The Renewable Electricity Grid: The Future Is Now

Even a few years ago, renewable energy played only a small role in most countries’ energy planning. While governments and publics were eager to increase the share of renewables in their energy systems, the economics of doing so were challenging. There were also serious concerns about the impact on the electricity grid of adding too much capacity from variable renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.

This has all changed. Prices for inputs—particularly for solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines—have come down so far that renewable power is now cost-competitive with conventional generation in some regions. As of 2014, 144 countries had established national plans to expand renewable energy, and almost hundred had set specific targets and incentives.

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