Switching to renewable energy around the world could ease our climate change crisis, sparking new forms of innovation and trade in the process. Climate change triggered by uncontrolled carbon dioxide emissions is the cause of heat waves, droughts, floods, and the exacerbation of climate patterns that occurs in many places on the planet.
Every hour the Sun releases more energy to Earth than is necessary to satisfy the needs of the world’s population for a year, but the use we make of it is minimal. Today, the most widely used and widespread technology for converting this wealth from our star into energy (electrical or thermal) is photovoltaic solar energy, which is obtained by directing solar radiation into a semiconductor device –the photovoltaic cell– that converts the energy light into electricity.
But despite the infinite potential of the Sun and the efforts made in recent years to promote this clean energy, today it is still a minority source; in the European Union, for example, it covers only 3.5% of the electricity demand, an average that can reach peaks of up to 7%.
Iberdrola maintains a commitment to combat climate change that leads us to bet on renewable energies to make the energy transition a reality. Within the plans to increase installed capacity, photovoltaic solar generation will be supported by investments of 4.2 billion euros between 2020 and 2022, and 5.5 billion euros between 2023 and 2025, which will drive the growth of 6 GW and 8 GW respectively. In 2021 alone, 1,181 photovoltaic MW have been installed.
In 2015, wind power became the main source of new electricity generation capacity in Europe and the United States, and the second in China.
In many countries, it represents a large part of the total electricity contribution, such as in Germany, where in four of its Länder it has exceeded 60%, or in Denmark, where it reaches 42%. In Spain, it covered, 2015, 18.3% of the demand. For instance, Iberdrola exceeds 39,000 MW of green capacity worldwide, with which 80% of its installed capacity in the world is emission-free.
Although the use of non-fossil fuels will increase more than that of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal), the latter will represent more than three-quarters of world consumption. The environmental effects of this energy model are the cause of climate change that affects the entire planet and also generates episodes of extreme pollution. In this overcrowded world, finding a sustainable way forward inevitably requires rethinking our energy use.