Much in the same way many third world countries such as India and Africa leapfrogged building a landline infrastructure and switched straight to mobile phones, Bloomberg Technology recently reported that the same trends are now starting to happen with solar and other renewable energies.
Landlines didn’t have powerful companies fighting tooth and nail to stop first world nations from advancing.
When it comes to the majority of established utility companies in the US, most of these entities are doing their best to deter customers from pulling the plug and declaring their independence from fossil fuels.
Take Florida’s anti-solar ballot, for instance, which utility companies misleadingly tried to advertise as “pro-solar” until grass-root movements of actual pro-solar advocates exposed the misinformation campaign.
Luckily, such actions led for the ballot to be overwhelmingly defeated, opening the state’s flood gates to solar competitors to provide people with clean, affordable energy.
Other states like Nevada, however, weren’t so fortunate. There, utility companies successfully won a court decision to repeal promised state incentives to people who had already switched to solar–effectively stunting the industry’s growth there for years to come.
The result of such aggressive efforts by gas and coal-fed utility companies throughout the US and other first world nations has slowed the spread of solar energy enough to the point where, for the first time ever, second and third world countries have surpassed their first world counterparts for capital spent on emerging energy markets.
A report entitled “Climatescope” by Bloomberg Technology shows the emerging markets of China, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, South Africa, and India outspent wealthier countries on renewable energy growth by nearly half a billion dollars!
This is due to the fact that oil pipelines and power plants aren’t as predominant in less industrialized countries, making the costs more expensive and volatile than the steadily declining costs of PV solar. Such countries didn’t install solar because they were trying to do good by way of the environment, but because the cost per a KW hour was, in some cases, nearly half as cheap.
One can’t help imagining what it might have been like 20 years ago had there been powerful landline companies trying to restrain Americans from switching to mobile phones while the rest of the world advanced ahead. When it comes to renewable energy, however, that seems to be the case, and their motivation is no mystery: If everyone in the world suddenly became energy dependent, they’d be out of a job.