But developed nations can play a big role in finding cheaper ways to produce clean energy.
The Energiewende programme has been a success, silencing critics ahead of COP21. All that's missing is viable storage and that now appears possible.
Renewable energy is gaining fast in South Africa and may still be the most financially viable way to avoid load-shedding and blackouts.
According to a report, fossil fuel savings and reduced load-shedding have saved the economy R8.3-billion in the first six months of the year.
Denmark's surplus production of wind generated energy shows that a world powered 100% by renewable energy is no fantasy, say energy trade specialists.
Difficulties in obtaining leases on communal land in the Eastern Cape are discouraging investors in renewable energy.
Independent renewable energy producers are surpassing government promises, with 40 projects already connected to the grid and 50 more in the pipeline.
There seems to be a link between Eskom's loadshedding and bouts of xenophobic violence.
But efficiency and sustainability are still at odds with the way in which our cities work when it comes to power.
Technological innovation that affects consumer behaviour and a shift to renewable energy are at the heart of the upheaval facing utilities.
South Africa will build an additional 6 300 megawatts of renewable energy, adding to the 5 200 megawatts already being procured.
Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi en route to Muscat at the start of a five-month journey organised to focus attention on sustainable energy.
The third window is waiting to be signed off but the energy department is preoccupied elsewhere.
Toyota's Mirai sedan will run on electricity produced by mixing hydrogen fuel and oxygen, of which the by-product is heat and pure water.
The official plan is to diversify power sources in South Africa by harnessing renewable energy, but the 'hows' still need to be pinned down.
Gas and renewables are expected to be Africa's two major sources of energy growth, but it depends on fixing an energy sector that is poor in supply.
South Africa's unwillingness to move from nuclear and coal power will lead to catastrophic climate change for the profit of a few, writes Sipho Kings.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa invests in the power of air and renewable energy.