Green Energy: Insights Into the Race for Net Zero by 2050

Elderly man with his hands in his pockets walks across the grass between a row of solar panels with trees and mountains seen in the distance.

The cost of renewable technologies has declined steadily and is projected to drop even more. (Image: Linnaea Mallette via publiddomainpictures.net)

With time, more and more nations are turning toward using green energy. This is not only limited to the U.S. and a few European nations alone. Even the so-called third-world countries are deploying measures to reduce and gradually phase out fossil fuels. Australia is also gearing up to eradicate polluting fossil fuel usage by 2050. The majority of its residents will use green energy. Worldwide, wind energy and solar energy are being used to replace coal and nuclear-borne energy systems. So the concept of dark doldrums has become relevant.

According to the latest updates, most households in Australia will be powered by solar and wind-driven energy by 2050. Trina Solar, a global photovoltaic or PV provider, suggests that a major increase in renewables will not cause any problem for the national grid’s functioning. In 2016, then-chief scientist of Trina Solar Pierre Verlinden expressed his confidence that Australia was capable of embracing renewable electricity fully by 2050. This will be a blend of wind and solar PV-based energy.

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On the way to net zero green energy

Verlinden is an expert in his field and has 40 years experience of working with solar technology both in design and implementation. He thinks the market has grown a whopping 60,000-fold in this period. He believes that Australia should follow San Francisco by deploying legislation for all newly built houses to have PV systems installed.

Pierre Verlinden interviewed by CleanTech Business Club. (Image: Screenshot via Youtube)

In an interview with “One Step Off the Grid,” he said: “I hope the (rooftop solar) market in Australia will continue growing. The advantage of PV is it is the most distributed source of energy, and we need to take advantage of that. We need to put PV on every roof. That would easily support up to 25 percent of household demand, and with battery storage, up to 100 percent. I think you have the political will, but you have too much lobbying going in the other direction.”

There are some obstacles ahead in the way to switching to solar and wind energy. The coal power industry is quite powerful. Coal power industry proponents argue that the current grid was not made to support large-scale solar energy-based systems. Verlinden vehemently opposes this notion. He thinks blending wind and solar energy is not a problem. He added: “It’s not true. You could demonstrate clearly that there is absolutely no problem to go 25 percent PV, 25 percent wind and there is no issue, absolutely no issue at all. South Australia wants to go to 100 percent, and they will do it.”

Into the future

Coal power industry proponents argue that the current grid was not made to support large-scale solar green energy-based systems.
Coal power industry proponents argue that the current grid was not made to support large-scale solar energy-based systems. (Image: Renewable Energy on the Grid via Pixabay)

Theoretically, there are some issues in switching to green energy generation, but these can be handled. The government needs proper planning and execution for ensuring a smooth switchover from fossil fuels to greener energy. Verlinden says he expects solar PV to be the most distributed energy source. Some infrastructure has to be built for making the switchover successful, but that is no deal-breaker, according to his views. A large-scale solar PV and wind turbine-based energy generation system will bring down the carbon footprint of the country significantly. Overall, switching over to green energy is gaining momentum globally and it is a matter of time before it gains further traction in Australia too.

In the meantime, individuals are increasingly taking the initiative to adopt more sustainable energy sources that help reduce waste and decrease utility bills. To help understand how to adopt these practices and see the benefits yourself, you can read our article: 3 Ways That Green Energy Solutions Can Help Reduce Energy.

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