Alternative energy technologies ‘indispensable’ in the global landscape, report says

Investing in alternative energy technologies is perhaps more important now than ever before. Global climate change is impacting ecosystems around the world. Sea levels are rising, leading to floods when powerful storms make landfall, like what happened in New York City when Hurricane Sandy struck recently.

The International Energy Association (IEA) has released its "World Energy Outlook 2012" report, in which it predicts green energy will account for roughly one-third of the total global electricity output by 2035.

"Renewables become the world's second-largest source of power generation by 2015 (roughly half that of coal) and, by 2035, they approach coal as the primary source of global electricity," the report says.

According to the IEA, renewable energy is fast-approaching its day in the sun, thanks to falling technology costs and rising fossil fuel prices. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Barack Obama devoted roughly $90 billion to the alternative energy technologies industry.

The United States also happens to be one of the 28 member countries in the IEA, signaling a strong vested interest in the success of those developing the latest green renewable energy systems.

If renewables in fact end up accounting for a third of the global electricity output by 2035, as the IEA projects, we are at a critical juncture where manufacturing ingenuity must continue to drive the cost of these technologies downward. This includes cutting-edge solar cell soldering methods and hermetic sealing for underwater systems that generate power via ocean waves.

What we do today will ultimately determine the future of energy production and the state of our environment on a global scale.

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