Current world events are putting a harsh focus on how we power the global economy. Threats to energy supplies, alarming price volatility, and escalating climate change are contributing to the perfect storm for an energy crisis. This building pressure is sending energy prices soaring and has already fuelled the largest inflation rises seen in years.
The solar alternative
Vested interests will always claim that replacing legacy fossil fuels with renewable sources is expensive and inefficient. However, the rising energy prices witnessed globally are undermining that argument. Driven by a combination of supply and demand factors that have gradually tightened markets over a long period and worsened by a myriad of elements, including post-COVID economic recovery, fossil fuel costs are ballooning. Fossil fuels are simply no longer the cheap energy source they once were.
Along with rising fossil fuel prices and geo-political threats to access, the dangerous emissions they produce underline the need to accelerate the shift to renewables. Fossil fuels can no longer be trusted to reliably power the global economy. Adoption of renewables is now more fiscally, politically and environmentally prudent than staying the path with traditional energy sources.
Solar presents a potential quick win in the transition to renewable energy. Solar photovoltaic (solar PV) power is proving to be not only effective but affordable, particularly in countries whose governments provide incentives to help the transition from fossil fuels. Solar panel efficiency has risen, with prototypes today capable of 30% efficiency, and performance is constantly improving. Access to solar power is also improving. Installed solar power capacity has increased 17-fold, with its price having plummeted by more than 80% in the last 10 years worldwide, making the transition more viable for many.
Now is the time to act
With the perfect storm of factors propelling an energy crisis, there’s never been a better time to switch to renewables. Renewable energy sources like solar present an opportunity to reign in price and access volatility, mitigate the negative impacts of energy consumption on the climate and provide greater energy security. Authorities should seize this moment to invest in renewable energy infrastructure to mitigate the impact of the energy crisis and reduce their carbon emissions. The transition to renewable energy can be the rainbow after the energy crisis storm.
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