Alpha 311

Climate change – are we going fast enough?

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With the recent G7 summit and only four months until COP26, the question of whether we’re going fast enough to meet net-zero targets is under debate.

A recent report from the Climate Change Committee(CCC) suggests not.

Their latest Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) identified “more than 60 risks and opportunities, fundamental to every aspect of life in the UK covering our natural environment, our health, our homes, the infrastructure on which we rely, and the economy.”

One of the points highlighted is the gap between the level of risk we face and the level of adaptation underway. This decade is the time to address this gap. The report is another wake-up call, but are enough people listening?

At a time when all of us at Alpha 311 are working hard to make renewable energy available to everyone, it’s interesting to see how other businesses are adapting, innovating, and mitigating against climate change.

The Government might be deemed to be failing to plan or not planning fast enough, but many companies – from start-ups to large corporations – are progressing at pace.

Diversification and broadening renewable energy

The CCC report also identified an urgent need to assess the resilience of the electricity grid, as it will have to expand to cope with increased demand from greener technologies, including electric vehicles.

Furthermore, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that renewables were the only energy source that saw an increase in demand in 2020 during the pandemic.

This increasing demand for green energy has seen larger energy corporations and businesses start to adapt. For example, the oil and gas company Total recently ‘reformed’ to become TotalEnergies, stating that it was “committed to producing and providing energies that are ever more affordable, reliable and clean”.

Expansion and seeking alternative solutions are key for large energy companies, but the rapid acceleration in energy technology has seen the emergence of smaller, more agile companies, eager to make their mark on the renewable energy sector.

One of these start-ups is Gridserve. The company’s stated purpose is “to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change.”  They’re on their way. Gridserve opened the UK’s first all-electric car-charging forecourt in 2020 and plans to open over 100 more over the following five years to charge electric vehicles with 100% renewable energy. The company is leading the way in finding innovative ways to bring electric cars to the masses.

Then there’s Octopus Energy which is supplying 100% green electricity to customers.  Octopus uses a mix of ways to support the green future from investing in wind and solar, driving research into renewables and investing in cutting-edge technologies.

Innovation and change is everywhere

Innovations like the Alpha 311 VAWT are viable solutions and will make a difference to how we gain access to clean energy, on a local level.  Focusing on developing a product that is cheaper to build, can be retrofitted to current infrastructure and reduces transmission costs can only mean a cost reduction to the end customer and therefore making green energy accessible to more.

Change isn’t just happening in the energy sector. Reuters recently reported that at least one-fifth of the world’s largest 2,000 public companies have now committed to meet net-zero targets by mid-century or sooner.

Most people know that they need to play their part, whether that as an individual, or as part of a responsible organisation. While there are businesses and governments out there being bold and taking steps towards securing the future, there are also far too many simply paying lip service to climate action.

We’d like to see every business and every government figure talk the talk *and* walk the walk. Only then will we stand a chance of meeting the ambitious net-zero targets needed to change the world for the better.

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