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Time’s Up: Renewable Energy Should Speed Progress

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The International Energy Agency predicts that renewable energy will surpass coal as the world’s leading source of electricity by 2030. Its 810-page annual World Energy Outlook also notes that even though offshore wind farms, solar installations and battery-powered cars keep getting cheaper, they aren’t progressing fast enough to slash global greenhouse gas emissions and bring global warming under control because the world’s appetite for energy keeps surging.

Bright spots include large, offshore European turbines that can harvest the stronger and steadier winds over the ocean; electric car factories in China; and new building codes and fuel economy standards. Africa currently poses about 40 percent of the world’s potential for solar energy, but has less than 1 percent of the world’s solar panels.
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