Imagine the headline:
“Africa to add more renewable energy projects in 2014 than past 14 years.”
It just happened.
A new report released recently by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows us that the world is changing very quickly. You can have a conversation today about power from the sun and wind that you could not have just 8 months ago.
Investments into wind and solar power in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa will reach an estimated $5.9 billion in 2014, compared to just $1 billion annual investment in the 5-year period of 2006-2011.
Why is this happening?
- We want more. Demand for electricity is growing – based both on growing populations as well as providing energy access to those without.
- It costs less than before. The cost of solar and wind power is dropping.
- More people like it. Countries around the world have taken an interest in wind, solar and geothermal power.
- It can now compete. Renewable power can now be a cost-effective alternative to coal, diesel or gas.
Governments and financial institutions are choosing to finance clean, sustainable and renewable power in this time of change. Renewable energy provides a clean option for providing energy access to the 1.3 billion people around the world who have none, and is also is the core of how the world will solve climate change.
Institutions like the African Development Bank have provided loans for renewable power to enable this shift within sub-Saharan Africa.
Institutions and governments are expected by the UN Secretary General to make commitments that raise the bar on investing in renewable power and phasing out investments in coal, oil and gas as we approach the UN Climate Summit in New York on September 23.
We expect it, too.
Zoe Caron is the co-author of Global Warming for Dummies and a senior campaigner for WWF’s global investment campaign Seize Your Power. firstname.lastname@example.org