The development of renewables has no borders

The development of renewables has no borders

Elisa Maria Giannetto
Share
The cases of India and Latin America show how the world can transition to a new energy system, based on alternative sources, in just 15 years

From India to Latin America, renewable energy is showing constant growth across the globe. Data issued by India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energies (MNRE) and analyzed by the consulting firm Mercom Capital Group shows how new renewable energy plants are being created in India every day. In April the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix reached 17.5% of total output, with 57.472 GW out of a total 329,417 GW. That is a remarkable increase since February, when the MNRE reported a green energy share of some 50 GW. Looking at the individual sources, solar accounts for 21.8% of India’s renewables with 12.5 GW, placing it second behind wind, which currently has a 56.2% share of 32.3 GW. Indian investments in the sector, along with commitments recently taken on by China, bode well for the future of the climate. Elsewhere in the world, Latin America is demonstrating its willingness to vie with the rest of the world when it comes to environment and energy. The region has recently been cited as one of the world’s most dynamic markets for investing in green energy. Experts expect the continent to increase its wind energy output by 47 GW over the next decade. The top green performers are Chile, Mexico and Argentina, while Brazil, which has dominated the scene in recent years, is expected to see its contribution decline due to the political and economic instability that the country is currently going though. In spite of differences, the goals of these countries are all ambitious. Mexico is aiming for 35% green energy by 2025, and Argentina is aiming for 20% by the same year, while Chile’s goal is 70% by 2050. The Bachelet government has also introduced new regulations on the use of public land for developing renewable energy plants, as Chile becomes the continent’s first nation to surpass 1 GW of solar installed capacity, relying on the desert sun for a constant supply. Generally speaking, the global spread of green energies is driven by falling production costs and technological innovation. Two new technologies have recently left the lab, ready to be tested in the field. In the sea, during the next four years Europe will be adding nearly 350 MW of floating wind energy to its grid. Meanwhile, on the road, electric cars will soon be using the new flow battery, developed by researchers at Purdue University (Indiana, USA). This battery does not need to be plugged into a power source in order to recharge: it just needs a refill of electrolytes, charging in just minutes for a life cycle longer than that of any battery put on the market until now, thereby collapsing one of the main obstacles to the full development of a more sustainable mobility model.