Steve Leone, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com
September 21, 2011 | 51 Comments
New Hampshire, U.S.A. -- Five percent? That's the EIA's projected global increase in renewable energy generation by the year 2035. You'd think that nearly 30 years of technological, business and environmental inroads would make a bigger dent in the world's future energy mix.
Aren’t we supposed to be living the solar dream by then? Won’t we be driving to the beach in algae-powered vehicles? Won’t we all revel in our views of majestic wind turbines? The utopian vision of our energy future may not exist in our lifetimes, but it has to have a better outlook than the one released this week.
The short of the report: By 2035, world consumption is going to rise more than 50 percent. (So, yes, that’s five percent growth on 50 percent more power). We’re going to be just as reliant on fossil fuels as we are now. And our carbon problem is going to get worse — much worse. But the International Energy Outlook is quick to point out that it doesn’t take into account any policy changes that may affect the energy mix across the world. The renewable industry knows better than anyone that policy is king, and that the success of a growing industry is tied directly to that government support.
The world currently revolves around prices for fossil fuels, especially oil. There are other factors at play, though, that could make renewable energy a bigger player in the decades ahead.