Solar park. Image: Vittavat Apiromsène Shutterstock

They invest more and build more: this is how non-OECD countries have replaced rich economies by developing renewable energies. In 2017, developing countries installed 94 GW of new renewable capacity.

The point is that the green energy sector is more interested in emerging economies than in richer countries. Partly due to falling technological costs and new policies to support green energy, developing countries have assumed the leadership role in energy transition.

This is confirmed by data from Climatescope 2018, BloombergNEF’s in-depth report, prepared through the study and analysis of more than 100 countries around the world. The document – which, like every year, was signed by the UK Department for International Development – shows how, in 2017, new renewable capacity and the funds allocated to it were concentrated in non-OECD countries.

The Climatoscope 2018 speaks of a general “new zero carbon energy capacity”, that is to say of a new energy capacity without CO2 emissions, a label that also includes hydroelectric and nuclear energy: on this front, developing economies beat the rich by 114 GW to 63 GW. But most of the production is due to “new renewable energies”, that is to say to photovoltaic and wind energies, which in 2017 alone represented 94 GW of new capacities in non-member countries of the OECD.

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The figure is not so surprising when you take into account that in these territories up to 143 billion dollars were invested in photovoltaic, wind, geothermal and bioenergy energy in a year. At the same time, new coal-related generation has declined by 38% per year, adding “only” 48 GW of new power to the grid.

“This represents a good change. Just a few years ago, there were those who said that less developed countries could not, or even should not, develop their energy production with zero CO2 emission sources because they were too expensive ” , explains Darío Traum, BNEF analyst and head of the Climatescope project. “Today, these countries are leading the way in energy deployment, investment, policy innovation and cost reduction.

One of the most interesting data is, in many cases, the ease of installation of renewable power plants compared to new fossil fuel projects. To date, more than 35 emerging markets have held double-cut auctions for green power supply contracts, including Mexico (which received bids of $ 21 per MWh for PV) and India (41 € per MWh for wind energy) with a total of 140 GW tendered against 41 GW in OECD countries. According to BNEF estimates, the average cost of wind and solar power is currently less than $ 50 per MWh in many developing countries.

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