How does renewable energy help fight climate change?

According to forecasts, the Earth's average temperature will rise by 1.1°C to 6.4°C by the end of the century, unless we collectively take significant measures against it. Human activities such as the use of fossil fuels, deforestation and agriculture emit carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and contribute greatly to the increase in greenhouse gases. In the fight against climate change, all the inhabitants of the Earth must unite. What is the solution? Turning to renewable energy, energy efficiency and saving.

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Climate change is a global problem

In recent years, natural disasters such as forest fires, floods, droughts and storms have increased in frequency and severity in many countries around the world. But this is not the end of the list, because changes in the distribution of animals and plants and even their extinction, plant diseases, lack of food and fresh water, as well as the migratory movements of those fleeing these dangers must also be taken into account. All of these are largely the result of changing climate and weather conditions.

They are caused by an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases resulting from the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, transport and household and industrial production. According to experts, if we do not change the nature and quantity of our energy consumption, the risk of irreversible changes will increase significantly. Especially if global warming exceeds pre-industrial levels by 2°C or even 1.5°C, there is no turning back.

Why is it important to reduce greenhouse gases?

Forest fires are not unnatural, but according to the United Nations Environment Program's UNEP 2022 report, climate change and human influence play a major role in their drastic increase in recent years. Flooding is also a natural phenomenon, but according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 2021 report, weather-related disasters have multiplied over the past 50 years. Heavy rains are also affected by human-caused climate change. Not all events can be attributed to this, but they can largely be traced back to this.

The solution is to use renewable energy

In December 2015 in Paris, after more than two decades of negotiations, the heads of governments of European countries adopted the first global climate change agreement. The goal of the so-called Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. At the same time, it aims for a value of 1.5 °C. To this end, the contracting parties aim to reach the peak of global greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible and achieve emission neutrality in the second half of the century.

What measures can we take to achieve this?

Sustainable energy production and green electricity consumption play an important role in achieving global goals

It is necessary for the governments of the given country to provide everyone with safe access to renewable, clean and affordable energy. Professionals are receptive to this, but, unfortunately, there is always a "but".

According to the International Energy Agency, today the demand for electricity is constantly increasing, and in the next 25 years it is expected that it will rise even more steeply than the current energy consumption, it may even double. Among other things, the demand for electricity is influenced by population growth, the widespread use of electric vehicles and the constant upward trend in industrial production. In order to phase out the use of fossil fuels (coal and oil), which still account for the majority of electricity generation in many countries, it is important to replace them with renewable energies such as hydro, wind, geothermal and solar, and to expand energy storage capacity and its affordability.

Energy efficiency is key to managing electricity consumption

Energy efficiency is defined as the ratio of output to energy input. We have several options for this:

  • using less energy to achieve the same performance,
  • using the same energy for better performance,
  • improving the conversion of energy into electricity.

Energy efficiency is key to reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Therefore, experts see renewable energy as an unexploited energy source that can be extracted along the entire energy chain, from production, transport and storage to industrial or home use.

Reducing energy consumption is perhaps one of the most important elements in achieving climate goals

Saving energy is the fastest and cheapest way to deal with this problem. If we save energy now, we can successfully prepare for the possible challenges of the future. How do we do this?

In order to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the electrification of road, rail and urban transport must be increased. Other solutions, such as hydropower and ammonia fuel, help shipping, a major emitter of greenhouse gases, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate emissions of toxic substances such as sulfur oxides.

But, of course, as private individuals, we can also make a significant contribution to saving if we carefully consider and moderate the use of energy in our homes. We are thinking of things like turning off the standby mode of entertainment electronics or reducing the use of the automatic watering system, for example.

Renewable energy plays a significant role in the transition from fossil fuels

In energy production, the strong expansion of the use of renewable energy in industry, buildings and it is based on transport our independence, accelerates the green transition and lowers energy prices over time.

The EU's solar energy strategy aims to double the current photovoltaic capacity by 2025, and by 2030 it wants to achieve the commissioning of 600 GW of solar power plants. This means that the Union strongly advocates for as many solar systems as possible to be installed on public, commercial and residential buildings.

But change is needed not only on the ground, but also in the air. That's why specialists are working to market greener jet fuel made from used oil and waste grease. Even if all-electric or battery-powered airplanes are not conceivable in the near future, some options are currently being tested for more environmentally friendly air travel.

Social and economic benefits of the spread of renewable energy

The spread of renewable energy and related market developments in general can have effects that are reflected in various sectoral, regional, social and economic characteristics. Currently, households spend part of their income on electricity, cooling and heating, and mobility. If all this is done with clean and renewable energy, then their expenses are significantly reduced.

It should also be mentioned that the rise of renewable energies also leads to increasing employment, which is also distributed differently by region, but overall has a beneficial effect on the nation's economy. The number of people employed in renewable energy sectors is already showing an increasing trend. Additional benefits include lower technology costs and the exploitation of new business areas, as well as cleaner, more livable cities. In addition, we must take into account the increase in energy security and the reduction of air pollution.

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