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Submitted by Oeyvind E Lier and Natalyia Kulichenko on
From the energy perspective, if one looks beyond the confusing numbers and loud speeches made by politicians and officials, there has been but a small impact on the global energy mix the last decade. The reality is that, even though the share of renewable energy (led by hydropower) increases, the sheer size and growth of the global energy markets makes this task gargantuan. The WB energy sector total pipeline for FY 2010 is about $8.6 billion. Given the global investment needs in power infrastructure over the period of 2010-2030 -- $3,655 billion in new plants, $986 billion in transmission and $2,179 billion in distribution (2010 WEO) -- totaling $6,820 billion, this seems like a drop in the ocean. This raises the importance of the WBG's policy dialogue, and analytical work, which might have a bigger influence than the actual investments. The prime factor holding back the development of green energy is the price gap between conventional (fossil) and renewable energies based on current technology. The fact that energy infrastructure built today will be around for 25-40-60 years further exacerbates the impacts. There is no silver bullet, as resource availability varies by region and cost effectiveness vary relative to the existing energy mix, transmission capacities, demand patterns among others. In order to face our biggest challenge since the industrial revolution, we need all alternatives. This includes innovative approaches on renewable energy, energy efficiency, as well as traditional technologies.