Most of the people would agree with me if I say that is most challenging century in known human history. Every day we can hear or see in media that we are on breaking point, whether that be a climate change that will alter climate conditions on Earth so that it won’t be possible to sustain life anymore, to make such a technological advancement that will solve every world problem, or that we are at brink of creating the solution that will cure every disease, it is true that everything what is mentioned above could happen in near or far future, we just can’t be sure when, but one thing is definitely certain, that everything from above is a process and it won’t happen overnight.
Maybe you, as reader, already starting to wonder, “how any of this, have any relation to renewable sources of energy generation?!”, well it has …
The 21st century
If 20th century was century of innovation, 21st century is/going to be century of challenges, challenges that we, the civilization, as whole, will need to overcome to survive. The biggest of all challenges will be, to sustain possibility of life, here on Earth. It is no secret that that over usage of convenient methods (read: fossil/nuclear fuels) for getting usable energy are not so environment friendly due to releasement of C02 (which is usually most common byproduct of fossil fuel usage) in Earth’s atmosphere creating greenhouse effect, which on regular basis causes average air and ocean temperature to rise, melting Earth’s northern and southern icecaps, causing sea level to rise making certain parts of world inhabitable, and of course if we take out greenhouse effect as a danger there is always possibility of oil spillage or nuclear powerplant failure which can make whole city or region inhabitable. As we already mentioned, neither of these problems happened overnight (regarding greenhouse effect), neither will stop overnight, it is a process. Because of that, we came with an excellent idea, in order to stop creating greenhouse gasses, we would “only” stop to release C02 into our atmosphere. This is where green energy comes in. With the innovation from 20th century we are trying to solve challenges of 21st century and our future, which does not sound great, but it can lay foundations/buy us some time before that “technological advancement” from the beginning of the article is really created.
Technological advancement - Process
Usage of renewable sources is nowhere near to it’s potential, but in last 20 years it is drastically improved. Biggest countries realized that world driven by fossil fuel is not sustainable, so they are directing their resources in renewable sources, increasing global installed renewable power capacity by 150+% from year 2000. and it is rapidly continuing to grow, adding 14 % in terms of volume capacity in 2016 only, lead by China, followed by USA, Japan and India, where 8 % of global electricity is now generated through renewable sources. Many would say that the growth should be even bigger and faster to make a serious impact on global scale and to be considered as a world changer, but due technological limitations of technology used in generation of energy from renewable sources, practical usage of the same was more conservative and local than common and global, where wide usage of the same technology just now starts to kick in, due to advancements in PV technology by increasing effectiveness of PV panels, which is directly related to profitability of investors. In near future, 8% of global electricity generation from renewable sources will be highly increased, no doubt about that, since new capacity additions in power generation are starting to normalize, which will give opportunity for renewables to take in, since we won’t need new enormous quantities of capacity which are for now only possible to get through convenient sources.
“Solution for everything”
From everything said before in this article, to “go green” with the technology from the past century will be hardest challenge that we will need to overcome, but it needs to be done. New era of innovation is yet to come, and it will involve new methods of energy generation, on which scientists around the world already working around the clock to achieve them. Most well-funded and developed solution to answer new challenges and to start the new era is fusion power generation which promises basically “unlimited energy”, with significantly reduced hazardous emissions and if we mange to tame the “power of the Sun” (since fusion reaction is what is going on the Sun in order to create energy) under our control it could be solution to every single “breaking point”/challenge, mentioned in beginning of text.
What will happen in the end, well… It really will depend on how eager we are to keep the process of going green.
Author: David Cerkezovic