Renewable energy is sweeping the globe, changing our economies and the way we impact the environment.
Wind farms and solar panels now power large parts of developed countries and hydropower is constantly innovating, becoming more efficient and cost-effective. Tesla's SolarCity recently released a new solar power roof, and there is talk that one day solar panels might replace household windows, potentially reducing electric bills and carbon footprints to zero.
Since 2014, both the United States and the European Union have reduced their CO2 emissions, and many other developed nations have seen their emission rates decline or stabilize. Although some of this is due to stagnating economies worldwide, officials confirm that much of it is a result of the rise of natural gas, solar energy and wind power.
The cost of renewable energy has also decreased, outpacing even the decline in gas prices, making it an effective solution for developing nations and new economies. Globally there are about 7.7 million jobs associated with renewable energy, and worldwide investment for renewables reached US$286 billion in 2015.
Despite the good news, it's still unclear whether the world will reach the energy goals set by the Paris Agreement of 2016. The International Energy Agency estimates that renewable energy will only increase by 3% by 2021. The U.S.'s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the U.K.'s defunding of local renewable projects are both setbacks for the Agreement but not necessarily fatal.
For the energy revolution to succeed, public support and private investment are essential. See swell.com to find out how you can put your money towards a sustainable future.