Emerging markets leave developed nations behind in race for renewable power
This year, emerging markets will overtake developed nations in terms of the amount of renewable wind and solar power they have installed, according to Moody’s, the credit rating agency. In the decade to 2016, the amount of solar power generated across the world has risen by 50 per cent, while wind has increased by 22 per cent, according to BP’s annual review of world energy. While developed economies have been leaders in the development of renewable power, much of the recent momentum has come from developing nations — and from China and India in particular, which are now the biggest and the third-biggest renewable electricity markets, respectively. Swami Venkataraman, co-author of the recent Moody’s report, said: “Countries such as China and India [are] leading the charge, as new renewables become competitive with other sources of power even in developing nations.” Fuelled by a dramatic reduction in the costs of wind and solar technology, both China and India have raced ahead with installing renewable power as they look to build on their impressive economic growth. The pace of this new installation of renewable power sources has cheered defenders of the Paris climate agreement even after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the accord. “The magnitude of the technology cost deflation is way ahead of anything forecast by anyone in the world,” says Tim Buckley, director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Last year, China added 50 gigawatts of solar power capacity, according to the International Energy Agency — more than it added for coal, gas and nuclear power capacity put together, and equivalent to the combined solar capacity of France and Germany. India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, added around 9.5GW of solar. The country is on course to hit 28GW by the end of 2018 — six times what it had installed three years ago. Wind is growing less quickly, but from a higher base. Last year, China added 15.6GW of wind capacity — an increase of 10 per cent.
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