RECAI: Chief Editor’s note

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The truth about renewables.

The failure of November’s UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw to generate significant results and the lack of binding 2030 renewable energy targets for EU Member States make one thing very clear. The renewable energy sector’s future success will not be driven by decarbonization targets, but by the fact that it makes sense: for the economy, for society, for investors and for business.

Renewables continue to fall in price and increasingly displace more expensive fossil fuels. For emerging markets in particular, renewable energy potential is attracting high levels of foreign investment, generating jobs and creating local supply chains. It is also boosting security of supply, particularly in markets relying heavily on energy imports.

For investors, renewable energy assets are generating robust returns, and providing a greater range of diversified investment opportunities for retail, intermediary and institutional investors.

Renewable energy is also becoming a way of tackling business energy risks, with the fact that an increasing number of large corporates are now procuring clean energy directly, or investing in their own generating assets, signaling a transition driven by business need rather than subsidy.

But success will not happen by itself. The energy debate must transcend politics to avoid short-termism and populist policies. Asset values must be optimized through increased efficiency. The value chain must be globalized. And new markets must be opened up to spur global competitiveness. Renewables can then truly compete.

Let’s get busy then.

Ben Warren
Global Cleantech Transactions Leader
UK&I Environmental Finance Leader