Credit: World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting 2013
While investment in renewables declined globally in 2012, reversing earlier trends, 2013 is already shaping up to be an incredibly important year for the renewable energy industry. The dilemmas, challenges and opportunities that we face today underscore how essential a new energy architecture is for the future growth of the global economy, and this is providing the foundation to put the renewable energy sector back on a path to growth.
While there are no easy answers, what is clear is that a sustainable, growth-enabling energy future will demand concerted efforts from all stakeholders. And I believe after the lessons of 2012, when the industry suffered as a result of myopic and short-term thinking in the policy and investment arenas, we are finally seeing the clarity in vision and action across stakeholders.
Companies are now working towards new business models to stay profitable in an era of rising prices and decoupling of economic growth and demand for power. The power sector is working hard to adapt flexibly to major shifts in the past year, and it is heartening to note that wind is today recognized as a key part of a strong energy portfolio. Wind power technology and supply reliability are no longer a focus of debate - rather the predictability of regulation is of greater concern to investors.
Looking at the future, it is clear we have many important choices and decisions to make. However, today, more than ever before – we have the tools, be it policy, technology, resources or skilled human capital – to implement these solutions rapidly and to drive the integration and coordination necessary for accelerating an effective transition, which is essential for a global effort to combat climate change. All these changes, small and big, give me great hope and confidence that we are on path for an essential and truly transformational shift in our energy future – one that makes the world a better place for not just us, but generations to come.