The continuous rise in carbon dioxide emissions for the last 30 years has led to increased atmospheric temperatures today. And the environment is getting more and more polluted due to the rapid industrialization and usage of fossil fuels for energy production.
That is why there is a growing global demand for sustainable electricity, ensuring access to clean and affordable energy in order to stop climate change. This article focuses on how sustainable energy can lead to a green future and the several challenges of achieving this goal.
Sustainable Electricity: Explained
Sustainable electricity refers to the electricity generated from sustainable sources of energy, which helps meet the needs of present generations without compromising on future generations. Since sustainable energy is inexhaustible, clean, and naturally replenished, it includes energy that is generated using the sun, wind, and water—there is geothermal energy and bioenergy as well.
Sustainable electricity causes no harm to the environment and emits no greenhouse gases or pollutants in the process. The cost of sustainable energy has gone down drastically in the last decade and has become more affordable than ever. Further, we have mentioned some of the many sources of sustainable energy.
Sources of Sustainable Electricity
In today’s time, the focus is on the long-term energy supply adequacy while considering the energy sources’ environmental implications. The most significant advantage of these sustainable sources of energy is their abundance and widespread occurrence. Here are some of the widely used energy sources to produce sustainable electricity: –
Solar energy uses sunlight and photovoltaic cells to produce sustainable electricity. This technology converts sunlight into electricity using semiconductors. Hence, when sunlight hits the semiconductor in a PV cell, the electrons are freed, and busbars collect the running electrons resulting in electric current .
International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a dedicated platform through which the global community, including the governments, organizations, and industries, can contribute to help achieve the common objective of maximizing the use and improving the quality of solar energy to meet all the energy needs in a sustainable manner.
Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing sustainable energy technologies. It produces sustainable electricity using the kinetic energy created by rotating turbines. Usage of wind energy to produce electricity has increased significantly in recent years, with thousands of turbines installed around the world, they enable smooth functioning and operational excellence.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency or IRNEA, the global offshore and onshore wind generation capacity has increased by a factor of 75 in the last two decades. Wind speeds are high in many parts of the world; however, the best wind power generating locations are sometimes remote areas.
Hydroelectric power  is harnessed by using the potential of flowing rivers. Hydropower provides sustainable electricity for over 17% of the world, and the primary advantage of these systems is their ability to handle seasonal as well as daily high peak loads. The small-scale hydropower plants under 10 MWe consist of about 12% of world capacity, and most of them are run-of-river ones.
Since Earth’s core comprises extremely hot elements, and temperature increases 2.5 to 3.5 degrees Celsius with every 100 meters depth. In the case of geothermal energy, the hot steam underground is tapped and brought to the surface to generate power or sustainable electricity.
The Global Geothermal Alliance has set a goal to achieve a 500% increase in global geothermal capacity for sustainable electricity generation as well as a 200 % increase in geothermal heating by 2030.
Advancing Towards a Sustainable Future
There is still a huge amount of work to be done to develop the next generation of sustainable electricity solutions, including the policy frameworks to minimize the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
According to the analysis from International Energy Agency, the technologies currently available will only get the world halfway to the reduction required for net-zero emissions by 2050. Therefore, to make way for a sustainable future, the policymakers and researchers need to explore the following possibilities: –
- Work out and implement large-scale carbon capture systems to utilize and store carbon dioxide without deteriorating the environment.
- Establish renewable or low-carbon energy sources to produce sustainable electricity for everyday applications.
- Implement hydrogen fuel cells with zero-emission to power transportation and utilities.
- Increase the usage of bioenergy harnessed from plants and algae for sustainable electricity production.
Even a revolutionary technology may not be able to do the job alone. Ambitious renewable energy goals and long-term emission cuts demand international cooperation, especially among the biggest emitters.
Strategic thinking and large investments are required to realize a future with 100% renewable power where smart highways are full of electric cars. It is more crucial than ever to build leaders who understand take up the global sustainable energy initiatives and implement the latest technologies to secure a green future.
Building a Sustainable Future with Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is continuously working towards increasing sustainability and inclusiveness on a global level. We are on our way to expediting sustainable progress across industries and communities. Our purpose is to empower everyone to make the most of our energy and resources by bridging the gap between sustainability and progress for all. Additionally, Schneider Electric has promised to become carbon-neutral by 2025 in operations and end to end by 2040.
Our aspiring targets to build a sustainable future are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. Schneider Sustainability impact (SSI) program spanning 2021 to 2025 pledges a significant acceleration of previous targets.
This is built on the six long-term commitments set to deliver in each of the UN SDGs. We have committed to a climate-positive world with efficient resources that live up to the principles of trust and create equal opportunities for all. Explore our site today to know more about our sustainable technologies, products, and services!