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Wind and Solar Energy

As humanity looks for sustainable ways to power its economies, a varied set of options presents itself, including geothermal, gas, biomass, hydrogen and other sources of green power, depending on the regional availability. But it’s wind and solar energy that most people pin their hopes on. Both are available anywhere in the world and represent the most natural, clean types of power.

A 2011 recent survey of renewable energy across the globe showed that wind is one of the fastest growing types of energy. In fact wind power accounted for most of new electricity capacity added in 2010, except in Europe, which installed more solar power than wind. Emerging nations like China and Brazil are investing heavily in renewable energy, including wind. Solar power is also growing fast, with large scale solar farms going online and many more being built. Meanwhile, some exciting developments in materials and efficiency are taking place which should catapult solar to the top of energy generation capacity.

Germany has become a major solar powerhouse. In 2010 it installed more solar photovoltaic power than had been installed across the globe in 2009. Other leading economies such as Japan and the U.S. also saw new solar power installations double in 2010 compared with 2009 levels. Besides that, there were significant additions in 100 countries.

The survey showed that official support, targets and incentives played a key role in fostering the development of alternative energy. Dirty types of energy such as oil and coal get a lot of official support, therefore besides technological advances necessary to scale up wind and solar energy, investment policies plays as import a role in shaping up a sustainable energy future.