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Large, private sector energy customers wanting to buy more renewable energy are already driving change in electricity markets by scaling up clean power delivered through the grid. More renewables in countries’ power grids will accelerate progress toward emissions-reduction targets put forth in Paris.

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It is impossible to succeed in today's economy without access to energy. But for an estimated 1.3 billion people, mostly in the developing world, electric power is still out of reach. Even among those with energy access, many still face unreliable service and regular blackouts. This is why it is so important that we push for Goal 7 of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals: "ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all."

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India's railways are the country's largest consumer of electricity and diesel fuel. A plan to deploy one gigawatt of solar photovoltaic installations on railways could reduce the sector's environmental impact while generating economic opportunities.

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Oil prices are plummeting, the United States and China made a major joint climate announcement, and renewable energy reached price parity with coal in a growing number of markets. Iconic tech companies—including Google and Apple—are playing a larger role in both renewable energy and home energy efficiency.

Against this backdrop, 2014 is on track to go down as the world’s hottest year ever recorded. Already, the first 10 months of 2014 have been the hottest on record globally. This is a troubling trend.

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