Renewables are still competitive despite low oil prices, and they can be key for access to electricity in poor areas, Marie-José Nadeau, chairwoman of the World Energy Council, told Anadolu Agency’s Energy Terminal on the first day of October.
The drop in prices of crude has caused some minor energy companies to halt their investments in renewables and continue the use of oil. Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of G20 Energy Ministers Meeting in Istanbul, Nadeau said that renewables have become an increasingly acceptable alternative energy source which can compete against conventional fuels like gas given that the cost of solar and wind energy has come down.
She added that the key solution for access to modern electricity for almost 1.1 billion people, the majority of which reside in Africa, is in renewables. She explained that electricity generated by solar panels, with prices that are now more attractive, can be added to centralized mini grids along with power from wind turbines. Another solution could be through the introduction of a strong regulatory system to allow for the extension of grids from one country to another providing regular predictable electricity flow, she said. Additionally, hydroelectric resources could be developed but this would need huge investments backed up by very strong regulatory regimes.
Nadaeu also said the upcoming 23rd World Energy Congress, which will be held in Istanbul next year, will provide an opportunity to address the implementation of the decisions that will be taken in the Paris, COP 21 in December.