The World's Poor Deserve Greener Energy, Too
With oil costing close to $100 a barrel, and most imported Asian coal about $120 a ton, fossil energy costs are crippling emerging economies in Asia and Africa. Although renewable alternatives are far less costly than they were even two years ago, they still can’t match the cheap coal and oil that Asia and Africa had counted on.
Fortunately, if Asia and Africa embrace bottom-up renewable strategies, they can restrain energy costs, while leapfrogging dirty energy into the emerging post-fossil global economy. What are bottom-up strategies? They vary based on markets and geography. What they share is a realization that not all electrons are equal; some are worth far more than others, depending, in part, on their proximity to markets. To make a renewable revolution low-cost, countries should roll out solar and wind projects, investing first in those locales where fossil fuels are most expensive.