WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES DID THE ‘WIND ENERGY REVOLUTION’ FACE? The main stumbling block to the ‘energy revolution’ is the entrenched belief system of utility executives and engineers who just don’t believe that we can run our economy on renewable energy, because their understanding of the technology is 10, 20 or more years old. They should look at examples like Denmark where wind supplied more than 40% of all power in 2015, or Portugal, where renewables supplied 100% of all power needs for four days in May of 2016. There are many others. What citizens and NGOs can do is to continually pressure their elected officials and demand clean energy at national, regional and local levels. They need to educate themselves about the energy system to become effective advocates, and engage in the policy and regulatory debates at all levels. In terms of supplying energy to the (mostly rural) poor in the developing world, what is needed is an effective national programme which is really supported by the government, and they will discover that renewables are most often the cheapest and most effective way to do so. There are many successful examples of this, the biggest one being China. My experience is that when government officials are attending international conferences, supplying energy to the poor is a priority; but when they’re at home it falls off the radar. International institutions should insist on effective market policies and structures to deal with the problem as a condition of cooperation.
ISSUE NO.004 RENEWABLE ENERGY