Averting dangers of climate change with renewables and energy storage

July 17, 2014

A United Nations report stressed that global greenhouse gas problems will need to be lowered between 40% and 70% by 2050 from 2010 levels. According to The Guardian, to reach these goals, the use of renewable resources must be tripled or quadrupled around the world. Renewable resources like solar panels, wind power and geothermal that harvest energy directly from the earth, create non-polluting resources of energy. Replacing fossil fuel generation with renewable resources removes the inherent fossil fuel ability to store energy. To maximize renewable energy resource efficiency, their energy must be stored and then consumed during periods of high demand, making energy storage an important tool for acceleration of renewable energy to avert climate change.

Global Climate Action
According to Bloomberg, the United Nations in their report has called for unprecedented international cooperation to cut greenhouse gasses in order to cut emissions more rapidly.

"The longer we wait to implement climate policy, the more risky the options we'll have to take," Ottmar Edenhofer, a co-chair of the 235 scientists who drafted the report

The imminent danger of climate change is triggering more countries to pledge ways to build climate resiliency into their legislation. Goals include renewable energy targets, energy storage mandates and green building codes that are causing private enterprise to seek more climate resilient building technology and to meet greenbuilding design goals such as LEED and net zero.

Climate change has already begun to affect businesses throughout the world and some have adopted green building standards. However, there are still many corporations that can start working toward implementing plans to increase reliance on renewable sources of energy and energy storage. It is critical for the planet that companies adopt preventative ways to save energy, reduce peak electric demand and reduce emissions but there are also financial incentives for global climate action too.

Wake-up Call for Business
Renewables and energy storage offer a climate-friendly option for corporate use around the world that can help avert climate change and help the bottom line. Energy storage allows companies to make more efficient use of renewable assets and also lowers operating costs. Solar energy, for example, is intermittent and thermal energy storage can kick on when the sun isn't shining to avoid expensive peak demand charges. With use of a standard chiller plant, thermal energy storage devices can be utilized to store less expensive power at night from the wind and earth and then use this energy to meet day-time power demand. Unlike traditional systems, the thermal storage can cut cooling costs 20-40% by using off peak power and avoiding peak energy charges.

"This [U.N.] report is a wake-up call about global economic opportunity we can seize today as we lead on climate change", said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

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