Renewable energies will change the geopolitical landscape
The future looks bright for the development and widespread of renewable energies. We are already seeing many important indicators sending strong signals in this sense and in a not-too-distant future green, renewables energies like solar, wind power could represent the majority of electric generation worldwide.
The most recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, for example, projects that by 2025 green energy will account for 64 percent of electricity generation worldwide.
In addition to this, new data tell us that the consumption of renewable energy is currently growing three times faster than the overall demand for energy.
If we had to this context the increasingly stringent regulations that governments are imposing on petrol and gasoline cars and the continuous technological developments that will allow us to store more and more energies in the future, it’s really not that difficult to see how the 21st century could become the era of an incredible green revolution.
The big question now is: if the world is facing such a significant transformation in terms of energy production that many commentators are considering no less important than the switch our society experienced from coal to oil, how will this affect the geopolitical landscape in the future decades?
The Future of Geopolitics
The concentration of fossil fuel in some regions of the globe, such as the Middle East, for instance, had made these areas extremely strategic since after WW2.
Over the course of the years many countries, in particular, the US, have been trying to influence the states governing these areas and, as a result, nowadays the majority of the energy market is a globalized oil, coal and natural gas marketplace conducted in U.S. dollars.
The increase in renewable energy could completely change this landscape.
First of all the renewable energies can be found practically everywhere – the sun shines, and the wind blows in every country of the world!
In addition to this, the energy flux is governed by the rule of nature (night/day, change of seasons) and not by the needs of interested a specific country or the needs of a market.
These simple factors alone means that in a system governed by renewable energy decentralization will be absolutely crucial.
It’s easy to imagine how a network of regional, independent grids that will be providing electricity for homes and business in the future, a system entirely different from the conventional oil and gas systems
Who wins and who loses?
The new geopolitical scenario will probably see countries like Germany, the US and China become more and more relevant. The first two have already well-developed markets and are at the forefront in terms of technological know-how when it comes to green energies.
However, it seems like that China will be very much the country that will benefit the most, in terms of geopolitical influence, for the shift to renewable energies as the state is, by far the leading producer of lean energy products like solar cells and batteries.
China is also the country that, over the course of the years, has secure control of the majority or mining sites for lithium and cobalt, currently essential materials used in the energy storing and renewable energy technologies.
On the other side countries like Kazakhstan, Venezuela, and the Gulf Cooperation Council states with vast oil reserves available at their disposal, will undoubtedly lose some of their geopolitical influence in the forthcoming years.
Even a superpower like Russia could feel the hit of this epochal shift, however the abundant gas reserves that the country controls will still provide natural gas to foreign countries for decades, and will quite likely offer Russia a very relevant role in the energy industry in the years to come