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Energy powers our cities, our industries and our transport systems, it heats our homes (and our food), and has enabled the industrial and technological revolutions that have lifted millions out of poverty and
created unprecedented standards of living.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution fossil fuels functioned as a cheap, mobile and seemingly
infinite source of energy. However, despite what fossil fuels have helped us achieve, they have caused
massive damage to our environment. The burning of fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases into our
atmosphere, trapping excess heat and causing global warming.
An energy transition is perhaps the most pressing step in the fight against climate change. Centuries of reliance on fossil fuels has created a modern ‘petroculture’. The sunk costs of pipelines, oil rigs, power plants and the entire carbon-based electricity system are enormous. This must all change. If we are to prevent the worst effects of climate change, we must become a carbon-free society.
The burning of fossil fuels must end.
What Can We Do?
The fastest and most effective way to become a zero-carbon economy is to electrify as many sectors of our society as we can and generate power from renewable energy sources – mostly wind and solar.
Although we are a long way from where we need to be, the natural resources do exist. There is more than enough wind and solar energy resources on earth to power our needs many times over.
Carbon Neutral Pledges
Many nations have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050 including the EU, US and Canada. China has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2060.
These are significant commitments. The energy transition has begun but it will need ‘moonshot’ levels of investment into new energy infrastructure such as the transmission system, transport system and the heating/cooling industry.
In The News
Wind generates almost 40% of electricity used in Republic
Wind generated almost 40 per cent of electricity used in the Republic last year but the industry is concerned at rising levels of “lost” power.
Wind Energy Ireland – formerly the Irish Wind Energy Association – says in its annual report that the industry supplied 36.3 per cent of the electricity used in the Republic, up from 32.5 per cent the previous year
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