Our ancestors mastered the skills to create and sustain fire, revolutionising the way we live. This critical innovation helped us to survive the ice age and put us on the path to where we are today. But our current problem is not an ice age, it’s quite the opposite. Pollution from fossil fuel use kills 8.7 million people a year, largely from local air pollution. That number will rise significantly due to climate change effects if we don’t change our ways.

By Dolf Gielen and Francisco Boshell, IRENA

It will reap havoc in our daily lives and in our economies. It will result in mass migration and raise geopolitical tensions. We need a transition in the way we supply and use energy to avert and minimise such effects. The resource is out there: we see the sunrise every day, we can feel the energy that is contained in the sunlight, the main renewable energy resource. The question is how to master that resource. The solution is again human ingenuity and innovation, but a key question is where to focus the innovation efforts. Should we wait for major breakthroughs to save the planet, or should we foster innovation into reaching commercialisation of existing technology options? This is a question that countries are […]

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