The Good And Bad News About Renewable Power

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THE GOOD NEWS

The role of renewable energy in global power markets is expanding spectacularly. Here are the highlights of how the renewables performed in 2015, according to IEA:

* 2015 was a turning point for renewables; led by wind and solar, renewables represented more than half the new power capacity around the world.

* Renewable energy reached a record 153 Gigawatt (GW), 15% more than previously projected.

* In 2015, about half a million solar panels were installed every day around the world.

* China accounted for about half the wind additions and 40% of all renewable capacity increases.

* In China, two wind turbines were installed every hour.

How explains these achievements?

1. Stronger policy backing especially in China, the United States, India and Mexico.

2. More competition in key energy markets and sharp cost reductions.

3. Technology improvements.

4. Climate change mitigation.

5. Diversifying energy supplies to improve energy security.

THE BAD NEWS

Africa is yet to feature in renewable power revolution.

* Over 630 million Africans do not have access any form of power.

* Yet the potential for renewable energy is immense.

* Africa has bountiful and varied renewable energy resources, including solar across the continent, hydro in many countries, strong wind resources, and geothermal.

The most critical missing link is policy driving.

David Himbara

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