Now Reading
An energy revolution is possible – but only if leaders get imaginative about how to fund it

An energy revolution is possible – but only if leaders get imaginative about how to fund it

A row of solar panels in a city

To limit climate change, a global movement of unprecedented magnitude is required Low-carbon technologiesThis is the norm. COP26 – the UN climate conference held last November in Glasgow – showed that unfortunately, the world is far from ready for such a movement. Many leaders remain. Take it as a given that reducing emissions and growing their countries’ economies aren’t compatible goals.

However, many places have seen success in transitioning to clean energy technologies. Wind power has gone from providing less than 1 percent to providing more energy since 2010. 10% off electricity in Brazil, and provided 15% of the EU’s Electricity DemandIn 2019. Solar power – described as “the most expensive way to reduce carbon emissions” as recently as 2014 – now costs 85% less than it did a decade ago, increasingly making it the Electricity at the lowest price in history.

In India, high-efficiency products were pushed by affordable energy access programs LED bulbsFrom just 3 million in 2012, to 670 million by 2018, prices have fallen by 85%. These three technologies are now some of the most cost-effective ways to generate electricity or light in much of the world.

What’s crucial is that these transitions all involved significant government action. Even though many of the cases were based on early economic calculations, it was clear that most of these transitions were successful despite the fact they were expensive.

Instead of relying on Research and development to bring down costs through coming up with new inventions – or leaving the market to do so on its own through Competition – governments used subsidies and Public procurementProgrammes (government commitments for a certain quantity of a new product), are used to lower costs and increase uptake.

A row of solar panels in a city
Solar power is becoming cheaper.

These impressive outcomes show that traditional models of economic appraisal – calculating costs and benefits as if they were fairly predictable – are inadequate for making truly TransformativeChange in sectors such as energy, industry and transport, as well as buildings.


Global Transition to low-carbonThese sectors will be subject to unpredictable and multiple changes. And few of a transition’s most important benefits, like cleaner technologies and Supply chains, new jobs, Fresher airIt is possible to easily quantify this in advance.

Initial prices for LEDs, solar power, wind power and solar power were very high. much higherThere are more established technologies (like coal-and gas-powered electricity) that have benefited from more then a century of development. As seen in Europe and in emerging economies, these technologies are actually reducing energy costs.

Our analysisThis shows that leaders must look beyond traditional methods when deciding how to make low carbon transitions. cost-benefit economic approaches – and must embrace uncertainty around the Chances and risksAs a result, countries may face difficulties.

An electric car charges outside a shop
Increasing availability of EV chargers will encourage EV adoption.
Kārlis Dambrāns/Wikimedia

Leaders and researchers also need to identify how to create “Tipping points” that can trigger cascading changes towards low-carbon economies. For example, improvements in Battery technologyElectric vehicles (EVs), which are becoming more competitive with gasoline cars, are becoming more affordable.

See Also
A forest official takes position to shoot a wild elephant that is preparing to chase away villagers in a village in India.

Policies to help build better Infrastructure charging and reduce EVs’ price could tip us more rapidly towards an electric transport future. Cleaner cities, reduced oil dependence, and the ability to transport more people are all benefits of this future. StoreTo store excess electricity in EV battery, to support the national grid when necessary.

Historically, it’s been widely assumed that reducing emissions would mean countries’ economies. Low-carbon transitions can have a significant impact on the economy and society. challenges.

But well-designed policies – such as those used to drive the revolutions in wind, solar and LEDs – have the potential to create huge benefits for participating countries, not just for our climate. We must first change our economic thinking if we are to stop climate change.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.