Humanity is at that stage where it isn’t a choice between renewable energy and fossil fuels. The latter is a choice of the past and the only option left to save the world is to switch to renewable energy; the energy of the future.
The Australian city of Canberra is the first region in the southern hemisphere with all its electricity being acquired from renewable energy sources, starting January 1, 2020.
The city will give company to seven other regions and districts throughout the world relying on renewable sources of energy for their total energy consumption as per reports of The Australia Institute, the country’s most influential think tank.
The report was based on data analyzed from over 500 regions across the world that had a population of over 100,000. Rhein-Hunsruck, a German district, was the first to shift to 100% renewable energy back in 2012. They were followed by two more German states, one in Spain, and three in Austria. The analysis was based on information gleaned from CDP, a London based non-governmental organization that collects data on environmental-performance from local companies and governments.
Canberra has a population of nearly 400,000 and is a self-governing territory. It sources all its required renewable energy through wind and solar energy projects in its territory and neighboring states. It also has installed solar panels on private houses and purchases energy from reliable sources.
Canberra is governed by 2 center-left party coalitions, the Australian Green and the Labor Party since 2008. The Canberra government has even pledged to reach net 0-emission by the year 2045.
One leading factor was the stability and long tenure of the government of Canberra, which is vital in making long term decisions on climate change. That commitment and initiative are missing in governments with only a 3-4 years mandate.
Australia has set a national target that aims to source 33 terawatt-hours of its required electricity from fresh renewable generation by the year 2020. It succeeded in essentially meeting its target earlier in September 2019.
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But researchers have voiced concern at the rising emission of greenhouse gases. They realize that an even more ambitious objective is required to bring in additional investment in projects related to renewable energy.
Individual states have worked admirably in advancing the conversion from fossil fuels to renewable energy. But there is the problem of pursuing multiple and fragmented policies that tend to impede strong renewable targets. A unified vision is the need of the hour. Unless there is a national renewable approach, many states will miss out on a lack of political initiative.