Can be satisfied all our energy needs with renewable sources? Which are the best technologies to speed up the transition towards a cleaner energy production?
To achieve the decarbonization goals set by the European Union and Paris Agreements, as well as ensuring that the energy transition is imminent, drastic action must be taken. Despite the fact that there are more and more plans established by both public and private organizations with this common goal, it is still complicated to fully 100% get rid of fossil fuels.
How long will it take to be 100% renewable?
We have been experiencing a boom in renewable energies in all productive sectors and even in certain homes. Major companies are starting to focus as main source of supply, on clean energy.
Firstly, the most common argument we have been hearing is, that it is a slow process, it isn’t that simple in fact and
a large portion of the world economy depends on a big extent, on fossil fuels. However, in the face of the climate crisis and the lack of preventive action, we have been forced to displace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources immediately. Therefore, we could affirm that not only the energy transition is possible, but that a 100% renewable energy system will be achieved way sooner than expected, as some governments are already talking about becoming climate neutral by 2030.
The challenge of the energy transition
The exit of the economic crisis left by the pandemic has merged with the urgent need to act considering the last chance the planet gives to us. According to a report done by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), we are one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which scientists describe as an unacceptable risk. If we fail to reduce emissions, this will cause irreversible damage to our ecosystems.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been very overwhelming in its latest report: climate change is here, there is no turning back, and it affects all planet regions.
This certainty was reaffirmed during the COP26 days with a very clear message: our planet is in danger. In fact, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated the following: “The six years since the Paris Climate Agreement have been the warmest on record.”
On view of this situation, we could say that clean energy is the answer. Renewables produce energy without emitting greenhouse gases, which makes them an essential ally to fight against climate change. For example, energy storage technology offers stability to systems, and combining it with sources such as solar energy, it gets less dependence on the outside, and significantly reduces the cost of power generation.
There is no doubt that in the face of the climate emergency, all countries will have to replace polluting energy sources with 100% clean energy to be able to achieve the goals established for 2030.
Renewable energies, the perfect solution
The energy transition involves a structural transformation of energy production and consumption patterns. The aim is to move from an energy system based on fossil fuels towards an energy system based on renewable energies.
This is also triggered by technological development and, of course, by the fight against climate crisis, which means not just a great challenge but also an opportunity for Spain.
Spain is a country with great potential in terms of the renewable energy market, particularly solar energy. Thanks to its more than 2.500 hours of sunshine per year, the country could become one of the main solar energy generator and exporter. Without going any further, it is on the TOP 5 most attractive countries in the world for investors in renewable energies.
On the other hand, electric mobility is increasing, in fact, it will play an important strategic role in terms of decarbonization, because the 70% of total gas emissions come from transport. Therefore, combustion cars have already an expiry date set by the EU and have been set goals to increase the number of recharging points and improve infrastructures.
Spanish government has established an objective of 80,000 to 110,000 charging points by 2023. But this does not only mean expanding the charging networks, reducing charging times is another challenge that will have to be confronted for electric mobility to become a reality, and innovation will be a fundamental element in this.
And what is the role of energy storage?
As part of the energy transition, energy storage has become one of the most important technologies to progress towards decarbonization. Energy storage systems allow energy to be supplied endlessly, guaranteeing grid stability, and saving costs by storing energy at times of low demand and returning it at times of high demand.
In fact, according to the PNEIC, Spain expects 74% of electricity generation to be renewable by 2030, to achieve this, the country plans to incorporate 57 GW of renewable power and 20 GW of energy storage, which shows a high tendency for these technologies to meet the objectives set by the European Union.
In view of this background, Power Electronics has become one of the main players in the global energy transition. It is currently a world leader in energy storage with a presence in more than 150 mega-projects, a benchmark in the manufacture of inverters for solar plants and one of the pioneering companies in terms of electric mobility solutions, committed to innovation and the development of new products and charging infrastructures.
Power Electronics has a leading position, from the point of view of sustainability, in this type of technology, which will play a very important role in terms of decarbonization and compliance with climate change objectives.