Seize Your Power  

What we thought we knew about renewable energy

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By Tabaré A. Currás

Oil, coal and gas have created the world we know today. And yet, we now learn these have also created the very real threat of climate change.

This energy system is also a huge cause of air, soil and water pollution, contributing to some three million premature deaths annually from air pollution alone.

But there are other energy choices. Energy from the sun, the wind, the Earth’s heat and water, for example, have the potential to power our future in a clean and reliable way. If we can move towards a more renewable one it represents a tremendous opportunity to change the world for the better.

This is the present global situation: we have high levels of investments into renewable energy, with more than a decade of increasing market growth, plus we have growing supportive policies, being put into place, while the cost of technologies is dropping. This makes a strong business case for renewable energy to begin to replace oil, coal and gas in the global economy in a sustainable way.

Opposite to this reality, the fact remains that there is still misunderstanding of the ability of renewable energy to fully power the world. From the economic to environmental implications of both small and large types of renewable energy, it is still a less well-known subject..

There many myths about renewable energy. One of the most common is for example that It’s too expensive. The cost of producing power from renewable energy is already competitive or even cheaper than that from oil, coal and gas in many regions of the world. At current prices for conventional technologies, renewable energy is the most cost-effective option for off-grid electricity, and for central grid supply in several locations around the world .

There are many more myths about renewable energy that we want to crack, do it with us by playing the Mythcrackers Quiz now.

We can power the world with nature. WWF’s Energy Report (2011) shows that renewable energy has the potential to entirely meet the world’s energy demand. However, to fully seize this potential, it is crucial to demystify myths about renewable energy because the world has changed.

Certainly renewable energy is not perfect but it stands poised to solve the Gordian knot, of environmental, social and economic pattern, that our world’s energy system is tied into. Yet to realize the required transformational changes that a promising future demands, major shifts in public choices and perception towards renewable energy are needed.

The future of renewable energy can be about the choices we make now not about foregone technological or economic conclusions. Being aware that the change will not be quick enough unless we – YOU and I – press for it.

Civil society organisations are working on this front and WWF has joined this effort by launching a global campaign calling for a decisive change in investments in energy — asking major financial institutions and governments to stop investing in oil, coal and gas and rapidly grow support to renewable energy. Under the slogan, Seize Your Power, WWF’s global campaign needs you to help build public support and political space necessary to make renewable energy the new normal.

Join us. Seize Your Power. Start by signing the pledge and contribute to the way each one of us thinks about energy.

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