The NEC Energy Solutions Blog

Renewables gaining traction in emerging economies

Many nations with emerging economies do not have the existing energy infrastructure in place that was built over more than 100 years in nations across Western Europe and North America. These developed economies, therefore, have ready access to relatively inexpensive and reliable power. While there are many calls for innovation across energy grids in developed economies, these are not the regions that are leading the charge toward sustainability. Instead, renewable energy investments seem to be rising fastest in emerging economies where projects can get off the ground without being burdened by having to work well alongside existing infrastructure.

All of this isn't to say that developed economies aren't embracing wind and solar power – parts the United States and Germany, for example, have made huge investments in renewables. However, emerging economies are becoming a natural fit for such projects.

Renewables in emerging markets
Analyzing data gathered as part of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance study, a recent GreenBiz report explained that emerging economic regions have become a hotbed for renewables projects because the instability of the existing grid makes renewables inherently more attractive. Most of the poorest nations in the world are places where electricity is expensive and often not widely available. When it is accessible, the cost of delivering power extremely high. These grid systems often rely on fossil fuels that must be imported into the country and tend to be built around legacy technologies that are badly in need of an upgrade.

In the face of these challenges within the traditional grid architecture, the idea of moving to renewables is extremely attractive, and it should remain so even though some fossil fuel prices are declining.

"Emerging economic regions have become a hotbed for renewables projects."

Don't let cheap oil ruin the renewables party
Oil prices have been declining around the world, but The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate recommends that organizations do not get too excited about inexpensive oil and let that distract them from renewables innovation, EcoWatch reported. The variable prices of oil over time make depending heavily on the resource problematic, while renewables can drive meaningful innovation. 

Maximize the value of renewables projects
Energy storage systems can play a vital role in helping you get a greater return on investment from your renewables initiatives. You do not need energy storage to make renewables valuable, but a good battery system will help you deal with variability, balance loads across the grid and make sure that none of the power generated during peak periods goes to waste.

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