According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable energy is becoming the most cost-effective way to generate power for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who are not on the grid. The report also says that renewable energy is the cheapest option for extending grid supply in areas with adequate natural resources, such as the sun, wind, and even tide.
“A renewable revolution is underway,” says Dolf Gielen, the Innovation Director of IRENA. “Recent years have seen consistent, sometimes dramatic, falls in the cost of electricity from renewables – making it the cheapest option off-grid, and even on-grid in places with plentiful resources.”
The report also highlighted that biomass power generation is competitive wherever low-cost agricultural waste is available, hydropower is currently the world’s largest source of renewable energy, and solar photovoltaics have seen rapid development over the past 2 years and are expected to achieve grid parity with residential electricity tariffs in many parts of the world.
The best part about this is that if we continue developing renewable energy for cheaper and cheaper, it has the potential to pull many people out of poverty while keeping the planet’s temperature at a healthy point. The more countries that get behind these efforts, the better it will be for the future, economically and environmentally.
Image CC licensed by Amanda Kelso: Off-grid solar power, Mexico