Carbon dioxide emissions have reached new highs due to the burning of fossil fuels to fulfil increased energy demand. Is innovation capable of saving us from
Can we create ourselves way out of the climate breakdown? This is a question that many of our readers are asking.
For many people who are frustrated by the slow pace of political development yet unwilling to give up their carbon-intensive lifestyles, tackling global warming via technology alone is an tempting prospect.
Experts disagree, claiming there is no silver bullet for climate protection and that putting fossil fuels in ground is the safest method to prevent additional warming.
Average temperature have risen by 1 ° C since countries first became industrialized, and are expected to rise by around 3 degrees Celsius by the wind up the century unless CO2 emissions are drastically reduced.
While coal-burning has essentially plateaued, the increase of oil & natural gas is driving the world further out from its climate goals, according to a research released in December by the Global Carbon Project.
How might technology assist governments in achieving their goals? Here are four ideas that energy experts say have the potential to slow climate change.
Wind Turbines And Solar Panels
For the past ten years, scientists have been working on what could be the most significant breakthrough with in fight against climate change.
Solar panels and wind turbines transform sunlight & wind into electricity without releasing greenhouse gases. These technologies have become less expensive than coal and oil as they have been scaled up and changed energy more effectively.
“The fact that solar and wind energy are inexpensive, stable, and perform well opens up a lot of options,” said Gregory Nemet, the professor at the institute of Wisconsin-Madison and author of the book on how solar energy got cheap. “In the shadows, technology has progressed even while we’ve had thirty years of legislators dithering & not as much development the most people would have wanted.”
However, producing renewable energy is one thing; storing and disseminating it is quite another. This is especially crucial for renewables, which cannot create electricity unless the sun shines or the wind blows.
According to Nemet, three factors indicate that creativity is overcoming these barriers. “That’s because renewables are improving, batteries are enabling you to store electricity, and information in the system is allowing you to better manage it.”
Carbon Sequestration And Storage
Even under the most optimistic scenarios for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, scientist warn we won’t be able to fulfil the 1.5 degree Celsius target unless we remove some of the CO2 we’ve already emitted. This century, the IPCC estimates that between 100 billion & 1 trillion tones of CO2 will need to be removed.
One method is for trees and plants to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it to oxygen through photosynthesis. However, they take up a lot of area, which could be used for other things like growing food, and they’re not a safe way to store carbon because they could be cut for firewood and burned in fires.
Some businesses are attempting to capture CO2 structure of power plants & store it underground. Power can be generated while CO2 levels in the atmosphere are reduced by using biomass plants, which burn recently-grown plant materials rather than ancient fossils.
However, according to a study from Global Carbon Capture & Storage Institute, the implementation of such systems is not occurring quickly enough to fulfil emissions reduction targets.