While global energy demand is expected to increase by more than 30% over the next 20 years, the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to tackle climate change is one of the main challenges of this century. This challenge, and the goal of maintaining global warming below 2 °c, requires an urgent change to a low-carbon economy.
In this scenario, renewable energies are expected to play a key role in the energy sector, which is the largest contributor to GHG emissions. Renewable energy has proven to be a competitive source of energy, with a strong contribution to the growth of gross domestic product, as well as mitigating potential impacts on the economy that climate change would bring.
EDP Renováveis is a world leader in the renewable energy sector and the world's fourth largest producer of wind power. EDP's goal is to increase the production capacity of renewable energy to 76% in two years.
Advantages of renewable energy
An immediate path to decarbonize the global energy mix
The increase in renewable energies is essential to meeting climate targets without slowing down economic growth and reducing welfare. According to the "IRENA" (International Renewable Energy Agency), doubling the share of renewable energies up to 2030 could result in about half of the emission reductions required and, together with energy efficiency, maintain the average increase in Temperatures below 2 °c, ultimately avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
Boosting economic growth and improving energy security
Today, renewable energy technologies are seen not only as tools to mitigate climate change, but also as investments that can provide direct and indirect economic benefits. Renewable energy can reduce the internal dependence of imported fuels, thereby improving trade imbalances as well as energy security, boosting economic development and creating jobs.
Renewable energies are achievable and economically viable
The low costs of renewable energy technologies are enabling the energy transition not only possible, but less costly than the alternative. This is why a growing number of private companies are opting for renewable energies to fulfill their energy needs, including some of the world's largest, such as Apple, Ikea, Amazon, Wal-Mart and Lego.
The costs associated with actions to combat climate change may be lower than the costs associated with inertia
Many studies have analyzed the costs of actions on climate change compared to the costs of "inertia" (business as usual). Most studies agree that if we do not act now, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be greater than the costs of mitigation options. Most studies conclude that the potential potential impacts of climate change on water resources, food production, health and the environment, among others, will cause significant losses to economies. Instead, the costs of mitigation options (especially the deployment of renewable energies) will have a negligible impact on aggregate terms.