Powering Change with Renewable Energy: Great Big Green Week 2023

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Photo by Laura Penwell: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-windmills-during-dawn-3608056/

To mark the Great Big Green Week, Senior Environmental Consultant Nadine Sherwin tells ICON readers how renewable energy powers the fight against climate change.

 

In our rapidly changing world, the impacts of climate change have become increasingly undeniable, and environmental concerns have reached unprecedented levels. As a result, the urgency for a sustainable future has become more apparent than ever before.

The Great Big Green Week 2023 epitomises community-driven climate action and celebrates the importance of collective efforts in addressing environmental challenges.

This event stands as a testament to the impact and achievements that have arisen from community-led initiatives in the fight against climate change and highlights the importance of transitioning towards a low-carbon future which promises a host of beneficial impacts on our planet.

Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, tidal, geothermal and biomass, offer clean and abundant alternatives to fossil fuels.

For instance, in recent years, we have witnessed significant advancements in the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of solar energy. This expansion brings benefits not only to commercial, private, public, and governmental sectors, but also extends its accessibility to homes in communities around the world.

Governments are also realising its vast potential and most recently towards the end of 2022 as part of President Emmanuel Macron’s renewable energy initiative, a new piece of legislation was approved in France, mandating the installation of solar panels on all large car parks across the country. The decision by the French Senate stipulates that both existing and future car parks, capable of accommodating a minimum of 80 vehicles, must have solar panel coverage. The implementation of this measure is expected to yield a potential power generation of up to 11 gigawatts, according to the French government’s estimation.

In conjunction with solar energy, harnessing wind power has gained significant favour and popularity in a quest to displace significant amounts of carbon-intensive electricity generation, providing a sustainable and renewable energy source that once again reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

New data released by Drax Electric Insights found: “Almost a third (32.4%) of Britain’s electricity was supplied from wind power during the first quarter of 2023, outpacing gas which delivered 31.7%. It is the first-time wind has provided the largest share of power in any quarter in the history of the country’s electricity grid.”

Renewable energy goes beyond being a cleaner option; it tackles the urgent problem of climate change. Through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy sources play a vital role in alleviating the environmental consequences linked to the combustion of fossil fuels.

Events like the Great Big Green Week reminds us that harnessing the power of nature and engaging communities can drive the transition towards a sustainable future for all. Let us embrace renewable energy in our lives, advocate for clean energy policies, and support remarkable initiatives like the Great Big Green Week!

 

Nadine Sherwin is a Senior Environmental Consultant at Inspired PLC.