Renewable technology is developing fast but still has a number of challenges and issues preventing more rapid and widespread adoption. Intermittency is an obvious problem where the energy source is not continuously available. Sun, wave, wind will all suffer periods of low or no production. Natural gas can help address these issues whilst the technology is advanced and developed further.
We are fully committed to a net zero carbon future, and believe renewable energy is a key part of this journey however, we also need to be mindful of the impact of renewable technology on the environment. Zero emissions does not mean zero impact.
The ‘Energy Transition Outlook 2019’ report from DNV GL highlights that “We anticipate significant growth in the demand for rare earth metals, as well as nickel, manganese, chrome, and copper, in line with the exponential growth in batteries, and materials used for production of wind turbines, solar panels, and electronics.” Source.
All options carry an impact, and as an Island we need to find the best energy mix to optimise our ability to deliver on our 2050 commitments. We strongly believe that renewable technology supported by local natural gas gives our Island the best chance of success.
This complex journey is recognised by Claudio Forner – Senior Country Specialist, based at the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn, who suggest that zero emissions as a target is unrealistic.
“The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says to keep to the 1.5 degrees increase in global temperatures over pre-industrial levels, it is important to meet the target of zero net carbon dioxide or CO2 emissions by 2050.”
“This does not mean zero emissions as it is perhaps unrealistic to suggest that emissions could be entirely eliminated; however, any residual CO2 emissions that result have to be compensated by carbon captures. So, for example, you can capture CO2 from the atmosphere by planting more trees. There are also new technologies which can capture or remove CO2.” Source.