A new article at CleanTechnica poses an important question for the future of clean energy: “Why is it important to pass policies that support Renewable Energy Technologies? Why can’t we simply wait for this exponential growth to take over?” The answer, in a nutshell, is that in the absence of supportive policies, renewable energy will continue to grow, just not fast enough "to achieve a clean energy society within our lifetime." Thus, the article explains, even in Europe, which is today's "clean energy leader" by most standards, "a mere 14.6% of European energy demand [is] being met by renewable energy." Now here's the encouraging news:
...Hope is not lost. I do not mean to write this to discourage those who are advocating and adopting clean energy, but rather to motivate those who think the market will play itself out and renewable energy will soon win. It will win: despite all of the points above, renewables will be the energy source of the future, but not nearly as soon as we might think, not unless we develop comprehensive policies that allow a fair playing field for all energy technologies.
It’s like trying to play professional baseball with a broom stick instead of a bat. Sure, it could be done by an incredible athlete, but they will never play at the level they are capable of. Fossil fuels get to play with their nice thick bats while renewable energy technologies are left to use their broom handle.
The surprising thing is, renewable energy still has the advantage! At this point in their life cycle, clean energy technologies don’t even need an unfair advantage — they have the technological advantage! They simply need the chance to compete! The opportunity for a clean energy society is laying right in front of us. The question is, will we chose to level the playing field and increase the rate of adoption, or are we content to simply allow renewable energy to grow in the background while we continue business as usual?
The answer to that last question should be obvious: no!