Global Trends in Solar Energy

Global trends in solar energy indicate a critical need to provide renewable and reliable energy to the world’s poor.  According to a 2010 article in The Economist, 1.5 billion people, or more than a fifth of the world’s population, currently have no access to electricity, and a billion more have only an unreliable supply. Of the people without electricity, 85% live in rural areas or on the fringes of cities. The United Nations estimates that an average of $35 billion-40 billion a year needs to be invested until 2030 so everyone on the planet can cook, heat and light their homes and have energy for productive uses such as schooling. At the current rate of investment, however, the number of “energy poor” people will barely budge, and 16% of the world’s population will still have no electricity by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.

But despite that forecast, there are still some positive developments.  Global trends in solar energy are being significantly impacted by the realities of global warning – as the planet heats up, countries are finally taking notice.  According to a Franklin School (FS) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance publication entitled Global trends in renewable energy investment, 2015 was noted as the first year in which investment in renewables excluding large hydro in developing countries outweighed that of developed economies. The developing world (including China, India and Brazil) committed a total of $156 billion, up 19% on 2014, while developed countries invested $130 billion, down 8%. A large factor was China, which increased its investment in renewable energy sources by 17% to $102.9 billion, or 36% of the world total.

In January, 2017, General Electric maintained on their website that global trends in solar energy in developing countries indicate that these countries will continue to take the lead in investing in renewable energy.  This trend is important not only because more people are getting access to cheaper and more reliable power, but a shift to renewable energy is good for the environment.  In isolated rural areas, electricity – if available at all – is often provided by diesel generators.  Burning kerosene lamps or traditional biomass such as cow dung in areas where electricity is not available harms humans as well as the planet.
Attesting to this trend to pursue renewable energy is Peru, a country looking to provide free electricity to over 2 million of its poorest citizens by harvesting energy from the sun. Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino played a key role in instituting the National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program to provide electricity to poor households through the installation of photovoltaic panels.   The project was first started in Contumaza, a province in the northeastern region of Cajamarca, where 1,601 solar panels were installed. The energy minister has said that when the project is finished, the scheme will allow 95% of Peru to have access to electricity by the end of 2016.
In a recent trip to Lake Titicaca, Peru, this blogger saw evidence of PV panels on thatched roofs of floating islands made of reed as well as on tile roofs in rural visitors with no indoor plumbing.  Solar was everywhere, and the nation of Peru is to be commended for this investment.

Here closer to home our state and local policy makers are working hard to advance solar energy in New York. Venture Home Solar stands ready to help you explore your solar options. Headquartered in Brooklyn, we only serve NYC and the surrounding areas. We’re the local experts who get jobs done quickly and cleanly – just ask your neighbors.

Learn more by contacting one of our solar experts at Venture Home Solar.  Find out how you can be part of the global initiative to bring clean energy to all of the world’s inhabitants.  If Peru can do this for its citizens, think what we can do for those of us living right here at home.  Call us at 800-203-4158 to learn more.