Uniting Behind Science: The answer to the climate emergency lies in technology
Michael Phelan, Chief Executive at GridBeyond, comments on Global Climate Change Week
“Today and in the coming days, millions of children across the world will walk away from their school desks, and adults away from their jobs, to take a stand on the climate emergency. The world is uniting behind environmental and climate change science. Action must follow.
“A recent report from PwC, The Low Carbon Economy Index 2019, explains that despite the increased integration of renewable energy, which grew by 7.2%; global decarbonisation has slowed to its lowest levels since 2011. Overall energy consumption rose by 2.9% in 2018, with most of the demand growth met by fossil fuels, increasing total emissions by 2%.
“The answer to climate emergency lies in technology. Technology that enables the integration of more renewable energy into the grid, technology that ensures demand is always met by secure supply. This is where large energy users and their ability to be flexible with their consumption come in, and could essentially completely change the way our grid operates.
“The solutions and technologies to tackle the climate emergency are already here. They exist and have proven to be effective, affordable and reliable in limiting CO2 emissions. Full decarbonisation of our economy needs to start with eliminating fossil fuels from our energy networks, and that is only possible when the grid implements digitalisation to the point it can accept greater levels of renewable and decentralised generation, and unlock greater flexibility.
“Technology is vital in ensuring the 2050 deadline outlined by the Paris Agreement is met, and in securing the UK’s legally binding commitment to net-zero. The repercussions of not meeting these commitments are not about political consequences but about limiting and preventing irreparable damage to our planet.
“The UK Government has committed to closing all coal-fired power stations by 2025, which means intelligent energy technology and balancing services will need to step in to support decarbonisation and help to mitigate the climate emergency. Businesses, adults and children alike, some of whom will be protesting their right to a clean environment and climate justice this week, will all benefit from this transition in both the short and long-term.”