Borrowing The Sun When It Should Be Free

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Borrowing The Sun When It Should Be Free

Let’s agree that the limited reserves of fossil fuel and its growing impact leading to environmental degradation highlights a very costly, dangerous, and unsatisfactory future for our world. It is easy to understand that as the fossil fuel reserves near depletion, the cost of fossil fuels will rise, depriving even more people of energy (currently more than 1 billion people live without electricity in the world). On the other hand, solar energy offers an opportunity to get out of the tightening binds of depleting fossil fuel reserve, while offering solar power to all. So, there are no doubts that we are in the middle of a solar energy transition period, but how can developing countries benefit from this transition?

Solar Offers Overall Growth

We must highlight that, energy and economy are interconnected components. Thus, growth in solar within a country (which promises to solve energy scarcity) signifies new overall development and construction of a progressive economy. Let us see how: Focusing on solarisation can reduce fossil fuel import cost and offer better energy access to developing countries.

A fraction of money saved on fossil fuel imports can be used to expand solar panel installation and energy production by building industry. This will allow countries to access export market and kick back profit within industry development.

Solaer energy industry growth will lead to job creation, skill development, and empower citizens to become earning and contributing members of the country’s economy. With industry development and manpower creation, production will increase leading to technological innovation. And ultimately, better products will create demand in and outside the country, bringing more profits, aiding in industrial, social, and economic growth.

Global Acceptance Is At Hand

Understanding the potential of solar energy in India, the country has taken supportive initiatives. And developing countries like Brazil, Philippines, Egypt, Mexico, Turkey, Chile, and Africa, are also investing in solar panel installation. As a result, renewable energy investment (US$286 billion) surpassed investment in coal and gas (US$130 billion) in 2015-16 and reached to US$333 billion in 2017-18. Solar investment globally amounted to US$160.8 billion in 2017, up 18% on the previous year despite these cost reductions. Additionally, solar panels project auctions in emerging markets rose by 4.5 times within 2013-17. So, it is apparent that global demand and acceptance for renewable energy (especially solar) is on the rise.

We Shouldn’t Buy The Sun From Others!

We have already explained how a solar energy transition can not only offer power to all but support and lead socio-economic growth of a country. However, that totally depends on building industry and manufacturing capacities. Unfortunately, countries, especially developing countries are losing their chance of building a better future through enhancing manufacturing capacities, as countries with vast manufacturing scale are flooding their market with solar panels priced at much lower than market cost. Low priced solar modules and components may appear as a great deal for developing countries, but it is actually robbing them of the opportunity to build manufacturing capacity and speed up the overall growth of their country.

Countries like China becoming a world supplier of solar panels and cells will centralize the solar industry in foreign countries, further strengthening their capability to control the industry and put the dream of becoming a solar power on unstable grounds. Centralising the solar industry to a handful of countries will also introduce a decline in technological improvement, since those countries will most certainly invest most of their time and money on expanding their supply chain (to meet growing global demand) rather in R&D. There shouldn’t be limitations on global manufacturing or monopoly on the sun.

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