How does renewable energy help in the fight against climate change?

The Earth's average temperature is projected to rise by 1.1°C to 6.4°C by the end of the century. Unless we collectively take significant action to prevent this, human activities such as the use of fossil fuels, deforestation and agriculture will result in the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and contribute significantly to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. In the fight against climate change, all of Earth's inhabitants must unite. What is the solution? A turn to renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation.

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 that's not the end of the list, as changes in the distribution of animals and plants and even their extinction, plant diseases, lack of food and fresh water must be taken into account. All of this is largely the result of changing climatic and weather conditions.

They are caused by an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation and domestic and industrial production. According to experts, if we do not change the nature and amount of energy we consume, 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 will be no turning back.

Why is it important to reduce greenhouse gases?

Forest fires are a natural phenomenon, but according to the United Nations Environment Program's UNEP 2022 report, climate change and human impact have played a major role in their drastic increase in recent years. Floods are also a natural phenomenon, but according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 2021 report, rainfall disasters have increased in the last 50 years. Downpours are also influenced by man-made climate change. Not all, though the vast majority of events can be attributed to this phenomenon.

The solution is to use renewable energy

In December 2015 in Paris, after more than two decades of negotiations, European heads of government adopted the first global climate agreement. The goal of the so-called Paris Agreement is to keep the increase in average global temperature 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 peak global greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve carbon neutrality in the second half of the century.

What measures can we take to achieve this?

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

It is necessary for a country's governments to ensure that everyone has safe access to renewable, clean and affordable energy. Professionals are open to this, but unfortunately there is always a "but."

According to the International Energy Agency, today demand for electricity is growing steadily, and over the next 25 years it is expected to grow even more rapidly than current energy consumption, perhaps even doubling. Demand for electricity is influenced by population growth, the widespread use of electric vehicles and the continuing upward trend in industrial production, among other factors. In order to phase out fossil fuels (coal and oil), which still account for the majority of electricity generated in many countries, it is important to replace them with renewable energies such as hydroelectric, wind, geothermal and solar power, and to increase energy storage capacity and affordability.

Energy efficiency is key to managing electricity consumption

Energy efficiency is defined as the ratio of output power to energy consumed. 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 to electricity.

Energy efficiency is key to reducing dependence on fossil fuels. That's why experts see renewable energy as an untapped energy source that can be mined throughout the energy chain, from production, transportation and storage to industrial or domestic 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 the problem. If we save energy now, we can effectively prepare for the possible challenges of the future. How to do it?

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

But of course, as an individual, we can also make a significant contribution to saving money if we carefully consider and reduce the energy consumption in our homes. For example, we think about turning off the standby mode of entertainment electronics or limiting the use of automatic irrigation systems.

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

In energy production, the strong development of the use of renewable energy in industry, construction and transportation lays the foundation for our independence, accelerates the ecological transition and lowers energy prices over time.

The EU's solar energy strategy calls for doubling the current photovoltaic capacity by 2025, and wants to bring 600 GW of solar power plants into operation by 2030. This means that the Union strongly advocates installing as many photovoltaic systems as possible in 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 bring to market greener jet fuel made from used oil and waste grease. Even if all-electric or battery-powered aircraft are unthinkable in the near future, some options are currently being tested for more environmentally friendly air travel.

Social and economic benefits of renewable energy dissemination

The proliferation of renewable energy and overall related market development can have effects reflected in various sectoral, regional, social and economic characteristics. Currently, households spend a large portion of their income on electricity, cooling and heating, and mobility. If they do all this with clean and renewable energy, their spending will be significantly reduced.

It should also be mentioned that the increase in the share of renewable energy also leads to an increase in employment, which is also distributed differently depending on the region, but overall has a positive impact on the country's economy. The number of people employed in renewable energy sectors is already on an upward trend. Additional benefits include lower technology costs and the use of new business areas, as well as cleaner and more livable cities. In addition, we have to reckon with an increase in energy security and a reduction in air pollution.