Sustainable Energy Improving But More Progress Needed


Recent news reports that we need to accelerate renewable energy generation and improve out energy efficiency if we want to reach universal sustainable energy access by 2030. According to a recent United Nations’ report, sustainable energy made numerous gains, but it must move faster before it can replace non-renewable sources such as oil, gas, wood, and charcoal.

During the reports tracking period from 2010 to 2012, renewable energy production grew rapidly at 4 percent a year with energy access doubling across the board, but needs to reach 7.5 percent to achieve the 2030 goal.

To close the gap, the report asks governments and industries to increase their energy investments to improve access, metrics, and efficiency. It also recommend lining the energy sector with other sectors such as water, agriculture, gender, and health.

Out of all the report’s recommendations, improving energy efficiency is the easiest to accomplish. Energy efficiency lowers greenhouse emissions by using less energy over all, regardless if you use oil, coal, natural gas, or renewable fuels. It also wastes less energy, reducing its cost.

In a similar report last year from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, we can shrink our carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2030 by implementing 4 different energy-efficiency measures, including implementing efficiency targets, model building codes, combined heat and power systems, and efficiency standards.

These measures include switching to natural gas and renewable power while finding ways to use less energy to reach our current goals. Plus, the benefits of increased energy-efficient extends beyond just increasing energy efficiency. It also means that we do not need our most expensive power plants as much, saving money for both households and firms alike.

With a little ingenuity, we can convert everything we have to sustainable energy sources and reduce the effect of climate change and other environmental problems.

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