Is it possible for clean, sustainable energy to drive sustainable economic growth for countries around the world?
There is no doubt that a growing number of nations are switching their attentions to the renewable energies sector in a bid to futureproof their economies. In recent generations, the world has depended largely on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas in order to obtain the energy it needs.
However, this has had a detrimental impact on the wider environment, with some habitats and environments affected beyond repair. More encouragingly, governments and organisations around the world are beginning to embrace their eco responsibilities and adopt greener energy solutions.
The world’s largest economy acknowledges the benefits of green energy
Not only do sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric minimise a country’s impact on the wider environment, nations are also beginning to discover how renewable energy can help breathe new life into economies. China already boasts the world’s largest economy. According to Bloomberg columnist, Noah Smith, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity ($21.4 trillion) far exceeded the United States ($18.6 trillion) in 2016. Nevertheless, China is working hard on refining and implementing a new roadmap for renewable energy that could grow the nation’s economy six-fold by 2050. Meanwhile, the report ‘Reinventing Fire: China’ states that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could also be significantly lowered by as much as 42% less than levels in 2010 by adopting this new strategy. This roadmap would lead to more than two-thirds (69%) of China’s national electricity supply being powered by renewable energy sources.
There is a clear business case for those looking to move into the renewable energy sector. According to Betway Casino’s infographic, the renewable energy industry is the second-quickest route to billionaire status behind the tech sector. That’s understandable given that the post-millennium era has been largely dominated by a tech revolution, led largely by the likes of Facebook, Amazon and Google. However, there is a green energy revolution brewing too. It’s easy for growing nations such as China to adopt emerging technologies, but it’s much braver for smaller countries with more modest economies to take the leap of faith into the renewable landscape. According to the International Energy Agency, green energy sources will also make up around half of all energy generation in sub-Saharan Africa by the turn of 2040. The report on power generation in sub-Saharan Africa notes the 620 million people that still lack access to electricity today. It is hoped that the region’s “vast renewable energy sources” will be tapped into in the coming decades, leading to immense growth in solar energy given that only 10% of its current hydro-power potential is being realised. The region simply needs to turn its climate into an advantage, helping geothermal become one of the largest sources of power supply, even in impoverished areas such as Ethiopia.
Morocco’s renewable energy strategy is an excellent blueprint
One of the best examples of a nation that’s adopting sustainable energy to drive sustainable economic growth for its people is Morocco. This North African country is the most visited in the continent, with tourism a real growth area for Morocco since its Ministry of Tourism was established back in 1985. Despite this, almost half (45%) of the Moroccan population remains employed in the agriculture industry, although the sector generates a meagre tenth (12%) of its GDP. One likely solution to take the Moroccan economy up a notch is to look to the renewable energy sector. Morocco remains heavily reliant on imports of fossil fuels and, as such, its economy is at the mercy of volatile energy prices worldwide. Driven impressively by the King of Morocco, who himself is incredibly eco-conscious, there was a considered political drive in favour of low-carbon, climate-change activity in the country. Morocco hosted the COP22 Climate Summit in 2016 and set about its plans to become a shining light for sustainable energy use.
A sustainable, renewable energy capacity for the people of Morocco would not only lower the nation’s energy bills and its dependency on fuel imports, but it would help local businesses slash their operational costs. Recent analysis by EY discovered that more than a third (35%) of all equipment and staffing to undertake the government’s ambitious renewable energy programme could be sourced within the Moroccan border. This became an official target that was eventually surpassed by a further 5%.
Renewable energy: an exciting economic opportunity
Morocco is a beacon of hope for struggling tourist hotspots such as Greece – which is battling to bring an end to its debt – and emerging national economies that sustainable energy can not only provide solutions to a country’s energy capacity but can upskill a nation’s workforce too – combating rising unemployment figures, taking people out of vulnerable jobs and equipping them with the skills to have a credible career. In the United States, even back in 2012, there were more than 119,000 people employed by solar-related businesses. Firms working in wind energy development also employed an additional 75,000 full-time employees, as well as a further 30,000 technicians at manufacturing premises nationwide. The growth of this sector has given the Americans a chance to educate and train a new generation of professionals with a passion for sustainable, eco-friendly energy. The growth of sustainable energies benefits more than just the wider environment. Landowners receive payments for the installation of wind turbines on private land, which can be a vital source of income for rural communities. Renewable energy projects invariably outperform fossil fuel projects, generating more jobs per dollar invested, while consumers can be sure of a better deal. It’s an exciting time for clean energy projects, delivering sustainable energy in areas it can be most effectively generated to places that it is most needed.
(Photos Pixabay and text provided by Publi-Web-LT)