100% Renewable Energy – Can it be a safeguard of the environment in the 21st century?

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100% Renewable energy
100% Renewable energy-ecowowlife.com

Nowadays, 100% Renewable energy has become a subject of international issues. It is gaining popularity along with world politics and economies all over the world.

We know that climate change conditions are becoming worse day by day. On the other hand, the consumption of non- renewable energy sources like coal, fossil fuel, oil, and gas are decreasing day by day. Here renewable energy sources may safeguard to reduce pollution, and also it can play great roll to energy conservation for the next generation.

In this write up we discuss all the component which related to 100% renewable energy. Lets dive into the article!!

What is 100% renewable energy?

100% renewable energy is a concept which develop for this main three reason-

1. Reduce pollution or carbon emissions

2. Energy security or Conserve energy for next generation

3. Minimize the dependency of traditional energy sources such as fossil fuel, oil, gasoline, etc. And

4. For searching clean alternative renewable energy

It isn’t straightforward to explain 100% renewable energy within a few words. It’s a versatile concept and its main goal of switching the total traditional or primary sources of energy to renewable like solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, etc for a better environment along with searching reliable energy security.

The global primary energy generation in the 100% renewable energy system will consist of the following mix of energy sources:

  • Solar energy (69%)
  • Wind power (18%)
  • Hydro (3%)
  • Bio-energy (6%) and
  • Geothermal energy (2%)

100% renewable energy mainly motivated for fighting against global warming, pollution, and other environmental issues along with energy consumption.

Here comes the question of ‘100% renewable energy’ is possible or not?. One can argue that energy produced by fossil fuels is effortless to achieve. Well, it is true. But it can pollute the environment on a large scale.

As a result, the climate of the earth is in danger. So, after a long debate, many countries adopted renewable energy to operate different types of machinery.

But still, the total percentage of renewable energy is not more than 13%. There are many difficulties in installing renewable energy in every sector. ‘100% Renewable Energy’ discusses the problems and possibilities of increasing the percentage of using renewable energy up to 100%.

Famous scientist Bent Sorenson published a paper in 1975 on energy consumption. In this paper, he introduced 100% renewable energy first.

In the 1990’s Henrich Lund described on a broader scale of 100% renewable energy and its necessity .

In this decade, many scientific research papers published on this topic in European and American journals.

100%renewable energy_windfarm
Wind farm in Canberra, Australia; Image Source: nature.com

Is 100 percent renewable energy fully possible?

Questions raised about whether 100% renewable energy is possible or not?
Well, try to think positively and rationally.

Undoubtedly, renewable energy can reduce environmental pollution on a large scale. But to install it correctly, a useful framework is essential. It’s not that easy to establish a renewable energy system overnight. Non-renewable energy sources cover a large portion of international affairs in today’s world. Businesses of fossil fuels play a very crucial role in world economics.

Many countries maintain their trades by exporting petroleum and gas. Internally, the maximum of the power economy based on fossil fuels.

On the other hand, the present conditions of energy technology are more flexible for non-renewable energy.

In many parts of the world, start to implement renewable energy system. But its total percentage is not very high. Installing a renewable energy system on a large scale technology should be rearranged.

And to do this in real, an economy based on fossil fuels should be changed as well. But it is clear that without political will, these massive activities can’t run at all.

Implementing 100% renewable energy is a difficult task. Moreover, there is no comprehensive worldwide network of renewable energy activists like fossil fuel businesses. Only local initiatives will not be enough to cover up.

Let’s take examples.

The United States is the largest energy consumer on this planet. Renewable energy systems are operating in many parts of this country.

Statistics show that in 2018 California State declared to introduce 100% renewable energy within 2045.

Undoubtedly, this is excellent news for environmental activists. But the reality is not that easy. Only 12% of the energy produced in the country is renewable.

In this picture, 2.7% comes from hydroelectric plants. Wind and solar plants cover only 4% of the total need. And rest 4.6% fulfilled by biomass energy.

 

Renewable Energy across the United States
Renewable Energy scenario across the United States; Image Source: powur.com

Can a city-run on 100% renewable energy?

Many cities of the world adopt renewable energy and trying to harness maximum electricity from these clean sources. The question is they harnessing the electricity 100% through the renewable sources?

Lets find this question right here!

Although the process of harness the electricity from renewable sources expensive primarily, it gives benefits in the long run. In recent times, several cities in the world are running by renewable energy.

It seems a little bit unbelievable. But the truth is that it is not impossible to run a city on 100% renewable energy.

Let’s take the example of Vermont City in the United States.

From 1980 the city was getting rid of coal-based mining to reduce pollution.
Then biomass energy was mainly encouraged.

Gradually, the use of wind and water to produce energy increased. Inhabitants of the city went through a slightly expensive way to establish a renewable energy system fully. But at last, it became possible.

Nowadays, much of the electricity in a city comes from wind and water power.

