During the early stages of industrialization, developed nations such as the United States did not foresee the extensive damage that would be done to the global environment by continued reliance on fossil fuels. As environmentally-friendly technologies become more feasible, efforts are being made to find ways to replace fossil fuels with more environmentally-friendly alternatives. However, industrialized countries have faced difficulties in converting their already-established infrastructures due to the time, effort, and cost involved. Implementing renewable-energy technologies in developing countries in the early stages of industrialization will avoid these obstacles. China and India are among the most populous and rapidly-developing countries. Therefore, employing renewable energy resources in these regions will have significant environmental and economic benefits and provide a model for other countries to follow. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.