World Economy

Doubts on Global Economy in 2015

Doubts on Global Economy in 2015 Doubts on Global Economy in 2015

‘Light’ will be the buzz word in 2015. The United Nations has proclaimed the year as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, with the goal of raising global awareness of how such technologies can help development by providing solutions to challenges in energy, education, agriculture and  health.

But besides light, developing nations are struggling with many other issues that researchers and technology companies are trying to address. Better food security and improved access to clean water and air are just a few examples of the areas targeted by technologies that will be making a mark by 2020, according to a list published by not-for-profit foundation the World Economic Forum. SciDev.Net reported Tuesday.

It spoke to some of the companies on this list and a few others to forecast what is likely to happen in the world of technology in developing countries over the coming year.

Solar Panel

Eran Meller, CEO of Ecoppia, says the market for solar panels is ripe with opportunity in desert-rich regions across the Middle East, India and South America. Unfortunately, these areas are also prone to frequent dust storms, leaving solar installations vulnerable to extreme levels of soiling.

Dust can reduce the effectiveness of solar panels by up to 35 percent, and up to 60 percent after a strong dust storm, significantly reducing the economic benefits of solar power.

Water Purification

Matthew Silver, CEO of Cambrian Innovation, says 40 percent of the world’s population are affected by water scarcity. Nowhere is this felt more strongly than in the developing world, where lack of infrastructure has led to a lack of access to clean, potable and usable water. Pioneering companies are responding to this need. We expect self-powered water purifying systems will start taking hold in the developed world in 2015. New financing methods for deploying such systems — such as performance-based leasing models, rather than outright system ownership — will be instrumental in driving energy and water savings.

Global Economy

Geopolitical crises and epidemics haven't stopped the global economy from expanding by some 3 percent in 2014. But what's in store for 2015 - a new debt crisis, or a perhaps a crash in China?

The eurozone will remain the world economy's main problem, with growth in the single-currency bloc expected to be negligible. "We forecast 0.8-percent growth for the euro area in 2015," DZ Chief Economist Stefan Bielmeier told DW.

Problems in some of the eurozone's big economies are worrying analysts. "The situation in Italy, for instance, is quite dramatic, with the economy stagnating," said Roland Dohrn from the Essen-based research institute RWI.

"In France, high public deficits are a big worry, and said that such a policy could not be continued for much longer."

China & India

For the world's second-largest economy, China, the lender forecasts 7-percent growth, or even a tick above that. It would mark the lowest expansion rate in China since 1990. But it's still very fast.

Bielmeier said he was certain China will master the challenges ahead, given its huge currency reserves.

While the Chinese dragon is losing a little momentum, the Indian elephant is bracing for its next big leap. The OECD reckons with 6.6-percent growth in the world's second-most populous nation in 2015.

Latin America at Risk

That also applies for two Latin American heavyweights, Brazil and Argentina, Dohrn said. He said Brazil suffers from infrastructure deficits, while Argentina is confronted with a seemingly unmanageable situation over its massive sovereign debt.

"In addition, Latin America has many nations that depend too much on their raw materials exports, and that makes them extremely vulnerable to commodity price fluctuations."

As commodity prices look likely to continue to dip, Latin America is bound to become a continent of disappointment once more in 2015.