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Renewable Energy Key In Climate Change Mitigation

By Author: Nikhil Mehra
Total Articles: 33

Renewable energy sources can be our biggest ally in the ongoing global initiative to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.

It’s an accepted fact that economic progress and the increased use of energy from conventional sources and growth of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) development are strongly correlated. Renewable energy (RE) can help delink this correlation, by furthering the cause of sustainable development and holds the key to resolving global warming and climate change issues.

The mitigation of dangerous anthropogenic climate change is seen as one strong driving force behind the increased use of RE worldwide. Non-electrical RE technologies also offer opportunities for modernization of energy services, for example, using solar energy for water heating and crop drying, bio-fuels for transportation, biogas and modern biomass for heating, cooling, cooking and lighting, and wind for water pumping.

RE deployment can mitigate environmental impacts from energy systems by diversifying energy sources and diminishing dependence on a limited num ber of suppliers, therefore reducing the economy’s vulnerability to price volatility. RE technologies can provide important benefits compared to fossil fuels, in particular regarding GHG emissions. Maximizing these benefits often depends on the specific technology, management, and site characteristics associated with each RE project, especially with respect to land use change (LUC) impacts.

Lifecycle assessments for electricity generation indicate that GHG emissions from RE technologies are, in general, considerably lower than those associated with fossil fuel options, and in a range of conditions, less than fossil fuels employing carbon capture and storage (CCS).

RE technologies can also offer benefits with respect to air pollution and health. Non-combustion-based RE power generation technologies have the potential to significantly reduce local and regional air pollution and lower associated health impacts compared to fossil-based power generation. Impacts on water and biodiversity, however, depend on local conditions. In areas where water scarcity is already a concern, non-thermal RE technologies or thermal RE technologies using dry cooling can provide energy services without additional stress on water resources.

The integration of RE policies and measures in sustainable development strategies at various levels can help overcome existing barriers and create opportunities for RE deployment in line with meeting climate change goals, however barriers continue to impede RE deployment. Dedicated communication efforts will therefore play a crucial role if RE strategies that support low-carbon, green and sustainable development – our biggest allies in the global war against climate change – are to become a reality.

The integration of renewable energy policies in sustainable development strategies can help overcome existing barriers and create opportunities for RE deployment in line with meeting climate change goals.

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