Renewable energy’s effect on the economy
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Climate change mitigation and dealing with ecological catastrophes is one of the hottest topics in modern global politics. There’s a wide acceptance that these problems are man-made, but a lingering political stalemate and expectations for economic growth, have not helped the cause to reduce greenhouse gas’ (GHG) emissions. Since the energy sector is the biggest emitter, states and international organisations are increasingly investing in renewable energy sources (RES) with an expectation that it will soon replace fossil-fuel origin sources from economies’ energy portfolios. Consequently, renewables, with their pros and cons, have started to get the attention of critics, who blame the RES sector for being no different to any other capitalistic industry, thus always looking to expand without achieving any of the ambitious global sustainability standards. The main aim of this paper is not only to refute such criticism, but to reveal that a share of renewable energy in a states’ total primary energy supply (TPES), is not only helping to fight against the climate change, but also brings additional value to the economy. To prove the thesis is correct, the author conducted a series of Pearson’s r and Spearman’s ρ correlation tests between the independent variable (RES/TPES) and the dependent economic variables of GDP, energy intensity (EI) and adjusted net worth (ANS). The results revealed that an increase in renewables in the energy sector mostly does not affect the GDP, but when correlated against an economic indicator that on some scale makes distinctions between environmentally harmful and harmless economic activities, e.g. ANS, then the test results proved, that increases in renewables add value to the economy without unsustainably expanding it. The results of this thesis also highlight how the developed and developing countries are differently affected by RES implementation.
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