In the 21st century, technology is undoubtedly a crucial part of our lives, generating increasing benefits and economic profits around it. In fact, in the last few decades, technology innovation has led to changes in various fields, being one of them energy production and consumption. One of the innovations in this field are the renewable energies, which are currently a reality in our daily lives, but still have a long way to go to achieve its full potential.
Global energy demand plunged by 4% in 2020 due to grounded flights, factories idled, and workers locked down at home. However, the renewable energy market expanded and, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), it grew at its fastest rate in two decades. Moreover, new-energy capacity grew by 45% last year, adding 280GW to the world supply, more than the entire energy-generation capacity of Germany.
These gains can be explained by the new wind and solar installations around the world, though hydroelectric capacity also expanded markedly. Furthermore, the IEA estimates similar growth in this field in the next years, predicting around 270GW of new capacity this year and 280GW in 2020. Due to the pandemic and the need proposed by it, the market for corporate power-purchases also boomed in 2020, especially in the European Union, to accomplish the climate targets of 2030. Consequently, it is also essential to provide the indispensable minerals, as nickel, cobalt, copper and lithium, needed for building wind turbines and other equipment necessary to this transition.
In addition, green and sustainable energy solutions are needed to deal with this data-science century, since the demand for energy that the digital world brings is higher than ever. Two topics were fundamentally meaningless for centuries and now became a reality: cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence. These two subjects demand an increasing amount of computing power and electricity, due to the huge amount of data that needs to be processed. This is where the experts should find solutions to create a supply to this market based on green and sustainable energy, this way replacing the use of fossil fuels.
Although renewable energy production and use have grown in the last year, the use of fossil fuels remains the world’s dominant source of energy. As a result of the lockdowns lift and countries opening up, the IEA predicts that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will increase by almost 5% in 2021, reversing the reductions that occurred during the pandemic.
In a nutshell, we have as much information as possible about what the world is consuming and what the world needs. Now, there must be solutions to generate the steps that each country or city needs to achieve to achieve the goals that were proposed by themselves. Consequently, it is a game of anticipation to the future reality that we will live in and, if the correct steps are not taken, it may become too late to revert the damage already made.
- Moser, S. (2021, May 28). Managing Green and Sustainable Energy Solutions During a Data-Intense Century. Entrepreneur. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/371009
Student of the Bachelor’s Degree in Economics
Nova School of Business and Economics