The world is currently getting 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources, says the International Energy Agency, and that percentage will continue to grow. According to the group’s latest report, it’s a sign that energy sources like wind and solar will be able to meet the world’s energy needs in a sustainable fashion. Questions have lingered over whether renewable technology could compete against fossil fuels without generous government subsidies but the IEA’s report indicates subsidies are decreasingly necessary.
What’s the Big Idea?
The world’s energy landscape is changing rapidly and not just because of renewable energy developments. In addition to Canada’s oil sands, offshore drilling prospects and large natural gas stores in the U.S. are shifting focus away from the Middle East, where the West has long been dependent for oil. But unless renewable energies can compete with the cost of oil, the planet may continue to warm to the point of environmental catastrophe. The IEA report is good news, citing rapid growth in several renewable sectors.