- Elizabeth Xu
what to expect from green energy in the future
As the climate clock in New York slowly counts down to the day when the effects of global warming will be irreversible, scientists and politicians scramble to find a clean way to power the next century before it’s too late. The European Union has already designated 264 billion dollars to fight climate change and has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in the next decade. Joe Biden also pledges to make climate a priority and spend 2 trillion on decarbonizing America. It is great news to hear that people are now taking measures to make the world a better and cleaner place. Green energy promises a better Earth for human health, politics and economies. But what will have to be done to achieve this dream will no doubt be a difficult task as almost everything in the world today is powered by fossil fuels. Statistics show that 85% of all our energy comes from fossil fuels. Soon we will need to find a way to reduce this number by powering the world with cleaner energy. This will not only change the way we do many things in life but also change the world economy as many aspects of our lives such as transportation and housing, will need to adapt from fossil fuels to clean energy.
Our need to adapt to clean energy has always been desirable. Fossil fuel has polluted the Earth so much that it has caused the deaths of 4 million people every year. Not only that, but it has also caused instabilities in economies and politics. Over the years many conflicts have arisen due to fossil fuels and many economies have been shaken due to fluctuating gas prices. The price of gas has always had a history of fluctuations. Over the last few decades since 1970, the gas prices have swung 30%, 62 times all within 6 months.
On the other hand, clean energy promises a better world. There will be much less pollution and best, it will be better for the climate, which itself causes many climate disasters such as droughts, famines, floods, and dislocations of populations. It also promises more political stability because countries can be self-dependent for their own energy production and not in other countries. This can result in much fewer conflicts and uncertainties. Furthermore, there will be fewer monopolies of energy companies because energy production will be able to be produced in many different ways in many different places. We all know how crude can only be derived from specific places whereas clean energy can be derived from the sun, the wind, etc which can be found anywhere.
But we will not be able to transition into a clean world as smoothly as it sounds. We will have to confront a few conflicts such as oil-rich countries struggling to transition while other countries start gaining power over other countries. Countries that might struggle with the transition to clean energy include oil-rich countries like the US and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has already felt the pressure for climate reforms as their revenue fell 49% in the second quarter of the year, according to the Economist. However, these countries do have hope in their economical futures as oil-rich countries tend to be strong in research and have enough money to fund important green projects. Currently, we are unable to transition into the green world due to the lack of investments. We currently need 750 billion per year in funding, far more than we can do. So it will be a smart move for rich countries to start moving away from fossil fuels and start funding green energy like China and Europe. Today, China has leverage and can possibly have dominance over clean energy because it makes the majority of clean energy components like solar panels, electric car batteries, and wind turbines. Europe is also home to one of the biggest wind turbine producers which also puts Europe on the right track.
Our future looks much brighter with cleaner energy. We will have a better climate, a cleaner world, and more political and economical stability. It will be a smart move for countries to transition their dependence on fossil fuels to clean energy as soon as possible so that the climate and world will not be in danger of more disasters and conflicts due to fossil fuel-caused political and economical instabilities. We may have some conflicts that arise during this big transition but we all know that everything we do for clean energy will be worth it because we will be remembered for the rest of history for being the generation making this difficult transition possible.