It seems to me that the developed world is more or less on the right track with global warming, or at least starting to get on the right track. What about the developing world? Do they take this issue seriously or are they too concerned with economic growth to really care about anything like global warming?
China wants 15% of their energy to be renewable by 2020. A laudable goal, but even in the US we currently have about 30% of our grid electricity from renewable and clean sources (if you include nuclear, as I do). Some countries like France get 80% of their energy from clean sources.
India is supposed to get to 8% by 2015. Its a step in the right direction, but not really something to get excited about. That 8% figure doesn’t seem to include nuclear, which makes up about 20% of global energy usage.
It seems like the movement is away from grid electricity like we have in the developed world towards isolated electricity as that removes the need for massive non-existent infrastructure. Somewhat like cell phones being a novelty in the US, but a necessity in the developing world where phone line infrastructure doesn’t exist.
As it stands wind turbines are cost effective and equal to coal power (about 5-6 cents per kwh). Solar supposedly became cost effective in 2005 when Vivian Alberts created solar panels out of a 5 metal alloy that costs $1.60 per watthour ($2 is the cutoff to be cost effective with coal). So its not like cost is an issue to pick coal over renewables. Renewables are just as cost effective as coal plants. And clean coal technology is coming along and soon it should be cost effective to sequester CO2 produced in coal plants.