Renewable energy resources come to us courtesy of natural reserves that can be recharged on a human timescale. They include energy obtained from the sun, wind, biomass, geothermal warmth, rain, tides, and waves. They are healthier and sustainable as compared to non-renewable resources, such as energy produced from coal, oil, gas, and nuclear sources. Sustainability refers to developing systems and utilizing information that will allow not just the present generation to lead healthy, fulfilled lives but also the future ones.
We have realized how critical sustainable practices are, such as solar installation, wind, and geothermal energy are. Therefore, the world is rapidly looking for alternative solutions that don’t involve non-renewable resources. This positive wave might have been late in coming, but it has slowly galvanized the whole world to join in.
Let us take a look at renewable energy and sustainability practices around the globe:
United States of America
Vodafone and Iron Mountain are two major multinational companies. The former is a telecom giant while the latter is a data company and they have both committed to transition towards using only clean energy. They aim to keep growing on an economical scale even as they take ownership of running a sustainable company. The companies made this decision after they had joined the RE100.
The RE100 is an entity that is working to help the private sector transition to a low-carbon footprint economy. Currently, more than 130 international companies have joined ranks and become part of the RE100. The list includes big names such as Coca-Cola, IKEA, and Google. All these multinational brands intend to produce clean energy in each of their business units around the world.
If you are thinking about the impact such a move would make, consider the following:
Iron Mountain has 1,400 facilities in more than 50 countries. The data company increased its renewable consumption from 1 to 30% after becoming part of the RE100.
The state of New York has decided on stricter carbon dioxide standards, which is why it will be changing how its coal plants operate or closing them down altogether. Plants must limit the amount of carbon dioxide they produce to less than 2,000 pounds for every megawatt of electricity generated. The architect behind this move is the NY’s governor who aims to reduce greenhouse gas emission in the state by 40%.
The Welsh Government has taken the matter into its own hands regarding the tidal lagoon plant in Swansea Bay. It has offered £200 million that can be used in a clean energy program on that plant. The objective of that plant isn’t just to produce renewable energy but also to find future, more significant, suitable locations.
A human-made wall inside the lagoon harnesses tidal power and then turns turbines to generate electricity. If the plant is a success, it could lead to 2,000 jobs while bringing a new low carbon energy generation plant into a functioning state.
The land down under isn’t far behind when it comes to joining the clean energy race. Queensland has given the green light on the construction of a new onshore wind farm, Clarke Creek. The farm could theoretically produce 800 megawatts of electricity by using the 200 turbines installed on it. An estimated $760 million will be needed to get the largest onshore wind farm in Australia going. It will also create jobs for temporary workers and staff who will be running the farm.
Australia has been adding to renewable energy projects slowly and has now promised $20 billion to the cause.
Project Sunroof used data from Google Map and Google’s Earth to give an estimation of solar power on the roofs of the houses that can be tapped into for energy production by local residents. The factors taken into consideration for this calculation include the sun’s position, the roof angles, and weather data. When people find out how much potential their houses have, they will be more agreeable towards solar installation.
The German energy company E.ON is one of the partners aiding Google in this project. The other is software firm Tetraeder. Citizens of London, Liverpool, Birmingham, and Newcastle are amongst the first ones to enjoy this facility. Once it covers the whole region of UK, Google will take this project to Italy.
The Indian Government has agreed to build one of the largest solar projects in the world and the biggest one in the country. It will cover 11,000 hectares, which is almost five times as large as the one under construction in Rajasthan. Said plant will have a capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) and will be located in the state of Gujarat. The project will open jobs for 20, 000 people.
The reason for its location is the weather, as Gujarat is sunny during most of the year. That makes it ideal for a solar farm. It will take its country closer to its target of renewable energy production, which is 175 gigawatts (GW) that India plans to reach by 2022.
A Canadian firm, SkyPower, has signed a contract with the Central Asian country to offer $1.3 billion for the construction of a solar plant. This will be Uzbekistan’s first solar plant and will have a capacity of producing 1,000 megawatts. This project will be a massive step for Uzbekistan towards developing new renewable power through raising clean energy production by 10%. It already has many hydropower plants. Besides that, the Toronto-based SkyPower also claims that this solar farm will create thousands of jobs along with contributing almost $3 billion to their economy.
SkyPower showed a desire for helping people around the world by giving them access to clean energy, and it is this reason why they have started this project in Uzbekistan. They believe this will be a beneficial venture for both, the domestic country and themselves.
What have you been doing personally to aid the renewable energy and sustainability practices? Do you want to do your part? Then go here to find out more about upcoming energy & sustainability events. Or, use this incredible solar-powered software platform!
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- Renewable Energy and Sustainability: Global Perspectives - June 14, 2018