The renewable path to reducing emissions

The renewable path to reducing emissions

Emilio Fabio Torsello
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The IEA confirms reduced coal consumption by China and the United States, while GE opens the USA's first offshore wind farm

Renewables continue to dominate as a fossil fuel alternative and the main option states rely on to diversify their energy mix. From wind and solar to biomass and hydroelectric, green energy is gaining more and more ground on coal. According to an IEA report, growth of global coal demand will slow over the next five years, partly due to reduced consumption by countries like China and the United States. "In China, coal demand is in structural and slow decline driven by a new economic growth model and diversification of coal," explains the agency in a report. The country’s domestic coal demand will decline to 2.816 tonnes by 2021, compared to 2.896 in 2014.
A study from the University of Edinburgh on the UK’s clean energy efforts highlights how renewables can make a tangible contribution to the welfare of people and the environment. According to the authors, Britain’s wind farms cut nearly 36 million t of CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2014, the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road. The finding represents a saving both in emissions and in action needed to limit them. In the researchers’ words, "Until now, the impact of clean energy from wind farms was unclear. Our findings show that wind plays an effective role in curbing emissions that would otherwise be generated from conventional sources, and it has a key role to play in helping to meet Britain's need for power in future."
Last of all in the latest green news, General Electric has opened the United States’ first offshore wind farm, with turbines twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, and in Italy, the startup Green Energy Storage has presented the world’s first flow battery made using organic molecules. The system enables cheaply and ecologically storing energy from renewable sources. It is scheduled to be on the market in 2018.