Renewable Energy – Wind, Tidal, Geothermal, etc.

A five-point plan to boost renewable energy

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- Transition to renewable

Context

As the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ripples across the globe, the response of some nations to the growing energy crisis has been to double down on fossil fuels, pouring billions more dollars into the coal, oil and gas that are deepening the climate emergency.

Need for transition to renewable energy

  • Fossil fuels are the cause of the climate crisis.
  • Renewable energy can limit climate disruption and boost energy security. Renewables are the peace plan of the 21st century.
  • But the battle for a rapid and just energy transition is not being fought on a level field.
  • Investors are still backing fossil fuels, and governments still hand out billions in subsidies for coal, oil and gas — about $11 million every minute.
  • The only true path to energy security, stable power prices, prosperity and a livable planet lies in abandoning polluting fossil fuels and accelerating the renewables-based energy transition.
  • We must reduce emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by mid-century.
  • But current national commitments will lead to an increase of almost 14 per cent this decade.
  • Reducing cost:  The cost of solar energy and batteries has plummeted 85 per cent over the past decade.
  • The cost of wind power fell by 55 per cent. And investment in renewables creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels.
  • Nature-based solutions: Of course, renewables are not the only answer to the climate crisis.
  • Nature-based solutions, such as reversing deforestation and land degradation, are essential.
  • So too are efforts to promote energy efficiency.
  • But a rapid renewable energy transition must be our ambition.

Five point plan to boost renewable

  • 1] Renewable energy technology as global good: We must make renewable energy technology a global public good, including removing intellectual property barriers to technology transfer.
  • 2] Improve global access: We must improve global access to supply chains for renewable energy technologies, components and raw materials.
  • In 2020, the world installed five gigawatts of battery storage.
  • We need 600 gigawatts of storage capacity by 2030.
  • Shipping bottlenecks and supply-chain constraints, as well as higher costs for lithium and other battery metals, are hurting the deployment of such technologies and materials.
  • 3] Fast-tracking : We must cut the red tape that holds up solar and wind projects.
  • We need fast-track approvals and more effort to modernise electricity grids.
  • 4] Shifting energy subsidies: The world must shift energy subsidies from fossil fuels to protect vulnerable people from energy shocks and invest in a just transition to a sustainable future.
  • Increase investment in renewables: We need to triple investments in renewables.
  • This includes multilateral development banks and development finance institutions, as well as commercial banks.

Conclusion

When energy prices rise, so do the costs of food and all the goods we rely on. So, let us all agree that a rapid renewables revolution is necessary and stop fiddling while our future burns.

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