The trend in investments is expected to continue in 2021 with Europe and India leading the surge in renewables, according to the International Energy Association (IEA).

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the time it would take for emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil to match their European or Nordic counterparts’ efforts to upscale renewable resources.

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Analysis of the poll results shows that it will take at least six years for emerging markets to achieve the same, as opined by 65% of the respondents. While 38% of the respondents opined that it would take more than ten years, 27% opined that it would take between six to ten years.

Emerging markets will be able to upscale renewable resources to their European or Nordic counterparts within the next five years, according to 20% of the respondents, while 14% of the respondents were unsure about when it will happen.

Emerging markets to take at least six years to match their European or Nordic counterparts to upscale renewable resources

The analysis is based on 205 responses received from the readers of Power Technology, a Verdict network site, between 05 May and 25 May 2021.

Renewable energy investments in emerging markets

Energy providers focused on cost-effective power generation using renewables during the coronavirus pandemic as power demand declined due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. The investments in renewable energy surged by 15% globally between January and October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the IEA.

Investment in renewable energy projects can serve as a key to the economic recovery from COVID-19, according to GlobalData. For emerging economies, especially, it can help expedite the clean energy transition, while also generating jobs and stimulating the economy.

ASEAN governments, for example, have laid out a five-year plan targeting 23% share of renewable energy in the region’s power supply by 2025. The plan is expected to reduce dependence on coal for power generation and cut carbon emissions by 15% by 2030.

Lack of access to finance and technologies, however, is hindering renewable energy capacity addition, particularly in emerging economies. The situation was further compounded by COVID-19, which forced governments to shift their focus towards social expenditure reducing investments in the renewables sector.