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Are We There Yet?

Several countries have made their intentions clear on what carbon footprint they will have on our planet. For those who were the first to facilitate the transition to renewable energy, it was expected that their carbon emissions would plummet, but some predictions claimed a fall to their economy as well. Every example to date has shown this to not be the case and instead countries have found undeniable economic growth. As the United States contemplates policies to accelerate renewable energy production and usage within our country, will the results around the world reflect what will happen here?

There is, without doubt, positive short-term and long-term implications of a rapid transition to renewable energy. Results from the top 15 renewable energy consuming countries using Granger causality tests show immediate GDP growth post transition and high return on investments for cash put into implementation and research. Any reluctance on divesting from coal and other fossil fuels is often based on the lack of awareness of opportunities that exist currently. Understanding that there is net job growth and a less favorable market for monopolization after transitions are made is extremely important when considering the potential outcomes of a country wide switch to renewable energy.

There is little reason to believe that the United States, which is at a major deciding point, will hold out much longer on using primarily fossil fuels as many cities such as Columbus, Ohio make the switch to being renewables based. So on some fronts we are there, but there is not nearly enough urgency. Other countries are going to follow the investments and intentions of world leaders such as China and the United States. The United States is heavily reliant on investors to make the switch, and understand that not only that it will positively impact our planet but, according to results from all renewable based countries to date, their portfolio as well.


1. Why do some countries receive more international financing for coal-fired power plants than renewables? Influencing factors in 23 countries, Science Direct.

2. Columbus Renewable Transition,Columbus

3. Decision making in renewable energy investments: A review,Science Direct

4.The impact of renewable energy on carbon emissions and economic growth in 15 major renewable energy-consuming countries, Science Direct


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