The economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic increased global energy demands by 4%. While this could have been a turning point for clean energy recovery, much of this demand was met with conventional fossil fuels. Even now renewable energy sources account for only 20% of global energy consumption. There is an urgent need for clean energy investment. It needs to be at the political forefront for meeting energy demand and mitigating the climate crisis. But, there are 7 broad challenges to widespread adoption of renewables.

Lack of energy storage efficiency

There is a distinct lack of efficient and affordable energy storage technology. There is high variability in renewable energy production with the exception of solar energy. A lot of research and investment goes into battery technology. If we look at specific challenges in storage, the foremost is the high cost of implementation from the initial investment. The second is the lack of standardization and worldwide benchmarks. Companies create proprietary batteries that do not take into account evolving technology demands or scalability. The third is that government and internal regulations are not updated with progress in tech. This hinders the adoption of renewables in the residential market.

Economic pressure in taking renewables to the masses

There is evidence for a shift in investment from fossil fuels to renewables. The costs of renewable technology also fell. Solar implementation costs fell by 85% in the decade between 2010 to 2020. Despite this, there is a huge financial challenge when it comes to scaling renewables for commercial use.

The current use of fossil fuel energy stems from conveniently available technology. They have a high net energy ratio, meaning we derive a lot of usable energy from less energy investment. Renewables have high capital intensity. A coal based energy plant will purchase the coal as and when needed with lesser initial capital. With renewables, you will need to invest significantly in commissioning the plant. This makes it sensitive to interest rates and as such, a less attractive investment.

This economic challenge is now addressed with crowdfunding renewable energy. New energy investors and even established corporations are inviting a large volume of smaller investors to kickstart clean energy projects. It is also easier than loans from lending institutions. It creates a sense of community as people invest in local projects that directly benefit them. But, it involves initial promotion costs to take the campaign to a wide audience.

Political challenges

The fossil fuel industry was awarded subsidies and tax breaks of 5.9 Trillion USD in 2020. But there is reluctance in investing 4.2 Trillion per year for the energy shift to renewables, which can be achieved by 2030. Anti-science rhetoric, popularism, and political posturing hold back governments from speeding up the shift to renewables.

There is the gap between state and central governments that impacts this shift. The onus of providing low-cost energy to its residents falls on the state. This subsidised cost is compensated by charging higher tariffs to commercial consumers. They are also the investors in renewable technology which leads to a political chokehold.

Governments need to look at this as an opportunity to lead in climate change cooperation. It also reduces the dependency on imported fossil fuel, increasing the use of local resources. The transition must be smooth, slowly phasing out conventional energy. It is a long-term shift that needs to happen on a small scale first, and expand to include the nation and the world at large.

Infrastructure challenges

Fossil fuel based energy infrastructure is already in place, and it is reliable. Even that is underfunded and poorly maintained in most parts of the world. The infrastructure challenges of setting up new plants of renewable energy are huge. And it comes with economic and political hindrances. On the other hand, demand for energy is constantly increasing.

Even if renewable energy production is scaled up, the existing electricity grids are insufficient to accommodate them. There is an urgent need for infrastructure renovation to address this. But this could also mean creation of new jobs and an economy that is incentive enough to tackle the infrastructure problem.

Land allocation challenges

Any new technology occupies space. Renewables like solar and wind, require cast swathes of land, preferably far from populated areas. This point of concern is that often it is agricultural land that might be taken up in the process. More research needs to go into optimal use of land. Offshore wind installations show great promise with minimal to no disruption to the environment. One of the alternatives are rooftop solar panels set up in residences and commercial buildings that cover their power consumption. It also contributes back to the grid. The focus now will be on getting more people to invest in solar infrastructure and solar energy companies.

Technical challenges

Technical challenges are rampant in industrial decarbonization. A major chunk of GHG emissions stem from industrial emissions. Introducing zero-carbon energy in industrial processes, requires massive rebuilds and retrofit in existing tech. Even the simplest furnace requires significant changes to generate the high temperatures required in industrial processes when powered by renewables. It also cuts into the lifetime of industrial infrastructure, not to mention the waste generated. Studies state that industries will need about 25-55 EJ of low-cost, zero-carbon electricity per year. Currently, they run on roughly 6 EJ of carbon-based energy in a year.

We need to take a collaborative approach with both private and public sectors pitching in for phased industrial decarbonisation. The energy transition in other sectors must happen simultaneously. 

Public Perception challenges

Public willingness is the most important hurdle to cross in energy transition. As in the case of anything new, convincing the people who are comfortably set in their ways to change is hard. When the public cannot be forced to bear the gap, even in the short term, caused during the technology shift, it falls upon the companies themselves. This further adds to the reluctance in investing in renewables.

Research programs are working on addressing public attitudes, employing social media platforms. The deliberate campaigning will highlight the climate crisis and its impact on life. The program additionally invites commentary from the public, with valuable insight on the pain points. It identifies what aspects of renewables are most appealing to the users, and gently pushes them to invest in it for the greater good. is an experienced platform aggregator for enabling low-carbon economy through clean energy investing. We address challenges in renewable energy adoption, by methodically investing in solutions. We leverage our technical expertise in optimizing clean energy production. With projects spread across Asia and Africa, investors can choose to invest as low as $100. We guarantee a 6% APY on all green investments across diverse portfolios. Make use of our investment options and exhaustive resources on renewables at our site