Global warming and climate change are well-understood phenomena that demand immediate action, particularly a transition towards clean energy resources. In 2022, the global primary energy consumption experienced a 1% growth, wherein global oil consumption increased by nearly 3 million barrels per day (b/d), reaching 97.3 million b/d. This was 0.7% lower than the levels observed in 2019, as indicated in the Statistical Review of World Energy by the Energy Institute. The report further noted that when combined with gas and coal, fossil fuels constituted 82% of the worldwide energy mix. This heavy reliance on fossil fuels contributes to elevated levels of green house gas (GHG) emissions, with potentially dire consequences for our climate.
Through technological advancements, humans have successfully harnessed photons from the sun, kinetic energy from wind, stored water’s potential energy, and the Earth’s internal heat. These methods enable the generation of various clean and sustainable forms of energy, collectively known as renewable energy
Embracing such energy sources not only aids in GHG reduction but also contributes to mitigating climate change’s effects, ensuring energy independence and security, and creating a healthier environment
To illustrate, generating one unit of electricity (KWh) from coal emits around 1000 g of CO2, while the emissions from solar panels , wind turbines and hydro power for the same unit are approximately 46, 12, and 24 g of CO2, respectively. By calculating the carbon footprint of each fuel, a better understanding of their environmental impact upon combustion is obtained.
In 2022, IRENA reported an addition of 1.63 Terawatt of renewable capacity, with Asian countries being significant contributors. Among these renewable sources, hydropower leads, followed by solar and wind energy. Furthermore, renewable energy technologies have the potential to create numerous job opportunities across various sectors. According to an IRENA report from 2019, the sector employed 11.9 million people globally.
By adopting renewable energy technologies, we have a remarkable chance to make substantial progress in mitigating climate change. According to report “Perspectives for the energy transition” published by IRENA, suggests that by enhancing the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures both within G20 countries and on a global scale, the required emissions reductions can be accomplished. This approach has the potential to limit the global temperature increase to within 2°C, effectively preventing the most critical consequences of climate change.
The solution is already within the world’s grasp, and though it’s being put into action, a faster pace of implementation is essential to steer clear of the most alarming scenarios.