Countries make their plans on how to live without Russian gas and oil. Facing incredible changes in the geopolitics playground, where oil is one of the symbols of power, the world has a chance to boost the development of green energy.
Here are some thoughts on how the world energy crisis can be used as an opportunity and which solutions have come to politicians’ minds.
Cheap short term solution for countries
The Green pact released in 2019, which is the European Union’s new contribution to the fight against climate change. It aims for growth based on a resource-efficient and sustainable economy, aiming to turn to climate-friendly energy resources by 2050. So even with the most productive way of work scientists can`t make 30 years plan in a few weeks.
Experts of the UK business department (BEIS) suggested cutting the amount of using gas and oil to be less dependent on high-priced fossils. The government can support houses’ insulation programs to reduce demand for gas heating and downgrade the price for electric heating pomps.
The International Energy Agency urges everyone to turn down the thermostat by a degree – that could save up to 10% of heating energy (and costs), it says. Also, it makes sense to put draught-proofing materials around doors and windows. Insulation is another no-brainer quick hit and it makes your home more comfortable.
An additional option is a speed limit of 55mph — the most efficient running speed for many cars — which could be set during the energy crisis to cut carbon emissions. Trains could reduce their top speed and services could be reduced to prevent empty running.
The public might have various opinions about these restrictions, but climate definitely will say «thank you».
What about midterm decisions?
Governments can build nuclear energy stations, but the risk of explosion and recent news connected to the Chornobyl nuclear station in Ukraine might make this decision unloyal in terms of public opinion.
Also, nuclear energy is expensive in production compared to renewable sources. For example, nuclear comes in at around 117 dollars per megawatt-hour, while new offshore wind is around half that.
Wind energy also lies in the medium term. Onshore wind power is cheap and consistent. Offshore wind farms take up to 20 years to develop at the moment. But the operators say new turbines could be spinning within just two years if the government gives more resources to the cash-strapped authorities that grant consent.
Solar energy is a third way to cover the energy gap. On the dusty plains of Andalusia, there is a station that can generate solar energy 24 hours a day. Yes, you got it right – Gemasolar generates electricity even at night when the sun is not shining. More than 2,500 huge mirrors on hydraulic supports follow the movement of the main celestial body, catch its rays and direct them to one central point – to the top of the tower 140 m high. This technology can make solar energy assessable for cloudy counties.
The crisis is a new opportunity
The problem of the energy crisis isn`t new, it appeared in 2021 when after the first wave of pandemic businesses started to renew their production and faced the shortage. Nowadays the problem just become more complicated because of political reasons.
For energy importing countries, the only viable long-term solution is to invest in renewable energy development. As environmental policies take root around the world, such deficits will be less devastating to the global economy. But in the short term, importers will have to develop contingency plans to build up renewable energy supplies. Otherwise, low-income consumers will suffer every time such a crisis occurs again.