Renewable Energy Adoption: Is current growth enough to meet future climate targets?
ADVANCING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS
Every year, the world adds more renewable energy production capacity than the year before. But, looking historically, is this growth enough to achieve our climate targets? According to a recent publication in ‘Nature Energy’, the short answer is “no” – to meet the climate goals requires decades of growth in renewables at rates higher than those observed historically in most countries.
In this episode, we chat with two of the co-authors – Jessica Jewell and Aleh Cherp – about their research, which examined historical data among 60 countries, and modeled an average maximum growth rate of wind and solar of approximately 1% per year. However, this growth rate has not been sustained over time in any country at the levels needed to meet many of the climate mitigation scenarios.
To understand the implications of their research, we learn about the technology adoption lifecycle and the technology diffusion process. Finally, we discuss why technological learning may not speed up future growth, as countries lagging behind adoption of renewable energy may have less favorable conditions compared to early adopters. Learn more about their research at www.polet.network/.