We read lots of sorry news when it comes to energy, but there is cautious reason for hope. Case in point: An article in the Tuesday, October 25 issue of The Guardian that said that renewables, or green energy, accounted for more than half of the new net electricity generation capacity added last year around the world. Every day, nearly half a million solar panels were installed, while wind turbines were added at a rate of two per hour, said a new International Energy Agency (IEA) study.
The IEA predicts that the capacity from renewable sources will grow faster than oil, gas, coal, or nuclear power in the next five years. China will lead that growth, followed by the United States and Europe, the agency's latest analysis found.
Still, the IEA sees the growth in renewables leveling off, if certain barriers are allowed to continue to exist. "If you don’t put in place the right strategies and the right policies, you risk [hitting] the wall," said IEA renewables lead author Paolo Frankl. He cited grid infrastructure, policy stability, and the availability of financing as key factors in maintaining momentum—items that were also cited in an interview with former US Energy Department secretary Steven Chu in the latest issue of the Journal of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
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