Breakthroughs in Renewable Energy Promise Near-Complete Fossil Fuel Replacement

Innovation and investment in the renewable energy sector show that universal green power is now within our grasp for the first time ever. Advancements in technology, funding, and attitudes can help us eliminate fossil fuels almost completely.

UK Perfectly Capable of Green Energy Revolution

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The National Grid website says, “On 15 May 2023 the UK produced its trillionth kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated from renewable sources – enough to power UK homes for 12 years based on average consumption.”

Green Energy Can Meet All Our Power Needs

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This shows that a combination of green energy systems (wind, solar, hydro, and bioelectric) can produce a huge amount of power to meet our needs. 

All Attention on Climate

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Previously, the argument was based on the climate, which in some quarters is divisive. Instead, the argument for green energy should be based on renewable energy’s reliability and financial elements. 

Already Contributes Heavily

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The National Grid says, “2020 marked the first year in the UK’s history that electricity came predominantly from renewable energy, with 43% of our power coming from a mix of wind, solar, bioenergy and hydroelectric sources.” 

Makes Economic Sense

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There are many economic reasons why we should focus on green energy rather than fossil fuels, and the price can swing enormously thanks to factors outside of UK control. Just look at energy prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Protects Us From Overseas Energy

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A domestic energy supply means we aren’t reliant on external energy production and imports. That means we’re protected from supply shocks, market conditions, and prices that vary due to currency fluctuations.

Creates UK Jobs

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Investment in our renewable energy sector creates UK jobs, improves the skills and knowledge base of engineers, and allows many downstream industries to grow. These jobs are highly skilled and well paid. 

Potential for Power Export

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A report by the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development said: “Britain’s potential to generate huge amounts of clean energy would turn the UK from a net importer of energy to one exporting “vast amounts” of clean power, worth £17bn a year, to mainland Europe.”

Appetite Around the World

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The clear benefits of a domestic renewable energy sector have been acknowledged elsewhere around the globe, with heavy investment in technology being a feature in several countries. 

China Invests Heavily

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While it still produces a huge amount of CO2, China is taking steps to change its energy production network. Projects in China alone accounted for 51% of new solar electricity generation and 60% of new wind power. 

Brazil Making Large Strides

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Having been previously criticised for destroying the Amazon rainforest, Brazil has made a climate U-turn over recent years. According to the International Energy Agency, “renewables meet almost 45% of primary energy demand, making Brazil’s energy sector one of the least carbon-intensive in the world.”

Europe Switching Gears on Green

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Figures from the European Commission show that the continent is investing in green energy production. In particular, Sweden generates around 60% of its energy from renewable sources already and is targeting 100% by 2040.

Solar and Wind Most Invested In

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Across the globe, most of the investment is in wind and solar energy. Hydroelectric power is also seeing an uplift, but it’s not as easy in landlocked countries. 

Global Financial Markets Key

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The speed of delivery is dependent on financial markets in many ways. These projects are large and costly, so as the price of capital reduces, investment returns increase and investment appetite is whetted. Global interest rates are expected to fall in the coming months, which should increase investment. 

Governments Must Back Proposals

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The other key point is government agreement. For the oil-rich countries, there’s no appetite for investment in green energy domestically or abroad because so much of their revenue comes from oil exports. In countries like Russia, 20% of GDP comes from fossil fuels. 

Potential for Global Growth

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Investment in renewals is a huge driver of global growth. Much of the manufacturing will be done domestically, sparking a revolution in industry in various countries. 

Africa Could Be Perfect

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There’s genuine optimism that renewable energy could be the key to lifting much of Africa out of poverty. With huge areas of land, lots of sunshine, and plenty of wind potential, much of Africa could be energy-rich within a decade.

With Energy Comes Opportunity

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If Africa could become self-reliant in its energy production, it could export power and use the power it generates to build manufacturing capacity. With a large workforce, lots of land, and abundant energy, it could be an economic powerhouse within a couple of generations. 

Time to Reframe Arguments

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The renewable energy debate has moved far beyond climate change. It’s now a case of investment, jobs, protecting the consumer and making the UK more self-reliant. With energy prices spiking in the last few years, it’s time to take the issue seriously and move it to the top of the government agenda.

The post Breakthroughs in Renewable Energy Promise Near-Complete Fossil Fuel Replacement first appeared on Swift Feed.

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