There is a massive paradigm shift afoot in the world toward renewable energy. Not to save the planet (although the benefits to the environment are a bonus), but to save staggering sums of money and bring power to areas where it has heretofore been lacking. This is a huge, life-improving leap forward for humanity. And it couldn’t come at a better time for our cash-strapped world. See Project Syndicate: The Solar Price Revolution
We should not underestimate the tremendous potential the sun and wind have for building global wealth and fighting poverty. As solar power becomes increasingly cost-effective, countries located within the planet’s sun belt could develop entirely new business models as cheap, clean energy enables them to process their raw materials locally, adding value – and profit – prior to export.
Unlike large-scale conventional power plants, solar installations can be built in months; in addition to being cost-effective, they provide a quick means of responding to growing global demand. And, because solar plants can generally be operated independently of complex interregional electricity grids, they provide less developed countries a way to electrify their economies without building expensive new infrastructure.
Solar power plants thus could play the same role for energy that mobile phones did for telecommunications: rapidly reaching large, underserved communities in sparsely populated regions, without the need to invest in the cables and accompanying infrastructure that once would have been necessary.
When the leaps in solar, wind and other renewable energies are paired with the weekly advances in new battery technologies, the renewable energy revolution is moving well ahead of previously conservative estimates. See: Clean Energy Revolution is ahead of schedule, for more. Very exciting time to be alive.