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War on Ukraine’s Impact on Green Energy: Progression or Digression?

gracemorrison 0 Ratings 3 Discussions 0 Group posts

Posted by: gracemorrison

Ukraine’s Impact on Green Energy: Progression or Digression

We are all witness to the degradation of our environment caused by fossil fuel emissions. We can perceive rising extreme weather occurrences and changing weather and natural resource health patterns, and we can measure the start of what is likely to become a great climate migration as conditions become less livable in parts of the world. While toxic dangers like greenhouse gas emissions might be easier to recognize, what may not be as easy to see are some of the more hidden consequences of our dependence on fossil fuels, one of which is that fossil fuels have long been used as a justification and weapon of war. Europe is suffering from an energy crisis, and it forces nations to decide, whether to finance the Russian attack on Ukraine by importing Russian natural gas or find a new source of energy. The call for energy resourcing can essentially go one of two ways.

On the side of cynicism, we can look at how fossil fuel producers attempt to take advantage of this energy crisis and those nations cautious of switching to renewables. These corporations claim that drilling for more gas and oil would alleviate the war’s impact and lower the gas prices in the US, even though this claim is simply untrue since the US’ gas prices are set by the global price of oil, meaning that our dependence on oil is the problem. Furthermore, to solve the energy crisis in Europe, the US claims that the increase in liquified natural gas (LNG) is the answer. However, the amount the US can supply is not nearly enough to alleviate Europe’s energy demands, intensified by the US’ lack of equipment to ship enough LNG and Europe’s lack of equipment to receive it. Fossil fuel reliance is a problem that only the energy independence provided by renewable resources can solve.

However, some hope that this crisis may lead to progress in green energy. For those who understand the necessity of green energy in national independence, this attack on Ukraine further highlights the importance of abandoning the global dependence on fossil fuels. For many nations, this crisis forces leaders to move up the plans to switch toward renewables. Germany is the most prevalent example of this transition from fossil fuels, now determined to abandon coal entirely and rely on renewables for 80% of its electricity by 2030, almost double Germany’s 42% renewable energy from 2021. France also pledges its goal to be the major nation that abandons gas, oil, and coal first. Austria too, despite its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, is increasing spending on subsidies for renewables, along with Polish investment in offshore wind. The hope for this progress comes at an optimal time for those in support of green energy, as this move toward renewable resources is right on time for the drop in renewable costs.

Some plans (Turrentine, (2022)) suggested are to increase the implementation of batteries and microgrids, more reliable sources to protect against damage to the pipeline or grid infrastructure. Another idea is temporarily sending workers to nations transitioning to install clean, energy-efficient technologies such as heat pumps to jumpstart the transition. This plan could also provide these workers with the experience to gain permanent jobs in the US market to further American energy efficiency and ease in the era of clean energy. The tragedy of the war in Ukraine forces nations to reevaluate energy dependence and that the two are directly linked; energy independence is the most sustainable option, environmentally and politically. We must act now and not allow corporations to drag us deeper into fossil fuel dependence, protecting us from the violence these fossil fuels bring with them.  Check out NRDC’s petition to prevent these unsound arguments to justify additional fossil fuel exploration and drilling.  Sign if you agree, and feel welcome to share other petitions and steps we can all take.

 

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