Four current trends lend a new urgency to the need to explore how far and how easily RETs could serve energy needs worldwide.
- First, ensuring universal access to conventional energy sources using grids entails high costs, which means that developing countries are unlikely to be able to afford the costs of linking additional households, especially those in rural areas, to existing grids.
- Second, the climate change debate has injected a greater sense of urgency into searching for newer energy options, as a result of both ongoing policy negotiations and the greater incidence of environmental catastrophes worldwide.
- Third, from a development perspective, the recent inancial and environmental crises have caused major setbacks in a large number of developing countries and LDCs, resulting in their further marginalization from the global economy. The LDCs and many developing countries suffer from severe structural vulnerabilities that are a result of their patterns of integration into the global economy. The international community needs to promote low-carbon, climate-friendly development while fostering inclusive economic growth in these economies as a matter of urgency.
- Lastly, there are extreme inequalities within developing countries themselves, and lack of access to energy affects the poorest of the poor worldwide, impeding their ability to enjoy the basic amenities of modern life that are available to others at the same level of development.