Thursday, January 26, 2012
Victoria's Green Matters - 26th Jan 2012
Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Our future is renewable energy. Whichever way you approach the problem of energy supplies for the coming years, the answer comes up the same. We have two difficulties to counteract – climate change and peak oil. If you are a climate change denier, the continuing increase in the price of ever decreasing supplies of cheap oil must be a cause for concern.
While there is a chance that there could be a new ‘golden age’ for gas, which countries hooked on energy supplied by coal see as an easy substitute, gas is a fossil fuel. It produces half the carbon dioxide that coal produces but its continued use spells disaster for the climate with a 3.5ºC temperature rise by 2035 when the maximum rise of 2ºC is all the climate will tolerate.
Renewable energy showed strong growth last year despite the global financial crisis. Developing countries such as China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa, amongst others, invested a third more than previously, reaching £136 billion in 2010. Governments in the developed world need to put firm targets in place for renewable energy so that gas does not overcome development.
Renewable energy has many benefits other than just environmental. Job creation is the most important in the present situation with 3 million unemployed and many young people included in this figure. Security of energy supply is also vital.
A comprehensive mix of wind, wave, solar, hydropower, and biomass, with many technical innovations, will give us both these goals.