Let’s think of a little country. Iceland is an example of a host of 100% renewable energy using the city. Reykjavik city uses 100% renewable sources to fill the need for electricity. Hydro-electric projects fill up 70% of the energy needs of the town. Geothermal energy fills up the rest 30% of the demand.

renewable energy itapau dam
Itaipu Dam in Brazil and Paraguay is a fine example of hydroelectric project as renewable energy; image Source: mapsofworld.com

Latin America as a poor area. Geographically here, rivers and other sources of water current are available easily. As a result, the tidal flow has become an excellent medium for hydro-electric projects. Let’s think about the capital city of Brazil. Brasilia is an excellent example of a town run by 100% renewable energy. About 2.5 million people live in this city. Most of the demand for electricity in this city, fulfilled by hydropower.
But the condition is not out of problems. Water becomes very rare to generate power in the drought season. As a result, renewable energy sources create many troubles when elements are not available properly.

 

100% renewable energy Countries, regions, and places

Today no country in the world uses 100% renewable energy in every sector of life. But many countries are producing renewable energy to reduce pollution and ensure healthy living. Thus, cities or areas of different countries using 100% renewable energy have become topics of environmental issues.

Norway and his 100% renewable goal:

This Scandinavian country is an excellent example of the usage of renewable energy. About 96% of the total electricity comes from hydroelectric projects. Geothermal, solar, and wind power provide another 2% of the energy needs.

hydroelectric plant renewable energy
Image Source: unu.edu

Paraguay
This Latin American country is also renowned for using 100% renewable energy sources in many sectors. About 100% of the needed electricity comes from hydroelectric plants. An interesting fact is that Paraguay sells 90% of its electricity produced by renewable energy. The rest 10% fulfills the internal needs of the country.

Denmark
The country uses 100% renewable energy in many ways. In Samso island, hydroelectricity is operating on a vast scale. As it located in the north of the country, it has to share power with the mainland.

Iceland
This tiny country of Europe showed the excellence of using 100% renewable energy. About 72% of the electricity comes from substantial hydroelectric plants. The rest of the needed power is filled up by 28% geothermal and wind power.

100% Renewable Energy - Can it be a safeguard of the environment in the 21st century?
Geothermal Energy plant in Iceland; Image Source:theneweconomy.com

New Zealand
This beautiful country is another excellent example of 100% renewable energy usage. The South Island of the state produces 98.2% of the whole hydroelectricity of the country. Wind power fills up the rest of the needed power. This island exports much electricity to the north island.

Global thoughts of leaders and citizens on 100% renewable energy

Oil, coal, and natural gas didn’t take a short time to cover up most of the energy scenario. History says that petroleum took at least 50 years to act as a world factor. And today, mainly natural gas and oil play a vital role in international fuel matters. As a result, technically and economically, fuel system all over the world has become dependent on non-renewable sources. Not only that, it controls a significant part of the international arena.

Researchers say that non-renewable sources like oil, coal, and gas around the world will finish within 2050. As a result, new movements for establishing renewable energy across the globe have gained a new wave. Environment activists and humanists, along with politicians and pressure groups personalities, are working on the returns on renewable energy.

Even many artists, celebrities, and movie stars are working on this vital issue. In 2015 famous Hollywood star Leonardo De Caprio called for a campaign to increase the usage of renewable energy.

Besides being a movie actor, he is an environmental activist and worked for a long time. He thinks that renewable energy is not a matter of politics or economy, but humanity is the core concept of it.

100% Renewable Energy - Can it be a safeguard of the environment in the 21st century?
Leonardo DiCaprio and activist speaks and works for 100% renewable energy; Image Source: businessinsider.com

We all admire the blockbuster movie ‘Titanic,’ which became the icon of the ‘90s. James Cameron, director of this movie, is a great advocate of 100% renewable energy. He also promotes green living and green peace as a positive future for humanity.

He made campaigns for renewable and green energy along with natural living. You can discover his nature-loving philosophy in his famous movie, ‘Avatar.’ Not only him, but international celebrities like Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett share their time and voice for 100% renewable energy.

But politics and economics behind the current situation can’t be denied. Conservative politics and profit-seeking businesses have become a significant obstacle against establishing 100% renewable energy.

Large corporations and fuel companies often provoke politicians through lobbies in different ways. And politicians of the developed countries have to maintain a lot of pressure groups who are actually against environmental issues.

Let’s come to American politics. Many members of the republican and democrat parties advocate for renewable energy.

Statistics show that about 83% of the senators of the Republican Party support 100% renewable energy, especially wind and water, as renewable sources. On the other hand, except for 3%, the rest of the democrats support renewable energy. But at present, US president Donald Trump strongly opposes renewable energy. It shows that radical nationalists are often against environmental issues.

Can 100% renewable energy power the whole world?

At present, power systems around the world based on non-renewable sources. And today’s technology is entirely made up of work with this kind of energy.
The world economy is much supportive of the business of petroleum and natural gas. And most of the politicians of the developed countries favor non-renewable energy rather than renewable.

