One of the most significant trends driving the transition towards renewables is the adoption of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) by governments worldwide. An RPS policy mandates that a certain percentage of a country’s energy mix must come from renewable sources by a particular future date. These policies incentivize the adoption of renewable energy technologies by creating a market for them, generating a demand for renewable energy credits (RECs) and driving investment in alternative energy.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy sources currently generate just over 26% of the world’s electricity, with most of that power coming from hydropower, wind, and solar. Fossil fuels still account for around 63% of the world’s energy mix, although that share is steadily decreasing as renewables continue to grow.
China stands as the largest renewable energy market in the world, leading in both solar and wind power capacity installations. The country alone accounts for over 40% of the world’s wind energy capacity and around one-third of its solar capacity. Additionally, China accounts for over one-third of the world’s electric vehicle sales.
Europe has also been leading in the adoption of renewables, with Germany and the Netherlands setting some of the most ambitious renewable targets. Germany has pledged to achieve a 65% renewable energy portion in its electricity mix by 2030, whilst the Netherlands, with a collaborative agreement with Ireland, aims to have their portion of Europe’s electricity produced from sustainable sources at 70%.
Meanwhile, the United States has pledged to achieve 100% clean electricity by the year 2035, and is facing a growing competition from other nations, EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said in July 2021 that the EU aims to produce 40 percent of their energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2030.
Despite being among the world’s top consumers of fossil fuels, India has also been actively making efforts to transition toward renewable energy. The country has set a target of 450 GW of renewables by 2030–four times its current capacity- and is aiming to achieve a 40% share of renewable energy in power generation by 2030.
As more countries adopt RPS policies and accelerate their transition towards renewables, the energy industry is experiencing a significant shake-up. While fossil fuels still dominate the global energy sector, the continuing trend towards renewable energy will result in declining prices for solar, wind and energy storage systems, which will enable them to compete with traditional energy sources on cost. By accelerating the development of renewable technologies, countries can reduce their dependence on oil-producing nations and transition towards a more sustainable future with cleaner and more resilient energy systems.
In conclusion, the transition towards a more sustainable energy mix is not only a matter of environmental responsibility but also an economic opportunity. Countries that prioritise renewables will reap the benefits of job creation, investment attraction, and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. The competition between nations for renewable energy adoption will undoubtedly shake up the energy industry, encouraging innovation and driving the growth of a sustainable energy sector.
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