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 Reasons For Hope: Progress In Technology 

Date of Publish - Thursday, 10th May 2018
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New technology and market forces have enabled nations to make rapid transition towards a clean energy economy in recent years. Harnessing the power of the sun, wind, and water doesn’t pollute our precious planet, while the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for air, water, and soil pollution, with deadly consequences for human health. New technology has made it possible for developing countries like India to leapfrog the ladder of economic prosperity.

Cost of Renewable Energy
Declining costs has resulted in accelerated implementation of solar and wind projects around the globe. A new report, ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017’, recently published by the International Renewable Energy Agency predicts that the cost of renewable energy will be on par with, or cheaper than, fossil fuels by 2020. Switching over to renewables for new power generation is now a smart economic decision and not just a reflection of environmental consciousness.

Affordable Rooftop Solar
In keeping with the deescalating costs of renewables, rooftop solar has more affordable than ever before, demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of harnessing the power of the sun. In emerging economies, millions of households who were never connected to the grid are now powered by rooftop solar.

Improvements in Energy Storage
Batteries have become more efficient, providing reliable storage capacity for renewable energy. Because the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day every day, nor is it always windy, rapid progress in energy storage is an important driver of renewable energy usage.

Evolving Electric Grid
A smarter and more flexible electric grid that can utilize power from multiple sources has improved energy efficiency, enhanced reliability and reduced costs, facilitating the transition toward cleaner sources of energy. The grid is evolving, and more renewables are being introduced with huge potential to revolutionize the energy market.

Growth of the Electric Vehicle
There are now more than 2 million electric vehicles on the roads around the world today. Global annual sales of electric vehicles more than doubled between 2014 and 2016 and these numbers are projected to rise.

Efficient Transportation
Technical improvements for new vehicles could avoid about 1.4 gigatons of CO2 annually by 2030. Many countries are implementing eco-driving programs with improved mandates on emissions.

Meanwhile, huge investments in public transportation in countries like India and Colombia are helping contribute to energy conservation, land preservation and reduced air pollution.

Rise of Wind Energy
Wind energy, by some estimates, could supply worldwide electricity consumption more than 40 times over and in some parts of the world, more and more of the energy comes from wind, sometimes without people being aware of it.

New Employment Opportunities
The renewables sector is also generating huge employment opportunities. Last year, the renewable energy industry put 9.8 million people worldwide to work and by 2030, the sector could employ more than 24 million people.

Analysts project the increasing number of wind jobs mean that wind turbine service technician will be the second fastest-growing occupation through 2024, behind solar PV installers.

Human civilization is at a crossroads, as nations are finally able to break free from fossil fuel dependence and invest in a future powered by clean energy. Progress in technology represents a huge opportunity for decisive action to avoid catastrophic climate change and augurs well for a better, safer and healthier world.

Author :
Rituraj Phukan

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