Issue Date: Feb 29, 2012
It was a trade exhibition abuzz with the restrained chatter of busy suited executives at company stalls making contacts and finalising deals. Nothing out of place except that this trade was about renewable energy technologies, which have unconventional reasons for growth. First, these technologies are seen as the most economical and feasible source of energy for millions of people unconnected to the electricity grid and having no electricity to light their houses or cook their food. This energy poverty is disabling and needs to be eradicated. Introduction of decentralised and improved technologies paves the way to catapult the poorest of the households into the most modern systems. Secondly, these technologies—from wind and solar to biomass—provide cleaner low-carbon energy options to combat climate change. These are future systems critical for survival of all.