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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

Where is Renewable Energy Headed?

Renewable energy is becoming a hot topic of conversation. Countries around the world have committed to achieving 100% renewables within a certain time frame. Companies have also made pledges to 100% renewables over the coming 30 years by signing up to the RE100.

In 2021, renewables are becoming an increasing investment choice for many individuals and organisations. It is estimated that over the next 10 years, solar energy will begin to take a larger share of the global energy mix. Over the past 20 years, we have seen it rise from the 8th largest player in the renewable energy market to the 2nd largest.

The targets outlined in Goal 7 of the United Nations' Global Goals for Sustainable Development touch on aspects of ensuring affordable and clean energy for all by 2030. It is important that this energy is also reliable and sustainable.

Renewable energy must also meet the targets laid out in the other goals of the 2030 agenda. This includes ensuring that renewable energy is affordable to Australia's most vulnerable population including those living in remote and regional Australia. This also includes those living in relative poverty.

Goal 8 focuses on decent work and economic growth. Within this framework, it is important to ensure that Australia continues to create jobs within the renewable energy sector and to adequately train those transitioning from the non-renewable energy sector. It is also important to address the targets of Goal 9 while addressing the issue of renewable energy. This includes financially supporting research and development into new innovations within the renewable energy sector as well as research and development into increasing the efficiency of existing technologies.

As we see an increasing number of companies make a commitment to 100% renewables, we will start to see companies also leverage their supply chain to ensure their suppliers also have a commitment to a green future. This means that a number of smaller companies will need to begin to look at their own energy consumption and production with greater scrutiny. Over 280 companies have signed up to the RE100 with many more making commitments to substantially increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

While investing in renewable energy is a great way to safeguard the future of the planet in the long term, increasing energy efficiency is something we can do immediately to create an impact. This includes upgrading appliances to more energy-efficient appliances at the end of their life-cycle, ensuring appliances and devices are turned off when not in use, avoiding using devices or appliances unless necessary(for example, washing a single mug by hand in the staff kitchen instead of turning on the dishwasher for only five dishes).

With the increasing focus on renewable energy, it is beneficial for all businesses to ensure they have a renewable energy plan that as is easily accessible for all stakeholders. This plan can also include a commitment to improving energy efficiency within your organisation. The advantages of having such a plan will allow your organisation to stand out during tender applications to work with organisations, which are heavily committed to ensuring affordable and clean energy.

If you would like to build your energy plan or you would like feedback on your existing plan, contact a member of our team today.

This article was originally published on the Strategic Sustainability Consultants website.

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