How 2020 exposed the desperate need to adopt renewable energy on an industry-wide scale

General | 9 February 2021

How 2020 exposed the desperate need to adopt renewable energy on an industry-wide scale

2020 unveiled the desperate need for change in energy consumption as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic showed the true effects of climate change and just how quickly nature can right itself once change is actioned.

Last year the UK saw a reduction of 17% in carbon emissions due to national lockdowns which resulted in restricted individual movement and climate change being placed front of mind. Academics and health ministers revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic was not a solution to climate change, but it did lay a foundation for ambitious and sustained action to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. The pandemic also revealed the true effects of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, unveiling nature’s rapid response to rectify man-made issues including the removal of fog pollution and clearer skies.

IRENA – The International Renewable Energy Agency – showed that renewable energy can solely deliver a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions, however the adoption of renewables in Industry still remains low. 2020 therefore questioned the true effects of adopting renewable energy on a larger, industry-wide scale as well as adoption within local communities. Research readily shows the environmental benefits of renewable energy; however, IRENA identifies that renewable energy is not just about reducing the effects of climate change, it can pose socio-economic benefits as well.

Macroeconomic benefits

IRENA have been conducting research into the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy since 2011 and have identified that significantly reducing CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement would boost GDP by 0.8% in 2050. Such welfare gains are a result of reduced pressures on ecosystems and reduced impacts on human health as well as the positive impact on job creation within renewables over the next 30 years.

Lower expense

The production of renewable energy is typically more efficient than traditional energy. This increase in efficiency results in the opportunity for large corporations to save money on energy bills, improving a company’s bottom line.

Improved employee/consumer engagement

Research from Harvard Business Review shows that employees perform better for companies with a purpose, such as a focus on sustainability. Consumers are also likely to respond positively to businesses that have such focuses at the core of their business ethics and responsibility.

Air quality

By switching to renewable energy, there is the ability to promote better societal health with an improvement of air quality by radically reducing the burning of fossil fuels. With a reduction of pollution produced by fossil fuels in the earth’s atmosphere, the UK population is likely to see an overall improvement in health as it works towards reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

Having seen first-hand the effects of carbon emissions within our atmosphere, the need for renewables within industry is evident. If you would like to find out about how to make the switch to renewable energy, click here.

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