Marcel Kooter: How Could Renewable Energy Power a Safer Future?

Marcel Kooter: How Could Renewable Energy Power a Safer Future?

Marcel Kooter is an experienced senior business leader who specializes in commercial strategies for the oil industry. He is a strong advocate for the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, helping companies to define strategies surrounding decarbonization of operations. This article will outline the various benefits of renewable energy, identifying how a transition to renewables could safeguard the future of the planet.

A report by the United Nations identifies energy as not only lying at the heart of the climate challenge but also being the key to its solution. The report states that a large chunk of the greenhouse gasses that blanket the earth, trapping the sun’s heat, were generated through energy production, i.e. by burning fossil fuels in order to generate heat and electricity.

Renewable energy is also healthier, eliminating the unhealthy levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter created by burning fossil fuels from the air. This fact is particularly apt in light of a recent World Health Organization report, which revealed that 99% of the global population breathes air that exceeds air quality levels, threatening their health. The World Health Organization report goes on to point out that some 13 million deaths are caused globally each year by avoidable environmental causes like air pollution.

The key to tackling the climate crisis is ending global reliance on fossil fuels, which is widely recognized by scientists all over the world as the main cause of climate change. The good news is that not only are renewables plentiful, with the International Renewable Energy Agency estimating that 90% of global electricity can and should come from renewable sources by 2050, but renewable energy is also the cheapest option in most parts of the world today. Between 2010 and 2020, the cost of solar power-derived electricity fell by an impressive 85%. Meanwhile, over the same period, the cost of offshore and onshore wind energy fell by 48% and 56% respectively.

Fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal are the largest contributor to climate change today, accounting for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and almost 90% of all CO2 emissions, according to the United Nations. The science is clear. If humankind is serious about avoiding the very worst impacts of climate change, emissions must be reduced by almost half by 2030, achieving net-zero by no later than 2050.

Accomplishing this will necessitate a shift to renewable energy sources, ending global reliance on fossil fuels. Renewable energy sources, which are available in abundance, are clean, affordable, accessible, sustainable and reliable. Whether derived from water, wind, sun, heat from the earth or waste, renewables are replenished by nature, emitting little to no pollutants or greenhouse gases into the air.