With the recent boom in renewable energies, it is becoming increasingly clear that the components which make possible the renewable energy, must be sustainable throughout the production process.
The European Union is considering regulating the carbon footprint of renewable components to achieve even cleaner energy generation. In its manifestation. Th EU is talking about placing limitations on components so that its products not only contribute to the environment once they are finished but do so throughout the manufacturing process and the greatest allies of climate change before they are even born.
There is no longer any doubt that renewable energy is unstoppable. Clean energy executives declared – at the annual Energyear Spain event – the need for regulatory frameworks to guarantee the penetration of renewable energy and to ensure that growth forecasts are maintained. In fact, according to the latest McKinsey study, global electricity consumption is expected to triple between now and 2030, and 50% of this is expected to come from renewable sources.
Will Europe be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050?
One of the European Union’s energy goals is to become the first continent to become climate neutral by 2050, as set out in the European Green Pact. And with three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions currently coming from energy production and consumption, it is imperative that new methods of energy generation help to ensure that this goal can be achieved on time.
It is an ambitious goal, but feasible, since not only is work being done at the state level, but more and more companies are adjusting their policies to have less impact on the environment, and of course, a smaller and smaller carbon footprint. So much so that the carbon footprint is beginning to be one of the fundamental requirements in quality audits and in the purchasing decisions of customers, both small and large scale.
What does a reduced carbon footprint life cycle look like?
As a component manufacturer and a company committed to the sustainability of the planet, Power Electronic is concerned about the protection of the environment and therefore, throughout its 35-year history, has always advocated for environmental protection through the prevention and mitigation of potentially adverse environmental impacts that can be generated.
Its products contribute to sustainable development through energy savings and improved energy management of renewable energies, as well as to the reduction of harmful emissions to the environment, in line with its purpose of making renewable energy with renewable energy.
Naturally, the entire life cycle is considered to prevent and reduce the environmental impact at all stages: design, raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, use and operation, maintenance and recycling of the equipment.
The first step is the product design which is carried out based on current regulations and internal specifications, considering each of materials and their subsequent recycling, as well as their proportion according to the weight of the equipment.
Following the company’s CSR code and the principles of the organization the origin of the materials used is verified, ensuring that they come from conflict-free areas and from companies that comply with our code of good practices. In addition, the proximity of purchases is positively valued whenever the product allows it, with the aim of reducing transportation needs, and consequently CO2.
During the product manufacturing process, the biggest impact is energy consumption, which is essential for the production and unit testing of our equipment. Even so, in the test benches the current is recirculated to optimize it as much as possible and clean energy is used, to large extent, from the company’s 100kW photovoltaic solar panel installation, which will soon be expanded.
The component’s packaging is made with returnable packaging whenever possible due to its management, which saves cardboard and plastic, and the packaging received by customers is managed as non-hazardous waste, separating the different materials that compose it for recycling.
The maintenance and repair processes managed by the organization are environmentally friendly, carrying out component changes and assistance according to internal procedures, both hazardous and non-hazardous.
At the end of the equipment’s useful life, it can be managed by an accredited waste manager or at the organization’s fixed installations, as in the case of large inverters, medium voltage inverters or inverters, where the different parts are segregated in order to evaluate the raw materials, wiring remains and hazardous components.
From Power Electronics, we are aligned with institutions and government in their steps to consider the carbon footprint. It is essential to ensure that both the production processes and the components of the industries are sustainable and environmentally responsible.
What will happen if the European Union were to regulate the carbon footprint of components?
It should not be an unknown quantity when it comes to improving our most precious resource. It should be the component companies themselves that intrinsically apply these measures to make their equipment efficient and, of course, climate neutral.
In fact, more and more component manufacturers throughout the value chain are implementing environmental measures to achieve life cycles with reduced carbon footprints. It is an inexcusable duty as a company, institution or even individual, to be aware of the climate situation in order to act and to be able to achieve not only the energy transition, but also a sustainable planet capable of making the most of its resources.