The development of alternative energy sources like wind and solar power has caused world energy markets to see explosive growth. Wind power generation in China has been its best in years, said People Daily. According to Greenpeace’s Global Wind Energy Outlook 2014, the most impressive growth has come from countries like India, Brazil, and South Africa.
The exciting growth of global alternative energy is believed to be due to the fall in prices of renewable energy systems. A new report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the price of a standard residential solar system dropped 15 percent in 2012 to 2013, and could possibly drop another three to 12 percent by the end of 2014.
Some analyses said the cost of solar power, including installation, maintenance, investment, and depreciation, is equivalent to the cost of conventional electricity in places like Italy and Germany, reported ThinkProgress.
By 2025, the cost of solar power is anticipated to become competitive with that of natural gas in nearly every country in the world, which in turn could lead to significantly lower and more stable gas and oil prices.
While solar may be the largest alternative energy source by 2050, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)Outlook notes that in terms of the near future, the biggest contributor to emissions-reduction will come from hydroelectricity and wind power. By 2030, wind power could meet almost 20 percent of the energy demand, significantly reducing harmful emissions.
Steve Sawyer, CEO of the GWEC, said in a statement,
“Wind power has become the least-cost option when adding new capacity to the grid in an increasing number of markets, and prices continue to fall. With the urgency to cut down CO2 emissions and continued reliance of fossil fuels, wind power’s pivotal role in the world’s future energy supply is assured.”
Low costs and high demand from power purchasers kept the wind industry extremely busy. Third quarter reports show that 19 wind projects have been completed this year, with as much wind generating capacity as in all of 2013, showing good signs for the alternative energy markets in 2015.
Alex Chastain is a writer with Ring of Fire.