12. International Renwable Energy
The prospects for international renewable energy developments are perceived by many to be stronger than for domestic markets. A variety of factors account for this perception:
- Many developing countries are experiencing strong economic growth and need to improve their energy systems for growth to continue.
- A variety of efforts are underway to bring electricity to the estimated 2 billion people currently living without it. A significant share of the population resides far away from the nearest power grid, increasing the potential need for standalone renewable systems.
- Renewables can be cost-effective in off-grid applications, providing electricity for lighting, communications, and water pumping to relatively isolated areas.
- The need for international capital to help finance the expansion of energy systems is motivating the governments of many developing countries to enact policies designed to reduce state control of the energy industry, foster joint public-private programs, and remove barriers to the inflow of foreign capital.
- International organizations, such as the World Bank and the United Nations, are giving renewables increased attention relative to pre-1970 levels. These and other multilateral organizations will continue to offer a number of funding opportunities for renewable energy projects.
- Many foreign governments have enacted policies to encourage the development and implementation of renewable energy programs.
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