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The case for getting renewables to developing countries, in a chart

image credit: Courtesy EIA
Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 737 items added with 363,240 views
  • Nov 15, 2021

Much of our conversation around renewables is transitioning world powers away from fossil fuels and toward renewables. This makes sense, since world powers have influence and can lead, by example, a worldwide shift. 

However, while demand for electricity is highest in developed nations, the trend expects to shift over the next 30 years. Countries mostly seen as developing will surpass developed nations in electricity demand, according to the Energy Information Administration's "International Energy Outlook 2021" report. 

Now, the line used in this report is not as clean a break as developed vs developing nations. It's nations inside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development vs nations outside the organization. The OECD is a 38-country conglomerate of mostly high GDP nations with the aim of stimulating economic progress and world trade. It ranges from Japan and the U.S. to Luxembourg and Ireland. However, the organization has some notable omissions, such as Russa, China and India—countries whose energy demands will certainly rival that of similarly sized countries, especially over the next few decades. 

Global demand for energy, especially in homes, will continue to skyrocket as more nations advance and develop. If we are to remain true to our global climate goals, the OECD countries need to come together to support renewable solutions for these other nations. Energy needs to be as accessible and cheap as oil and coal were for a place like the U.S. but emit a fraction of the carbon of the industrial age. While wealthy countries work on developing renewable energy platforms for themselves, it will do the entire world a favor to extend the assistance to developing nations as well, or else progress in decreasing existing carbon emissions will mean little. 


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