By Andrea Roggero



The work of ECR Technologies is based on deep beliefs concerning the key topics of innovations and changes brought about by renewable energy sources. Among our convictions is the idea that the development of renewable energies represents not only an innovation but a real paradigm shift.


When looking through the definitions of “paradigm”, we find, among others: “The set of scientific and metaphysical theories, values, and beliefs making up the reference framework within which a given phase of the evolution of the various scientific disciplines is placed”.


Hence, starting from the three keywords paradigm, evolution and economics (understood as a scientific discipline), it is remarkable to note how much these three words, linked to one another in the very definition of paradigm, may help us reflect on an interesting paradox related to the topic of renewable energies.

Indeed, the evolution accompanying the move from energy produced by means of fossil fuels to energy produced by means of the so-called renewable resources will inevitably lead to a paradigm shift, above all in economics, since it represents a radical evolution (and transformation) of the reference framework itself.


First of all, this is due to the fact that we are shifting from a model linked to the use of finite resources (fossil fuels) to one based on energy resources that are in theory infinite (solar power, wind power, etc.) or tend towards the infinite.


The interesting and rather intuitive economic paradox linking all these elements is that, while the cost of extraction and use of fossil fuels will grow exponentially as their availability decreases, the unit cost of energy produced from renewable sources will decrease in an inversely proportional manner and eventually reach infinitesimal values.


In order to achieve this result, it is obviously necessary for the systems used to produce electric power by exploiting renewable sources to fully develop in terms of both large-scale adoption and overall output and energy efficiency.


Another remarkable economic paradox is obviously liked to the so-called “environmental costs”. In fact, while the environmental costs of energy from fossil fuels rise as production increases, in the case of energy from renewable sources, costs will tend to fall in direct proportion to their growing diffusion and use.

An additional paradox worth mentioning pertains to the geographical dimension. Analyses carried out at the European and global level emphasise that countries with greater per-capita economic resources (for instance, those in the North of Europe) are characterised by larger investments and greater diffusion of plants for the production of energy from renewable sources (solar, wind, and other sources). Paradoxically, however, these are also the countries where the availability of some of the above resources, especially sunlight, is more limited compared to the areas (the South of Europe and North Africa, for example) where a much greater output could be achieved by building plants of equal size.


Last but not least, still speaking about economic implications, one significant aspect would be sufficient in itself to justify large-scale investments in, as well as heavy use of, renewable energies. As mentioned above, their unit cost is due to drop as production grows, and this is particularly relevant when seen in combination with the historical evidence regarding economic tends over the last few decades, especially the period of the so-called “oil crisis”. Indeed, as is widely known, the cost of energy is an economic variable that causes the markets to drop when it goes above a certain threshold, especially in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. On the contrary, when the cost of energy is low, this considerably boosts economic development, both locally and globally. Therefore, it would be a major strategic oversight to relegate the growth of renewable energies to purposes like cutting down on domestic expenditure or to believe that this might concern only those portions of the population that have greater environmental awareness, since no economic sector can disregard the importance of low energy costs as an essential factor to promote growth.


All the above considerations lead us to conclude with undisputable clarity that, in order to achieve sustainable growth in the future, increasingly heavy investments in the exploitation of renewable energy resources and in their related technologies are absolutely indispensable. At ECR, we believe that the paradigm shift described above is not only possible but must be seen within a real prospect of medium- to long-term global investments. This process will ensure that the current paradoxes are overcome and excellent results are achieved in both environmental and economic terms.





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