Clean, Green, Future machine

There are millions of stars and planets in our galaxy but there is only one that we can call home, that planet is called Earth. Currently, we are polluting the planet with more CO2 than ever before. This has a major effect on the planet in more ways than one and it effects us too. It is our duty as inhabitants of this planet to keep it safe for future generations to come.

Image provided by NASA on climate change

There are two types of energy: renewable and nonrenewable. They are both pretty much self explanatory. Renewable resources are used to provide energy that can be naturally replenished on a short time scale. Whereas, nonrenewable energy is a resource that can’t be replaced as easily in conjunction with the high levels of consumption that we manage today.

If we were to completely change to renewable energy resources, there are many things that we need to consider. One issue with renewable resources is the fluctuation of energy demand. Usually, at night is where the peak energy demands are presented which is a problem for tools like solar panels, where they obtain their energy input at its peak during the day. Currently, there isn’t a way to store energy of such high demand on a national scale. However, looking at the smaller picture, in a singular home to be exact; Tesla has created a battery called the Powerwall which stores the energy generated from solar panels at daytime and makes the power available to a home in the evening. What about the UK? There happens to be a solution to environments where there are rainy days with clouds covering up the sky. A solar panel has been designed which can generate power from rain, unfortunately it is not as efficient as expected but given time, this can be a proficient piece of technology.

According to REN21 Key findings in its annual Renewables Global Status Report 2016, renewable energy provided an estimated 19.2% of global energy consumption in 2014 and it has continued to grow in 2015. This means that the clean, green energy is increasing ever so slightly. In Paris on December 2015, 195 countries had adopted a universally global climate change deal that brought together the community in which they had agreed on various propositions that could help reduce global warming. One of them being to keep the increase of global temperature to below the 2 degrees Celsius mark. This conference created the opportunity for majority of the countries to commit to scaling up renewable energy and energy efficiency. One key area in this conference stated that the governments has agreed to:

- come together every 5 years to set more ambitious targets as required by science
- report to each other and the public on how well they are doing to implement their targets
- track progress towards the long-term goal through a robust transparency and accountability system

In recent years, there has also been an improvement to the cost-competitiveness of renewable technologies in comparison to nonrenewable prices, becoming affordable to some extent but with the recent conference and policy adoption, this will further improve in the year 2020 when the agreement is put into action.

There are many success stories behind countries, cities and companies that have used renewable resources as the primary application for energy. Apple Energy is becoming more and more environmentally friendly; in 2015, 93% of all energy came from renewable resources and they are aiming to continuously improve to go fully green. Cities like Schleswig-Holstein located in Germany and countries like Uruguay, 90% of their supply for energy has come from renewable energy.

We can see the effects of renewable energy becoming more important as the years go by and hope to witness the changes needed to prevent any more damage caused to the planet. Although, it may take a long time to accomplish, it’s something we should all look forward to.