From oil to renewable energies


Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as $12 trillion by 2050 (Joule, Sept. 2022). The Institute for New Economic Thinking advises full speed ahead with green energy transition, citing the falling cost of solar and wind, and increasing costs of fossil fuels.

Wind and solar farms with battery backup are cheaper to build than natural gas power plants in Ontario and Alberta. The price of these renewables is expected to fall 40 per cent by 2035 (Clean Energy Canada).

In 2021, 88 per cent of the world’s new power capacity was wind and solar, while hydropower has the largest global total renewable generation capacity (IRENA).

The Netherlands’ national football stadium is 100 per cent solar powered. It is Europe’s largest commercial energy storage system using EV batteries (148 repurposed car batteries).

Reborn Electric Motor transforms 200 diesel buses in Chile to electric each year, estimating 70,000 fewer tons of carbon reach the atmosphere.

A riverside photovoltaic power plant in China combines solar with tidal – moon gravity generating tides after sunset. Using drones and AI systems for maintenance, this plant generates over 100 million kWh annually. China’s National Energy Administration reports its total renewable energy capacity exceeds 1,200GW. China banned coal-based mining in Inner Mongolia.

South Korea’s bike lanes are covered with solar panels, protecting cyclists from sun while producing clean energy.

In 2006, 100 per cent of Southern Australia’s energy was from fossil fuels. Government initiatives led it to become one of the world’s greenest energy grids, fast-tracking wind farms and putting solar panels on 40 per cent of homes. Closing their largest coal-fired power station, they funded a solar-powered greenhouse employing 220 people, and built the world’s largest grid-scale battery storage. By 2020, South Australia obtained 60 per cent of its energy from renewables.

A school in Switzerland, made from sustainable materials and running entirely on solar, produces enough energy to power itself and 50 surrounding homes.

The Scottish island, Yell, uses tidal power to charge electric vehicles. The underwater turbines (Shetland Tidal Array) have been powering Shetland homes for five years. Scotland has banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

The plan to cover U.S. supermarket roofs with solar panels could power eight million homes, saving 51 million tonnes of C02 annually.
The world’s first 100 per cent wind-powered trains in the Netherlands provide over 600,000 passengers carbon free travel (5,500 trips) daily.

Dutch renewable architecture specialist Ibis Power developed a rooftop system combining solar and wind turbines for medium-sized and high-rise buildings (PowerNEST), producing six to 10 times more energy than solar alone.

Solar panels in Kenya placed above crops create low-cost electricity and shield crops from heat stress and water loss, boosting yields and collecting rainwater. Agrivoltaic farms generate low-cost renewable electricity while sacrificing no arable land.

The Canadian Climate Institute said three of the five government climate policies required to meet Canada’s 2030 emissions targets could be finalized in 2023. Their independent analysis of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan finds the plan credible, establishing Canada’s path toward 2026 (and 2030 and 2050) emission-reduction targets. The cap on oil and gas emissions is anticipated to make a 33-megatonne reduction by 2030 (18 per cent of the reduction needed to meet target).

By 2026, 20 per cent of passenger vehicles sold in Canada must be electric (60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050).

In Ecuador there is a move to establish a global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty that, “for the world’s collective good,” would provide financial support to countries and relieve them from imposed fossil fuel extraction. This treaty recognizes the international responsibility for controlling fossil fuel harms.