How Developing Countries Are Leading the Renewable Energy Revolution
Transitioning to renewable energy is essential in avoiding a global climate crisis. Many people may assume the most technologically advanced nations are the ones leading this charge, but that's not the case. Green energy in developing countries equals and even surpasses that in developed nations.
In 2019, the top five countries with the highest renewable power capacity included China, Brazil, and India. That means three of the world's renewable energy leaders are nations most people consider "developing." This trend goes beyond these three world leaders, too.
Over the past few years, renewable energy in developing countries has risen while fossil fuels have gone down. By 2017, emerging markets were adding more sustainable energy sources than fossil fuels. How is the developing world leading the green revolution?
Demand Creates Opportunity
Emerging economies have an increased demand for new energy sources. As global trade increases, these nations undergo a massive economic revolution. As their economies grow and they introduce new infrastructure, they need more electricity to power it.
Countries like the U.S. went through similar economic booms at times before renewables were a viable option. As a result, it led to increased fossil fuel use in these nations. In today's developing countries, however, sustainable energy is efficient and affordable, making it an ideal option.
With today's technology, nations in need of more power don't have to turn to fossil fuels. Renewable sources of energy are equally viable, so more developing countries adopt them to meet their energy needs. Their demand is the perfect opportunity for sustainable power companies to move into these areas.
Changing Out of Necessity
In some cases, renewable energy is the most convenient choice for developing countries. Traditional power grids in some nations are unreliable, so they need new ways of harnessing and delivering electricity. Renewables offer an answer to this problem.
People in some areas of Palestine have to buy their power from Israel, making them depend on another state for electricity. On top of a lack of independence, this process can be needlessly expensive and faulty. By turning to renewable energy, Palestinians can have a more reliable, closer-to-home source of electricity.
Solar power is also more convenient for countries near the equator, like Palestine and Lebanon. Switching to renewables is the most logical choice for these nations on all accounts.
The presence of legacy infrastructure is one of the main challenges facing renewables in developed nations. These are old and even outdated power systems that are still used because they're already available. Developing countries don't have this concern.
Places like the U.S. are often unwilling to change from old methods because it would mean leaving an established way of life. In developing nations, however, these older energy sources aren't as widespread, so upgrading isn't as significant a change. They're independent of these technologies, leaving them free to adopt new ones.
Renewable energy in developing countries isn't replacing aged infrastructure so much as it is adding to it. They don't need to dismantle old systems because the new ones are meeting their needs. Even if they do replace old infrastructure, there's less of it to address.
Renewable Energy Is a Global Issue
Emerging economies are often in a position where the benefits of renewables are more apparent. As a result, developing nations are leading the charge in the renewable energy revolution. These countries are setting a hopeful picture of a sustainable future, but they can't change the world alone.
Green energy is a global issue, so countries around the globe need to take it seriously. As developing nations pursue sustainable power, it may inspire other countries to follow suit. Every bit helps, but only a worldwide movement will save the Earth.