Chapter 9: Conclusion
From the case studies of renewable energy initiatives analysed above, from both least developed countries with poor economies and the richest emerging countries, it can be seen that renewable energy can be of great help in: strengthening their economies; creating local jobs; training workers, contractors, financial institutions and government officials in renewable energy technology economics and skills; relieving dependence on imports of expensive, unreliable, highly polluting fuels that often create great risks for human health and safety; improving energy security; reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses; and improving the welfare of women and children now dependent on gathering wood and burning it for heating and cooking at great risk and depriving them of educational opportunities. The case study analyses also demonstrate that initiating renewable energy projects is a very complicated task which if done wrong can: be uneconomic; promote unsustainable exploitation of local resources for the prime benefit of project developers; cause great environmental damage including increasing greenhouse gas emissions; displace food crops; pollute air, land and water supplies; exploit and displace local labor with unlivable wages, dismal living conditions and risks to their health and safety; deprive local citizens of participation in the design and implementation of projects affecting their lives, including the rights to their property; enable conflicts between government agencies designated to implement environmental laws; and promote corruption that undermines the implementation of environmental laws.
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