• 28 February 2019

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    Category : Reportage

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    Renewable energies and their relationship with climate change

    Climate change is increasingly evident. The FIIAPP is committed to sustainability through two projects focused on renewable energies and climate change: Cuba-Renewables and EUROCLIMA +.

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    Dam located in Bolivia

    Renewable energies are clean, inexhaustible resources provided by nature. Unlike fossil fuels, producing energy this way does not emit greenhouse gases or pollution, so it does not affect climate change.

     

    At the Paris Climate Change Conference  held in December 2015, otherwise known as COP21, 195 countries signed the world’s first binding climate agreement. This agreement establishes a global action plan to keep global warming below 2ºC between 2020 and 2030.

     

    According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, if the share of renewable energies in the global energy scenario were doubled to 32% in 2030, this would improve wellbeing by 3.7% and increase employment in the sector to more than 24 million people.

     

    There are numerous sources of renewable energy such as wind energy, solar energy (obtained from the sun), and hydro energy (obtained from rivers and freshwater flows), biomass and biogas (from organic matter), geothermal energy (obtained from the interior of the Earth), tidal energy, wave energy, bioethanol (obtained by fermenting vegetable products) and biodiesel (obtained from vegetable oils).

     

    Renewable energy accounts for 46.7% of installed capacity in Spain. According to data extracted from the Report on the Spanish electricity system 2018 published by Red Eléctrica de España in 2018, renewable generation on the Peninsula increased from 33.7% to 40.1%.

     

    What are the advantages of renewable energies? 

     

    As we have already said, renewable energy production does not emit greenhouse gases, so it’s a clean solution that avoids environmental damage and does not affect climate change.

     

    Unlike traditional energy sources, renewable energies are also inexhaustible. These energies are as available as the sun they originate from and adapt to natural cycles .

     

    Because they are developed in the regions where they are installed, they make regions more energy-autonomous.

     

    Nor do they entail any risks to health since they are obtained naturally and can be used in all circumstances.

     

    Transition to 100% renewable energy sources 

     

    LUT University and the Energy Watch Group have published a report that shows the viability of a European energy transition towards 100% renewable sources. This study shows what it would mean to start using 100% renewable energy sources as opposed to those currently available, eliminating fossil fuels in all sectors before 2050.

     

    The study also highlights that electricity generation in the 100% renewable energy system will consist of a combination of solar, photovoltaic, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and geothermal energy sources .

     

    The data published in this study “demonstrate that Europe can switch to a zero-emission energy system . Therefore, European leaders can and must do far more to protect the climate than what is on the table today”, said Hans-Josef Fell, chairman of the Energy Watch Group.

     

    EUROCLIMA + and Cuba-Renovables 

     

    The FIIAPP participates in the management of two projects focused on climate change and renewable energies. On the one hand, the EUROCLIMA + programme, funded by the European Union, aims to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, because in this region urban transport shows a continuous increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

     

    “The fact that most of the population lives in cities, the use of public transport and a high index of renewable energy in the energy matrix, make Latin America an excellent scenario for sustainable mobility”, said Horst Pilger, sector head of the General Directorate of International Cooperation and Development of the European Union during COP24, held in December 2018.

     

    On the other hand, the project for the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Cuba, developed as a cooperation strategy between the EU and Cuba, also known as Cuba-Renovables, supports the effective implementation of the policy for the development perspective of renewable sources of energy and the efficient use of energy and its regulatory framework.

     

    Photograph taken in Cuba by Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project
    Photograph taken in Cuba by Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project

    “We mustn’t forget that Cuba is a country rich in renewable resources and dependent on external fossil resources. Therefore, developing renewable energies would make an important contribution to the environment, and mean energy independence for the island, “says Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project.

     

    Likewise, “the FIIAPP will contribute with experts’ exchanges and based on the work experience we already have in the country and the understanding we have with Cuba. In addition, it will contribute to the creation of networks in the sector”, he says.

     

    SDG 7: Guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy for all. 

     

    In 2015, world leaders adopted a series of global objectives, known as Sustainable Development Goals   (SDG), which aim to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and improve citizens’ rights. In the case of renewable energies, these are mentioned in SDG number seven, which aims to guarantee access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

     

    “Energy is the main contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of all global greenhouse gas emissions”, says the United Nations in a report on this SDG.

     

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.