Blog: Is a clean ‘green’ energy world possible?

Here’s what struck me recently. New York City could be powered totally by renewable sources within the next two decades. That would be possible by installing 4,020 onshore and 12,700 […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Here’s what struck me recently. New York City could be powered totally by renewable sources within the next two decades.

That would be possible by installing 4,020 onshore and 12,700 offshore wind turbines, 387 solar plants and 828 utility-scale PV generators as well as wave, tidal and hydroelectric power installations – and a few other alternative power sources, of course.

I thought to myself – Is that overly ambitious? Or is an energy world away from dirtier fossil fuels possible? Could the world rely solely on renewable or alternative energy to meet all its needs?

We’ve had numerous breakthroughs recently in terms of clean ‘green’ energy. Solar power broke the 100GW threshold last year, the US wind sector saw a record breaking year and the world’s largest offshore wind farm also started generating electricity in the UK. Hundreds and thousands of pounds spent across the world in energy efficiency and renewable technologies – all showing a move away from coal and gas-fired power plants.

But what struck me again was the warning that the world’s energy right now is as dirty as it was 20 years ago.

Now how is that possible? With all the efforts being made by Governments and businesses around the world in low carbon technologies, we still seem to be lagging behind somehow.

Why is that? Just when we thought we were moving towards a turning point…

Perhaps, there’s been more talking that actually taking action. Or maybe in the midst of all the debate, people aren’t taking it seriously. I guess its fair to say that sometimes people just want to get their views heard in the spotlight and don’t make much of an effort to actively do something and do it quickly.

Even though getting rid of fossil or coal fuelled power plants and replacing them with ‘green’ energy is not something that can be done overnight – it’s got to be a wake up call when we’re told that we’re breathing in the same dirty air from two decades ago.

But sometimes I just wonder, is the move from the “black” energy economy to a totally “clean green” world really possible?