But as a result of climate change and its fatal sequences, people around the world have become aware of environmental issues. Global warming has become a severe term to handle with. Especially developing and emerging countries are becoming victims of devastating natural calamities. Scientists say that pollution is making the world unworthy of living. For this cause, renewable energy has become a topic of international affairs as a savior of our environment.
You can raise the question of whether 100% renewable energy is possible or not.

One can’t change a system within 50 days, which is working for 50 years. And the current technology systems of the world are not secure and flexible for renewable sources. So it is a little bit complicated to implement 100% renewable energy thoroughly.

Let’s take electricity as an example. Solar energy can fill up the scarcity of electricity. But it has specific problems. Recent models and designs of solar energy systems are often unsuitable with the economy of power. Many experts said that the models must be upgraded to improve solar panels as renewable energy-producing machines.

And cost-effective systems should be introduced. Again, we know that half of the world remains dark while sunlight shines the other half every day. So, if electricity has to send further areas from the plant, storage batteries should be needed. Although batteries are polluting agents, recent updates and changes improved these very much.

The transport sector is a significant factor in installing 100% renewable energy. We know that fossil fuels are very easy to use in the present-day transport sector. Airplanes, Ships, trains, and cars designed to use petroleum and diesel to run on. Here renewable energy can’t work in the present situation.

Moreover, the economy of transportation is based on fossil fuel very much. And here, current technology is tough to convert as renewable ones.

You can experience that non-renewable energy systems are very complex to work in hard situations. For example, take missile defense or spaceship. These systems are so complex that even traditional non-renewable energy systems don’t work here. Artificially made non-renewable fuel like Hydrazine is often used here.

Here the question comes again. Can the whole world depend on 100% renewable energy?
Implementing 100% renewable electricity to run the country is possible, but not free of difficulties.

Along with technical problems, current politics, economics, and legal systems are not flexible for this. At first, these difficulties should be solved by long and effective sustainable planning.

USA pathways to 100%renewable energy

100% Renewable Energy - Can it be a safeguard of the environment in the 21st century?
Former president of the USA, Barak Obama advocated for 100% Renewable Energy;Image Source: bigeyedfihhouston.com

Many experts say that 100% of renewable energy is essential because the system cost will remain steady if installed. Well, it’s a debatable topic. But what is undoubted about renewable energy is that it is the future. Not only that, it should be made as a future of human civilization.

The United States is the largest energy consumer in the globe. Recent environmental issues show that this country is much liable for climate change.

But many activists, scientists, and politicians work for renewable energy here. Many policymakers are showing the path to establish 100% renewable energy throughout the country.

In 2007, a report on renewable energy and its possibilities. In this report, 100% renewable energy highly recommended for public health, climate change, and sustainable development.

During his era of the presidency, Barak Obama advocated for renewable energy and took this issue seriously.

In 2009, he said that renewable energy should be increased on a large scale so that dependency on fossil fuels can be reduced. He addressed a new energy plan in which a considerable investment was declared.

Statistics show that in the United States, renewable energy fulfills 11% of the total amount of the needed energy. Here comes the fact about hydroelectric projects. Among many sides of renewable energy, it has been installed all over the country on a large scale. Hydroelectricity fulfills about 6.5% of the total electricity demand.

Today many cities of the state are moving towards clean energy systems. Let’s take Colorado as an example. Here the town of Aspen runs on hydroelectric, solar, and wind power. Renewable energy fulfills about 90% or more of the total energy needed.

The same goes for Washington State. In this province, the cities of Centralia and Chelan produce about 97% renewable energy. And most of this energy comes from hydroelectric projects.

Texas can be a unique example. In this state, wind and solar power fulfill about 100% of the electricity. Not only that, here the grid problems have been solved in many respects.
The same things can be said about Kansas. In Greensburg city, wind power provides about 100% of the electricity.

In 2018, one of the cities in Ohio named Cincinnati became 100% renewable energy using the city. Like this, there are many cities across the country that uses much amount of renewable energy in many sectors.
But those pieces of evidence are a small part of a big thing. Today, US policy is not the support of renewable energy projects. Moreover, ongoing international economic warfare promotes fossil fuel industries very much.

 

Conclusion

Is renewable energy the future of human civilization? Or Can 100% renewable energy save the climate by reducing pollution and carbon emission?
Well, these questions are very critical. That’s why the answers are not so easy. But, undoubtedly, it is true that the expansion of fossil fuel is very much responsible for climate change and fatal natural calamities.
And today’s energy technology is based on non-renewable energy sources. So, difficulties are not inevitable, though, but very hard to solve indeed.

The initiatives to install 100% renewable energy in different regions are appreciable, but not enough. Technical problems are significant factors here. And big businesses and corporations of the world are yet not so flexible in this issue.
The global political approach also not favorable for the expansion of renewable energy. In the developed world, nationalist and far-right politicians are gaining power in every sector. As a result, conservatism is hampering the climate issues very much.

But developing countries are taking significant steps to establish their rights in climate issues. In developed countries, scientists and activists are raising awareness about carbon footprints and renewable energy. They are seeking worldwide initiatives to install 100% renewable energy to save the climate and for energy security.

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