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Yes to the energy transition - what we have to gain

energy transition

Communication around the climate crisis and its solutions is mostly negative. People are urged to change themselves and their behaviour, because otherwise disaster threatens. The result? Shock paralysis sets in, responsibility is abdicated because the problem is too big and one is too small, time passes and little changes for the better. But instead of concentrating on the negative consequences of the climate crisis, we will focus today on the positive aspects of the energy transition, which plays an important role in solving the climate crisis.

Health

Burning fossil fuels causes more deaths globally than smoking and malaria combined. In 2018, air pollution from fossil fuels accounted for around one-fifth of global deaths, with Europe the second most affected region after East Asia. Emissions from oil, gas and coal are thus not only harmful to the climate, but also to us humans. Wind and photovoltaics are among the safest and cleanest forms of electricity generation and make an essential contribution in shaping a future worth living. A major improvement in European air quality would come above all from a change in mobility. Here, e-mobility will certainly play an important role for those routes where motorised individual transport is still indispensable, as petrol and diesel are no longer burned inefficiently in the streets.

What-is-the-safest-form-of-energy

 

Security

Austria is particularly dependent on imports due to low reserves of fossil fuels. Around 80% of imported natural gas comes from Russia and the top three import countries for oil in 2020 were Kazakhstan, Iraq and again Russia. One possibility would be to increase the number of countries from which fossil energy is sourced and to reduce the risk through so-called diversification. However, billions of euros of added value could be kept in Austria if we focus on electrification, energy efficiency and renewable energies instead. This makes Austria more independent, resilient and sustainable. Through decentralised renewable energy, companies as well as private households can not only contribute to a secure Austria, but also reduce their own dependencies and secure self-sufficiency. Technologies such as electricity storage will play an important role in the continuous supply of renewable energies. These can store electricity at moments when too much of it is being produced and make it available when the electricity grid demands more than is available. Already, pumped storage power plants do exactly this work, but much more such capacity is needed and battery storage can do it faster, automated, more efficiently and, above all, decentralised.

SolSolar energy pays for itself fast

If you don't produce your own electricity, you have to buy it. As we have seen recently in the price explosion, this can be expensive. This is because the electricity price is always based on the most expensive energy source that is still needed to cover the current electricity demand. In Austria, this is usually a gas-fired power plant. Renewable energy sources have more stable and, above all, lower prices because they are supplied by natural producers such as wind, sun or water and are not disposable products like natural gas. More renewable energy pushes the most expensive power plants out of the market and thus leads to cheaper electricity for everyone. Low-income households in particular benefit from cheaper electricity, as energy takes up a larger percentage of their household budget. The energy transition thus also has social benefits.

chart how renewable energy lowers the price of electricity

Brave new world

The energy transition is not a tick box that we have to tick because the climate and climate activists demand it. The energy transition has measurable benefits in health, social, financial, geopolitical and security dimensions in addition to the climate benefits. The possibilities to become part of the energy transition are manifold, whether by producing your own renewable energy, switching to more sustainable mobility, joining a renewable energy community and much more.

 

About the author

Christina Maria Huber is sustainability services manager at neoom. She drives the neoom group sustainability strategy and supports other departments in identifying and developing their sustainability potential. Christina's goal is not only to make neoom itself the cleanest clean tech company, but also to help external parties understand and shape the world of tomorrow.

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