Can Green energy technology, solar, wind and energy storage, save the planet and reverse the tide of climate change?

Published: December 5, 2019

From extinction rebellions in the west to our own citizens holding protests in Indian cities in order to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change. Majority of the planet believes in the fact that ‘green technology’ will be a panacea for everything that has gone wrong with the planet since the Industrial Revolution began. 

This is untrue for a number of reasons- 

  • High land requirement of renewable energy-  No amount of marketing by climate change activists could change the fact that renewables like solar farms take 450 times more land than their nuclear counterparts, and wind farms take 700 times more land compared to natural gas wells, to produce the same amount of energy. 
  • High electricity prices- Germany, a global leader in renewables- experienced a 50% rise in electricity prices since 2006. As of today, Germany spends nearly twice as much for electricity that produces 10 times more carbon emissions than neighbouring France and Germany’s carbon emissions haven’t declined in a significant way since 2009. 
  • Resource intensive renewable energy- Besides Land solar, wind and other energy storage power projects require enormous amounts of resources, according to one estimate, a single wind turbine requires around 900 tonnes of steel, 2,500 tonnes of concrete and 45 tonnes of plastic. This does not include resources like Lithium, Cobalt, terbium and many other rare earth metals which India does not possess any significant deposits of and these resources are only concentrated in a few countries in Africa and Latin America. 
  • High indirect Greenhouse gas emissions- Conventional methods of solar panel manufacturing releases gases like nitrogen trifluoride, which is around 17,000 times more potent than co2. 

While politicians, experts and climate change activists demand the introduction of large scale wind and solar generation, the thirst for energy itself hasn’t gone down. This, together with a lack of understanding about how the current economic model which promotes the consumption of resources above everything else will ensure that the rising tide of climate change won’t be slowed anytime soon. 

The reason ‘green technology’ can’t reverse climate change and power the modern civilization Is because they were never meant to if we are to save the planet, we need to completely change our current economic model and focus on reducing consumption and adopt an alternative way of life that is more harmonious with the planet.

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