(The following statement was released by the ratings agency)
May 16 - With energy consumption worldwide projected to roughly double in the next 35 years, conventional wisdom says renewable sources of power will play a big role in meeting demand. But the conventional wisdom may be wrong. In a report just published on RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services says cost, feasibility, and political wrangling are standing in the way of near-term renewable-energy expansion, globally and in the U.S. The report, titled “Support For Renewable Energy Inches Ahead While Global Energy Demand Grows By Leaps And Bounds,” says that even fast-growing economies in Asia, where energy consumption looks set to far outpace that in other regions, seem content to rely on fossil fuels for the time being.
About 80% of the world’s energy needs are met using fossil fuels. Yet, wind power, which is among the world’s fastest-growing sources of renewable energy, represented just 1.5% of global electricity production by the end of 2008. Europe is light-years ahead of the rest of the world in using it. But such technology doesn’t come cheap.
Solar power may provide a more cost-effective alternative to wind power. Currently, solar power contributes only about 0.1% of U.S. electricity production, but U.S. solar capacity is growing quickly. Industry groups predict solar power use will meet 10% of the country’s energy needs by 2025.