Are renewable energy sources the answer to the global energy crisis?
The era of consumption of fossil fuel energy is coming to an end. This is apparent from the trends relating to consumption of raw materials, prices, and environmental impacts. It is thus necessary to look for alternative solutions, such as renewable energy sources that are already available. However, in the context of the Czech Republic, renewable energy sources are significantly lagging behind. Why should we change this?
Fossil fuels and their implications
Did you know that nearly two-thirds of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions result from electricity production and transportation and account for nearly all the increase in global emissions since 2010? The Czech Republic is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases per capita (see, for example, www.faktaoklimatu.cz).
Large amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere when burning fossil fuels; this has significant adverse implications for the environment and human health. In terms of the environment, the use of fossil fuels leads to climate change that brings more extreme weather, such as floods, droughts or severe storms. From the perspective of human health, air pollution may cause complicated respiratory problems leading to asthma.
Renewable energy sources and their role
Energy transformation towards renewable energy can spark strong economic growth and create new jobs. Renewable energy sources, together with energy efficiency and electrification of end users, may reduce emissions by 94%. Renewable energy sources thus offer a huge potential – both in terms of reducing greenhouse gases and restarting economic growth.
Share of renewable energy more than doubled in the European Union
The share of renewable energy sources has increased significantly in terms of the gross final energy consumption in the European Union (from 9.6% in 2004 to 19.7% in 2019), particularly when it comes to wind power, solar power, and biomass. According to Eurostat, Sweden has the highest share of renewable energy sources (56%), with Luxembourg coming in last (7%). The share of renewable energy sources in the Czech Republic is at 16.2%; this offers a huge room for improvement compared to leading European countries in this regard.
Jumpstarting the use of renewable energy sources
There are many technological solutions that use renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic power stations, photothermic solar panels, wind energy installations, hydropower plants, biomass installations, heat pumps, etc. However, the upward trend of renewable energy sources also raises an issue of sufficient capital being available to businesses to fund these investments. For this reason, we offer a new service – Photovoltaic power plant for CZK 1 – that is brought in collaboration with our subsidiary SGEF (Société Générale Equipment Finance) and the company ČEZ ESCO. However, we also support investments in photovoltaics by individuals.
Households may also finance other sustainable technology, such as heat pumps, heat recovery and forced ventilation systems, greywater recycling installations, rainwater retention installations, root zone wastewater treatment plants, and green roofs or facades.
This article has been prepared in collaboration with CIRA Advisory.