Who of us hasn't read analytical pieces or social media posts about how COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions imposed worldwide has caused planet Earth to breathe again and for pollution to just easy away? While this could be partly true, this is not the only reason that should encourage us to exert more effort into climate action.
The plunge in emissions from factories and other businesses during the pandemic isn't long enough to significantly reduce emissions. The emission drop would have to be sustained for much longer, and be much more severe.https://t.co/pr9Pkn7bUE— Steve Westly (@SteveWestly) June 5, 2020
During the first two months of the coronavirus outbreak, scientists reported historical drops in carbon dioxide emissions. Paris reported a 72% drop during the month of March compared to 50% in New York. Yet, this only slightly slows down climate change.
CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere are still quite high around the world, especially as life is getting back to some kind of pre-pandemic normal. This can only mean that a long-term decline in carbonic acid gas requires a lot more effort, and the timing couldn't be more perfect.
The energy sector is responsible for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which has pushed most climate change-focused scientists to study alternative methods that can curb the use of fossil fuel sources.
The world has for years been resisting the switch to renewable energy because of how costly it can be, but today's reality says that solar and wind energy sources can be more cost-efficient, not to mention how sustainable this would be.
Surprisingly, photovoltaics is now the cheapest source of energy, making solar energy more affordable than coal, the historically cheapest fossil fuel.
International Renewable Energy Agency's recent report stressed that the cost of setting solar and wind energy systems is now 82% cheaper than it was only 10 years ago.
Since 2010, the cost of #energy has dropped by 82% for #photovoltaic solar, by 47% for concentrated #solar energy (#CSP), by 39% for onshore wind and by 29% for wind #offshore.https://t.co/YFhh6Fq4u2 via @pvmagazineusa #renewableenergy #renewables— VDE-Institut (@VDEinstitut) June 9, 2020
According to figures reported by DW, the cost of generating 1 kWh of electricity by solar energy ranges between 2-6 Euro cents compared to 4- 9 Euro cents generated by fossil fuels.
The report also notes that the sunnier and bigger countries are, the cheaper the cost of solar energy can be, citing the Middle East as the strongest candidate for a successful transition to sustainable, green energy in the world.
The drop in solar energy costs can be attributed to photovoltaics' manufacturers' continuous attempts to reduce production costs using new technologies, consequently making it more efficient and affordable so it attracts policymakers' interest, even those whose priorities don't include climate change and are only concerned with more economic options.
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