Power shift: emerging economies to drive renewables sector
The renewable energy sector will soon be driven by emerging economies according to a new report from research agency Frost & Sullivan.
The shift in market power will be down to the economic development and revised energy priorities in those markets which will drive a more sustained increase in the adoption of wind, solar and biofuels.
The report documents that while less than 50 countries worldwide had renewable support policies in place in the early part of the last decade, this number has now reached over 120. Investments in renewables have also risen dramatically over the past decade.
"The EU has set binding targets to source 20% of the bloc's total energy consumption from renewable energy sources in 2020, and targets for individual member states range from 10% for Malta to 49% for Sweden," said Harald Thaler, Frost & Sullivan’s energy and environmental industry director. "Climate and energy policies as well as long-term price-based incentives, such as subsidies and tax benefits, can substantially boost renewable energy penetration and innovation."
While the sector has escaped relatively unscathed from the vagaries of the global economic downturn, it is beginning to feel the pinch now as investments begin to decline significantly.
Urbanisation, population growth, and energy security concerns are other key drivers for the rise of renewable energy capacity in emerging regions such as Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Further enabling accelerating the uptake of new energy sources in developing countries is the need to diversify to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and the dramatic fall in the cost of renewable energy.
"Concerted renewable energy strategies have been in place in countries such as China, India and Brazil for some time, and other emerging markets are now promoting renewables in a more systematic fashion," added Thaler.