Climate change is a growing concern all over the globe, and consumers are looking to secure a cleaner future by switching to renewable energy solutions. Unfortunately for the coal industry, this means a major downturn in their sales. But, to keep up with the times, other, more environmentally friendly methods must be explored. There are already several technologies in place for harvesting renewable energy, but many media outlets and political parties downplay renewable energy sources as being inefficient and difficult to integrate into the current power grid.
First of all, is renewable energy expensive? When it comes to the implementation of the technology and upgrading current generation systems, yes, it is an expensive investment. However, the long reaching environmental impact will more than pay for the upgrades. The real key to unlocking the potential of renewable energy is to incorporate more efficient technologies, such as LED lighting. But, as renewable energy methods expand their capabilities, and new technologies emerge, such as wave and tidal, the overall cost of all renewable sources will drop.
Nuclear and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) lobbies are pushing to propel their own technologies into the market and take over the energy industry. However, even if they meet the strict standards set by energy commissions, they are expected to account for less than a quarter of the projected CO2 abatement and renewable energy will have to bear the rest. In Australia, renewables are expected to actually dominate the energy industry’s new capacity out to 2020, with over $2 trillion to be invested in the various methods employed to capture renewable energy.
Under new policies put in place by Australia’s International Energy Agency (IEA), fossil fuels will have a higher net revenue than they would under the proposed 450 Plan. However, under the 450 Plan and implementing CCS systems, they will account for most of it while having a much more positive impact on the environment.
Ultimately, the coal industry needs to work more toward investing in Carbon Capture and Storage to start reversing the negative impact they have on the environment. Unfortunately, the Australian Coal Association believes that all coal that can be burned, should be burned. The consequences of this mentality will undoubtedly cause more issues for all people, but also pressure the renewable sector to take the heavy burden of offsetting CO2 emissions.
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