Green Investments Positive Impact on Developing Nations

Source: Butz.2013/Flickr Creative Commons

Source: Butz.2013/Flickr Creative Commons

Increased investments in renewable energy and green initiatives continue to impact the Earth well beyond the battle against climate change. Beyond leaving a greener planet for future generations, increased investments benefit the world over in several other key ways–and not just in the major nations. Thanks in part to lower price points, developing nations are seeing the benefits of the green boom as well.

The effects of investing in the environment is felt from Bulgaria to Vietnam and several countries in between. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s 2015 report on the sector revealed that 7.7 million people worldwide are working in the industry. That’s an 18 percent increase from last year, and 35 percent over the last two. As Adnan Z. Amin notes in his article, if you add hydropower to the statistics, roughly 1.5 million more jobs are added to the tally.

Furthermore, the uptick in employment and investment has primarily been spurred on by declining prices in green tech. As Amin notes, the cost of moving to a greener landscape has now, “reached parity or dropped below the cost of fossil fuels for many technologies in many parts of the world.” This shift is now helping these nations revitalize their economies through job creation, overall growth and increasing the quality of life for large amounts of citizens in these nations. Looking a slight bit into the future, IRENA’s report goes on to estimate that the sector could support 16 million jobs by 2030.

The Pew Charitable Trust’s findings back up IRENA’s statistics, showing that developing nations are, “attracting significantly more investment in [the] renewable energy sector compared to developed nations.” Of the renewable projects undertaken worldwide, $28 billion was invested in 10 developing nations. Solar power generated the most interest with $12 billion in investments during those years.

Diversity in investments creates a hopeful prospect that each nation will be able to thrive in its region without mass competition from neighboring nations.

Looking at the Pew results, we see that Kenya could become a major player in geothermal plant production, while Thailand may be a prime example of biomass production success. Soon enough, Vietnam could see itself as a leader in small hydropower after bringing in $1.2 billion of the estimated $2.1 billion invested in the sector between 2009 and 2013.

Just a quick glance at the industry’s recent events and you see how Pakistan’s investment in solar panels is reshaping its deserts. Joining Pakistan in the solar movement is Morocco and Oman, providing solar power potential to three key regions of the world. Additionally so, Thailand has its eyes set on becoming a regional bioenergy hub while Ukraine strives for energy independence.

The world stands to benefit significantly as Earth opens up further to renewable energy and planet conservation. With an ideal to preserve our planet, it is incredible to see residual benefits coming from the movement. If the initiative continues, and by all indications it will, we could see nations develop into regional and potentially global powerhouses. At the very least, these investments will hopefully provide dual relief for future generations in developing nations. If we as a planet can provide a better quality of life for its inhabitants through the environment and economy, that may be our ultimate win-win scenario.

Written by

Thane Ritchie is the founder of Ritchie Capital Management who currently is involved in private equity and energy investments.