The Drivers of Widespread Renewable Energy Adoption

The Drivers of Widespread Renewable Energy Adoption

The oil price shocks of the mid-1970s caused the developed economies to investigate renewable energy based alternatives to fossil fuels. In this video, Colin explains the factors that triggered the rise of renewable energy and enabled its growth. He further describes how the costs of renewable power have changed over time and the technologies required to enable the widespread adoption of renewable energy generation.
Overview

The oil price shocks of the mid 70s caused the developed economies to investigate renewable energy based alternatives to fossil fuels. The UK focussed on wave energy, the USA, Denmark and Germany on wind energy. By the end of that 80s, wind energy was the internationally favoured technology. Driven by subsidy support, wind energy capacity grew rapidly. Solar energy was initially much more expensive than wind, but by 2010 the costs were becoming closer. By 2020, both technologies had similar costs of energy and were capable of competing, subsidy free, in the open market. Today, the great majority of all new power generation is from renewable sources.

Key learning objectives:

  • Explain what triggered the rise of renewable energy

  • Explain the factors that enabled its growth

  • Describe how the costs of renewable power have changed over time

  • Describe the technologies required to enable the widespread adoption of renewable energy generation

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Summary
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Expert
Colin Palmer

Colin Palmer

Colin has been involved in renewable energy since the late 1970's. In 1988 he launched his own renewable energy company Windcluster Ltd, which financed and built one of the first wind farms in the UK. Colin has also been a director of the British Wind Energy Association and ReGen Southwest as well as a trustee of the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol.

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