Climate change – if you haven’t heard of it, welcome back from the deep cave you have been living in for the last 25 years. We all know what it is, we all have a good idea off what causes it, and some have a more detailed appreciation of it beyond the CO2 = climate change often portrayed in the media.
This is an indisputable fact – a rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide level results in a warmer planet by the ‘Greenhouse Effect’, among many other phenomena. Carbon dioxide is well known to be released from the burning of fossil fuels to release energy to be used as electricity and accounts for over 80% of all greenhouse gases released from this process annually.
However, while this is a vital part of the story, it is only part of it. There are other beasts that escape with the burning of fossil fuels which also cause havoc in the environment, be it through causing health problems, acid rain, air pollution, or exacerbating the problem caused by CO2.
One of the most common other ‘greenhouse gases’ is methane, accounting for approximately 10% of greenhouses gases produced from fossil fuel usage. This is, however, responsible for approximately 25% of man-made climate change and is approximately 84 times more potent than CO2 at producing global warming. Methane is a core component of natural gas as well as a byproduct of natural processes such as organic matter decomposition.
Other ‘toxic emissions’ include the nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) which contribute directly to thousands of hospitalizations, heart attacks, and deaths annually.
So it is easy to see that reducing two major causes of climate change and two major causes of health problems worldwide, as well as the thousands of other substances harmful to the atmosphere, such as fluorinated gases, such as CFCs and their damaging effect on the ozone layer.
Renewable energy can reduce the production of these gases on a gargantuan scale, with every bit of energy produced via renewable means reducing the output of these pollutant gases by approximately the following amounts:
CO2 – 675 kg/MWh
NOx – 404 g/MWh
SO2 – 451 g/MWh
Methane – 69.3 kg/MWh
This is further highlighted when you consider each of the following activities is the equivalent of 1 kg of CO2 from your personal carbon footprint:
– Travel by public transportation (train or bus) a distance of 6.5 to 7 miles
– Drive with your car a distance of 3.75 miles
– Fly with a plane a distance of 1.375 miles
– Operate your computer for 32 hours (60 Watt consumption assumed)
– Production of 5 plastic bags
– Production of 2 plastic bottles
This demonstrates why it is so vital for everyone to embrace the renewable revolution and try and make strides towards creating their own electricity wherever possible. Simply reducing 1Kg of CO2 per person in the UK will result in 60 million Kgs of reduction – the equivalent of 16 million miles of car journeys!
We also advocate that, as well as installing renewable energy at home or at your work, you consider using a ‘renewable only’ energy supplier, such as bulb – https://bulb.co.uk – to further the ability of the renewable energy sector to reduce emissions.
Intuitive Renewables offer solutions for home and businesses alike, allowing you to start your own personal renewable revolution while also saving money on your power bills – a win-win situation for everyone! If you want to know more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact page here.