RECAI: Chief Editor’s note

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Taking the next steps.

This issue of the RECAI sees renewable energy opportunities everywhere, for everyone.

Recent BNEF analysis forecasts US$5t of an estimated US$7.7t of global energy investment could be spent on renewables by 2030, and the exciting reality is that this will encompass both life-changing access to residential-scale power for the world’s poorest communities, and mega projects that will speed us toward grid parity and beyond.

It will include billions of investment dollars from mainstream lenders, institutional investors and major corporates, and investments of as little as US$25 from thousands, or even millions, of crowdfunders and cooperatives, increasing renewables deployment across the world, from the smallest island to the largest desert.

Significant movement in our index reinforces the fact that attractive renewable energy prospects are no longer confined to a few mature markets — they are now truly global.

Despite the significant opportunities presented by a continuously expanding and scalable renewables sector, stakeholders must also try to remain focused on the end goal — affordable and secure low-carbon energy.

In evaluating what Europe’s energy markets need to transition into the next phase of maturity, for example, it becomes clear that both industry and policy-makers can, and have, become distracted by legacy support mechanisms and the phantom of carbon markets, rather than remaining focused on grid parity and creating stable, reliable low-carbon energy supplies as the penetration of renewables increases.

It is clear that the sector still has much to learn from the past, but must also focus more clearly on the future – a future where small is big, individuals can be powerful, and scale is, well… whatever it needs to be.

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