If we transition completely to green energy, the rate of temperature increase will slow significantly, assisting the UN's 1.5 °C goal
With cleantech startups and companies entering the sector, there is a lot more excitement and raw energy today in the renewable energy sector
This will only be possible if the government focuses on investing in EV infrastructure, levying a carbon tax on corporations, and providing subsidies for residential and commercial renewable energy plants
The recently concluded CoP 27 summit in Egypt was a hit-and-miss on a lot of fronts. It was more of a ‘procedural’ CoP where the pending issues from previous CoPs were analysed and debated.
With 636 fossil fuel lobbyists present at the ordeal, Coca-Cola being the main sponsor of the mega event, a lot happened behind the scenes as much as on it. Coca-Cola is the largest polluter of all the corporations in the world, the move was received with a lot of flak, with netizens declaring it as a classic case of ‘greenwashing’.
99% of the population today is breathing polluted air. We use about 35 Bn barrels of oil every year, scientists say we have already consumed 40% of the world’s oil reserves, and that it will run out by 2050.
Fossil fuels will eventually run out, it is an inevitable truth. Finally, there is now a general sentiment in the public and in the market that we need to move to clean energy as soon as possible.
What If The Whole World Goes Renewable?
Around 173 Qn watts of solar energy strike the earth continuously. That is 10,000 times the global electricity requirement. Just 1.2% of the Sahara Desert is enough to be home to solar panels that will light the entire world. A mere 1.5 hours of sunlight incident on our planet is equivalent to the world’s annual global energy consumption.
So why don’t we just set up all the panels in one place? We will be in deep water if we do this because distributing this power across all regions and terrains is a massive task. There would also be maintenance issues, as panels must be replaced after 25 years.
That is why companies and cleantech startups across the globe are keen on making solar a consumer product. The true target market consists of residential areas, housing societies, factories, and commercial entities.
Half a decade ago, the industry was still in its nascent stages, but today it is in full-throttle mode. There is a lot more excitement and raw energy today in the renewable energy sector.
The biggest hindrance in this green dream is the batteries. Some miraculous advancements have been made in increasing the efficiency of batteries in the past two decades. Though, we still have a long way to go.
The best lithium batteries can generate 2.5 megajoules of energy per kilogramme of weight. Gasoline, on the other hand, can produce 20 times that amount. We’d have a real win under our belt the day we made this difference imperceptible.
One thing is certain: if we completely transition to green energy, the rate of temperature increase will slow significantly, assisting the UN’s 1.5 °C goal.
Is It Possible To Generate 100% Renewable Energy?
Let us take planes for example. A flight would have to carry a 1,000 tons battery to function on renewable energy. On the other hand, if a cargo ship needs to be run on EV batteries, a third of the weight it would carry would be only of batteries. This would be rather impractical, and not economically viable.
We will most likely see an electric plane and an electric ship by the end of this decade. It is not a far-fetched idea, given that Tesla recently launched an electric truck.
The Government’s Role
This dream would only be possible if the government increased the greenness of the stimulus index. This includes investing in EV infrastructure, creating financial institutions, levying a carbon tax on corporations, and providing subsidies for residential and commercial renewable energy plants.