The coming energy transition is meant to be totally different. Rather than an energy addition, it is supposed to be an almost complete switch from the energy basis of today’s $86 trillion world economy, which gets 80 percent of its energy from hydrocarbons. In its place is intended to be a net-carbon-free energy system, albeit one with carbon capture, for what could be a $185 trillion economy in 2050. To do that in less than 30 years—and accomplish much of the change in the next nine—is a very tall order.
A vast transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is crucial to slowing climate change. But building solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy infrastructure requires mining for materials. If not done responsibly, this may damage species and ecosystems.. Our results suggest mining of renewable energy materials may increase in currently untouched and “biodiverse” places. These areas are considered critical to helping species overcome the challenges of climate change.
They may have knocked as much as ten years off the timeline.
Building wind and solar farms helps to reduce the human impact on climate change by displacing noxious emissions from coal-fired power plants. A new study says there’s another important benefit to renewables development: cost savings from cleaner air that saves lives.
Ditching fossil fuels to go 100 per cent renewable is a dream within reach – thanks to new tech that keep things humming even when wind and sun aren’t there
The future of humanity and the planet depends on how we produce energy: a reliable, affordable and decarbonized energy system is essential.
Use of fossil fuels contributes to climate change and health impacts of air pollution. Electricity generation is a major source of CO2, one of the main greenhouse gases (GHGs) driving climate change. Electricity is also a major source of air pollutants that harm health—sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
Solar power may seem like the perfect energy source, but a life-cycle assessment reveals that the manufacture of solar power equipment has some negative consequences for human health and the environment.
DRIVING a car and eating red meat are not only bad for the climate – your health suffers too. All the more reason to curb our carbon habit, says a report by the Climate Health Commission.
This panel of health researchers was appointed by The Lancet journal to assess the potential health benefits of tackling climate change, as well as the likely consequences of failing to do so.
But the biggest change, Higgins says, is "the shift in the dialogue from kilowatt-hours to carbon." Building owners now understand that the goal is not just saving energy. They're helping to save the world from catastrophic climate change.
Reasons for skepticism, reasons for optimism, and some tentative conclusions.
A growing number of healthcare centers are shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy as energy costs continue to rise and the government tightens the regulations on carbon emissions.
Solar energy is a natural fit for healthcare organizations — and not just because solar reduces air pollution and makes the world a cleaner, healthier place.
VICE founder Shane Smith meets with pioneers in the industry to understand how we currently make and use energy, and how the world can realistically move away from burning fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy sources.
“The energy sector remains one of the most dangerous industries for U.S. workers. A transition to renewable energy generation utilizing sources such as wind and solar could potentially eliminate 1300 worker deaths over the coming decade,” says Dr. Sumner.
The clean energy sector offers significant opportunities to provide power for critical healthcare infrastructure.
Communities across sub-Saharan Africa face challenges in accessing essential health care services, But solar technology could be part of the solution.
What scientists, engineers, companies, and nations expanding their power capacities need to focus on, is implementing solutions that keep negative impacts of renewables in check.
Two renewable energy sources are already major energy sources. Hydropower currently provides about 16% of the world's electricity, which is greater than the percentage produced by nuclear power, and a far greater share than all other renewables combined. In fact, the largest power plant by capacity in the world, as well as four of the five largest power plants in the world are hydroelectric plants. However, most of the world's best sites for hydropower have already been developed, so global growth in new hydropower capacity is forecast to be slow.
The second major source of renewable energy is traditional biomass, which accounts for two-thirds of the renewable energy in the world.
Despite all the progress, we’re still struggling to hit the climate emergency brake.
Some hospitals and health care systems are already working to improve their environmental performance. More than two dozen health care organizations across the country, from California to New England, have committed to meet the Paris Agreement climate action goals. Many others, including Massachusetts General Hospital, where I work, have committed to 100 percent renewable electricity, in addition to existing efforts to reduce waste and polluting emissions.
With major health facilities now struggling to maintain their operations amid dwindling fuel and power supplies, healthcare services are being reduced, rescheduled, or stopped. So how can we fight COVID-19, meet the power demand, and boost the resilience of healthcare facilities?
Which is why the biggest quest in energy right now is a way to store all that beautiful solar energy. Solve this problem, and you are well on your way to solving global warming.
Bill Gates has committed his fortune to moving the world beyond fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.
Universal healthcare and universal access to electricity are both global development goals. While hospitals in developed countries struggle to allocate medical resources to a population strained by COVID-19, health facilities in developing economies cope every day with infrastructure and energy access challenges.
There are a number of available low-carbon technologies to generate electricity. But are they really better than fossil fuels and nuclear power?
To answer that question, one needs to compare not just the emissions of different power sources but also the health benefits and the threats to ecosystems of green energy.
The fact that renewable sources technologies produce little to almost no greenhouse gases leads toward less air pollutants into the air. This smaller carbon footprint, quite naturally, paves the way for a complete positive impact on the environment.
Imagine powering civilization entirely with energy from renewable sources: wind, sun, water (hydroelectricity), naturally occurring heat (geothermal), and plants.
No coal mines, oil wells, pipelines, or coal trains. No greenhouse gas emissions, car exhaust, or polluted streams. No wars over oil, dependence on foreign suppliers, or resource shortages.
Sounds nice, right?
A Swiss government-backed study suggests that we could see major warming in the near future if we do not have a "fast and complete" renewable energy transition.
The centralized, top-down power grid is outdated. Time for a bottom-up redesign.
Demand for cobalt is expected to soar in coming years as electric vehicles take to roads everywhere.
Power plants that burn coal and other fossil fuels emit not only planet-warming carbon dioxide, but also pollutants linked to breathing problems and premature death. Policies proposed to mitigate climate change, however, often fail to fully account for the health benefit of switching to cleaner technologies. Researchers show that emphasizing health concerns in such policies can alter the optimal locations of these upgrades.
Renewable energy provides a chance to curb greenhouse gas emissions, lower the cost of electricity, and empower communities. It’s also better for public health.
Energy is becoming a software business.
If only it were so simple. Assigning words to energy such as “clean” and “dirty,” or “good” and “bad,” is disingenuous. The unfortunate reality is that all energy, at scale, has environmental effects. We are better served in the long run by open, fact-based conversations in our schools, workplaces, governments and universities about the challenges and benefits of all energy.
For renewable energy technology to be a global public good - meaning available to all, and not just to the wealthy - it will be essential to remove roadblocks to knowledge sharing and technological transfer, including intellectual property rights barriers.
America isn’t making electricity the way it did two decades ago. Now the future of the nation’s energy mix has become a major election issue.
Can we change mining technology to reduce its footprint? There is an active community of researchers that says yes.
Blaming wind and solar is a political move, Bird says. What's really needed — in Texas and elsewhere — is better preparation.
Researchers at MIT foresee a healthier Rust Belt as a result of renewables.
For too long, a lack of reliable power has prevented people in remote and rural communities from accessing the healthcare they need, when they need it. As the race for universal energy access picks up pace, here are five ways renewable energy can help protect quality healthcare for the world’s poorest.
What happens to old solar panels, windmills and high tech batteries?
But not catastrophically so.
Wars have unintended consequences.
Russia’s war in Ukraine seems to have sped up the global energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
To fight climate change, governments must redefine policies and regulatory frameworks to unlock private investments into renewable energy.
Its transmission capacity is wholly inadequate.
The degree to which the world depends on oil and gas is not well understood.
In people’s minds renewable energy is good, while fossil fuels are bad. But the picture is much more complicated than that.
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