The world could be powered entirely by green, renewable energy. But it isn’t.
One tenth of one percent of the energy that Earth receives from the sun could do the job. But instead of taking advantage of this amazing potential, we keep burning a lot of oil and coal.
Part of the explanation is that fossil fuels are heavily supported by governments. Each and every year, governments spend over 550 billion US dollars to support the oil and coal industries. That is 12 times the support for clean energy.
But wait a minute! Isn’t the world committed to reducing CO2-emissions by burning less fossil fuels?
Well, there are several ‘degrees’ of commitment. And the government funding of fossil fuels keeps prices low, and makes it much more difficult for cleaner alternatives to compete.
Our energy use will grow 40 percent by 2030. If nothing changes, most of this increase will be met by burning more coal.
Ah, but goodness is stirring. The use of solar power and other renewable sources are increasing – even in the face of fossil fuel funding.
In Spain, the world’s largest solar power station opened in July 2010. This massive solar farm covers the size of around 77 football fields and can produce 50MW of power. By 2013 the capacity will be 50 times higher!
Europe is also on its way to receive its first solar energy from the Saharan Dessert within 5 years from now.
In Denmark, two small municipalities (Thy and Mors) make up the worlds largest area where electricity for people and industry is produced entirely from renewable sources. 85 percent of all heating is also ‘green’ energy, and less than 1 percent comes from fossil fuels.
Check out the video! Thisted Municipality, a climate friendly region, short edition
So what is the future of energy? It’s entirely up to us to decide!
Fossil fuel subsidies
Spain solar power