The use of wind power protects the environment and curbs global warming

The energy sector is responsible for more than 40% of all carbon dioxide emissions, and 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions have to stop rising and begin to fall this decade if we are to meet climate change targets. In spite of the efforts made to decarbonize the energy sector and the diverse measures announced by national governments, the most likely scenario according to projections from the IEA is a 20% increase in emissions by 2040.

This increase in emissions would eventually mean a global increase in temperature of 3.6 degrees, a number that goes beyond the ceiling of 2 degrees, which has been internationally agreed as the maximum permissible temperature increase if we are to to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. In this sense, promoting a change from fossil fuels to wind energy is one of the most viable and effective ways of mitigating climate change in the immediate future. The flexibility and speed of establishing energies such as wind energy, and the low cost of doing so, make it the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Besides, wind energy doesn’t emit carbon dioxide, harmful gases such as SOx, NOx or mercury, protecting valuable natural resources such as air and water. In Spain particularly, the wind sector will be a key factor in meeting the European renewable energy consumption targets for 2020 and in the reduction of CO² emissions.

Furthermore, reducing emissions is beneficial to the economy. According to IRENA the savings in health benefits owing to the reduction of fossil fuel caused pollution in the air are between 2 to 5 dollars per GJ (Gigajoule), while the benefits from the reduction of carbon dioxide are around 3 to 12 dollar per GJ. In terms of overall costs and benefits this would mean a net savings of up to 738 billion dollars in the year 2030.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

- AEE (2014), “¿Quiere saber porque cuando sopla el viento baja la factura de la luz?”. Consulted here.

- Ciarreta A., Espinosa M. P., Pizarro-Irizar C. (2014), Is green energy expensive? Empirical evidence from the Spanish electricity market. Energy Policy. Vol. 69: 205-215.

- DOE (2013), “Wind Technologies Market Report”.

- Ernst & Young (2012), “Analysis of the value creation potential of wind energy policie”.

- EWEA (2014), “Avoiding fossil fuel cost with wind energy”.

- EWEA (2012), “Green Growth: The impact of wind energy on jobs and the economy”.

- IEA (2014), “The Power of Transformation-Wind, Sun and the Economics of Flexible Power System”.

- Lazard (2013), “Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, version 8.0”.

- Irena (2014), “Renewable Energy & Jobs”.

- Irena (2014), “Remap 2030. Key findings”.


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