Change is upon us; sometimes it overtakes us more quickly than we realize. Consider information technology (IT). Ten years ago no one owned a smart phone. Five years ago about one in three Americans were hooked. Today, according to a recent survey, about half of Americans claim they can’t live without one! In one short decade something that hadn’t even existed has made itself practically indispensible. An irreversible shift in IT is happening, and it’s changing the world.
Now consider energy. Ten years ago solar arrays and wind turbines, both the utility-sized and the residential varieties, were relatively rare. But a recent report from the International Energy Agency tells us that now more than half of the world’s total new electrical capacity comes from renewable resources. An irreversible shift in energy production is underway. Just as the smart phone rapidly ushered in a revolution in information technology, renewable resources are giving birth to an “Energy Renaissance.”
Not convinced? Take a look at some remarkable statistics David Kramer has compiled that illustrate the point:
- Roughly half a million (yes, that’s 500,000!) solar panels are installed EVERY DAY worldwide.
- On average, China builds two new wind turbines EVERY HOUR.
- Over the past eight years the cost of photovoltaic solar has dropped about 60% with an additional 25% drop expected in the next five years.
- Also in the next five years large offshore wind project costs are expected to drop by as much as 50%.
- Since 2008, wind generation in the U.S. has tripled, and solar generation has increased 30-fold.
Savvy investors know that the smart money is on the inevitable dominance of renewable energy. (Hmm… Ten years ago would you have put your money into landline telephones or smart phone tech?) Aside from the economic and convenience benefits, clean energy is essential to a healthy environment. Lucky for us, this path to a vibrant and prosperous future is open to us right here on the only home we’ll ever know. It’s where we’ll be forever… Earthbound.