Ever since the industrial revolution economic growth has been inseparably linked to the exploitation of fossil energy sources. Yet, since the oil embargo in the seventies and the oil price shock in 2008 it has become increasingly clear that new sources of energy will be substantial in order to allow further growth of wealth without destroying our environment. Governments around the globe have made it one of their prime issues to seriously search for alternatives.
A study by the International Energy Agency titled “World Energy Outlook, 2008” confirms the world’s energy system is at crossroads. A transformation towards a low-carbon, efficient and environmentally benign system is on its way now, and because our environment is at tipping points this transformation has to go ahead rapidly; to accelerate this is one of the intentions of DIREC (Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference 2010).
While energy from wind, hydro and biomass can already be regarded as cost-efficient, it is essential that all renewable sources of energy become cost-competitive. Increasing scope, scale, research and development will bring down the cost of carbon neutral sources of energy, and the vision is that eventually we will become independent of fossil fuels. Estimations show that as early as 2050 more than half of global electric power demand could be met through renewable sources.
But the increasing use of wind, sun, biomass and water as sources of energy can bring about more benefits. Millions of people even today don’t have access to affordable electricity, and locally produced electricity from renewable sources eliminates the need for expensive distribution systems into distant rural areas. This could seriously improve the livelihoods of many across the world, suddenly giving them a whole scale of new opportunities and lifting them out of poverty. It could also help women and girls in many developing countries by freeing them from daily tasks such as collecting water and wood in sparse environments; they could receive the education that is the basis for an improved standard of living.
It has become clear that our dependency on fossil fuels brings about many issues that have been dividing the world into the rich and poor.
In recent years renewable energy technology has proved itself to be a “guaranteed-growth” sector, and even “crisis proof”. In 2008, the sector has resisted the credit crunch far better that many other industries have. In fact, the Renewables Global Status Report (2009 update) by REN21 shows that the renewable energy sector can offer a path for economic recovery and creates quality jobs without increasing carbon emissions.
India is one of the world’s leading producers of solar energy systems and National and State Governments introduced more policies to support P.V. manufactures in special economic zones, including capital investment subsidies of 20%. The Integrated Energy Policy outlines the importance of solar power within a mix of renewable energy sources, and India has been ranked by Ernst and Young Country as one of the world’s top three most attractive countries for investment into the sector. India comes third in their listing after the USA and Germany.
Up to DIREC on the 27th to 29th of October this blog will keep you informed about everything relevant to the event, and later give you details about the outcome.