According to a new study from Climatescope, developing nations are far outpacing developed ones when it comes to the installation of new renewable energy infrastructure.
The study monitored 55 developing countries, including emerging economies like China, Brazil, South Africa, India and Kenya, and found that between the years of 2008-2013, developing nations saw 143% growth in renewable energy, versus only 84% in developed countries.
The Climatescope project was originally put together in 2012 by Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance division, the U.K. Government Department for International Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank Group to track the growth of renewable energy in 26 Latin American and Caribbean nations.
This year, they added 19 African countries as well as 10 in Asia to give a wider look at the emergence of renewable energy worldwide.
From 2007 to 2013, those 55 developing countries added a total of 142 gigawatts of renewable energy to their power grids, and more than doubled their total investments in renewable energy, from $59.3 billion to $122 billion.
They also passed a combined 450 legislative measures relating to renewables, according to the Climatescope report.
So why are these developing nations investing in renewables so much faster than the developed world? Well usually it just makes financial sense, according to Ethan Zindler, an analyst in Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance department.
In a phone interview, he used Jamaica as an example. In Jamaica, wholesale power costs about $300 per megawatt-hour. According to Zindler, the country could generate the same amount of power using current solar panel technology for about half that price.
He also added that Nicaragua could similarly cut their costs in half by using wind power (the feature photo of this article is a wind farm on the coast of Lake Nicaragua).
“Clean energy is the low-cost option in a lot of these countries. The technologies are cost-competitive right now. Not in the future, but right now,”
Read the full story from Bloomberg.
Also, make sure to check out the Climatescope 2014 Report, which features cool interactive maps that rank the countries in terms of their overall investment in renewables!