be the strongest driver of change in terms of power generation and renewables.

 

Judith Gruendler, 20. July 2017, 12:37

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