Is it Time for an Energy System with Lower Emissions?
Date: May 20th 2020
Author: Dag Kralj
Although the pandemic has created a situation which calls for fundamental changes in nearly every industry, the world was especially stirred by the news of a drop in greenhouse gas emissions and a slump in the price of oil and other non-renewable energy sources. This unenviable situation in the oil market has serious implications for the stability of the global economy, inevitably creating the opportunity for humanity to learn about the importance of transitioning to a sustainable energy system, which has been the goal of the BISOL Group since its inception 15 years ago.It is crucial that we ensure a just and stable transition to sustainable energy production, which can only be achieved through the principle of Europe taking all the existing national decarbonisation plans and synchronising them so that they form a single system which is then adhered to by all the EU member states, gradually introducing measures and balancing potential transition-related conflicts induced by the many interest groups within carbon intensive industries. The decisions should of course aim towards renewable energy sources, including solar power.
Europe accounts for less than a quarter of the world’s renewable energy production, however, it saw the second largest increase in 2019, putting it right after Asia. The decline in energy demand and the consequent price drop could help prioritise renewables, which are now able to consistently produce cheaper electricity than fossil fuels. What is more, ten years ago (and before that), PV was one of the most expensive renewable energy sources, whereas the economy of scale in the last decade has led to a price decrease of 80% and more.
Today, the European consumer can hope that the increasingly bold direction which the EU seems to be taking, at least at a declarative level, will mean that the states will eliminate the bureaucratic barriers to self-supply and that the finance ministers will be able to control their urge to heavily tax and therefore “punish” this renewable energy source, which has been able to shed its reliance on subsidies and reach market competitiveness over the last 10 years.
Public investment should focus on integrating renewables into the public network, which, in the European case, also means cross-border integration and international electricity storage. Another important objective should relate to renovating old buildings to make them more energy efficient. Additionally, governments should consider ways of utilising the short-term response to the COVID-19 crisis by transforming industries that are most in need of decarbonisation.
The sun, which is available to us all, is an inexhaustible source of solar energy, 100% green electricity, generated simply from sunlight. With PV, the sun became humanity’s most self-sufficient renewable energy source. The BISOL Group therefore aims to help the environment by helping people produce green electricity by using solar panels both at home and at their workplaces. In addition to being environmentally sound, solar power can also lower the electricity bill and generate energy savings. I dare even say that solar power can substitute a large share of energy consumption responsible for a high carbon footprint and environmental pollution.
During the last ten years – irrespective of the COVID-19 situation – renewable energy sources, especially solar, became more cost-competitive than conventional energy sources, which is also reflected in BISOL Group’s continual progress and increasing number of contracts. In its role as a contributor to the international solar landscape, BISOL has gone through several phases of generation capacity increases, technology modernisation, and cutting-edge automation of production processes. It was actually during the coronacrisis that it underwent another production expansion phase, making it one of the only companies taking on new employees during this time and continually offering individuals the opportunity for business development.
So is it time for an energy system with lower emissions? We have been ready for a synchronised energy system with lower emissions for several years now. Let’s take advantage of the crisis brought on by COVID-19 and finally move in the right, environmentally sound direction.
Dag Kralj, Member of the Board of Slovenia’s BISOL Group
The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Energetika.NET.
This article is available also in Slovene.