The transition away from fossil fuels has overturned the geopolitics and the global energy landscape. Renewable energy sources are essential for a sustainable future, but they still face many challenges.
The Brookings Institute
Concentrated CO₂ is emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels for energy, transport, construction and operations. Closely monitoring these carbon intense operations advantages us to better drive continuous improvement in efficiency and carbon intensity.
Up to 90% of carbon dioxide produced in industrial facilities can be captured using relatively simple methods. Much smaller percentages can be captured directly from the atmosphere.
If Earth's atmosphere is its lungs, geology is its stomach. Pumped underground, CO₂ is chemically digested. If more CO₂ is secured than will be emitted by the produced fuels, they can be emissions negative.
Fossil fuels formed the backbone of our energy systems due to their high energy density and on-demand availability. This makes them efficient for transportation, electricity generation, and industrial processes.They can be stored and used when needed. They provide consistent power for electricity grids and are readily accessible.
While renewables (like wind, solar, and hydropower) offer cleaner alternatives, they face limitations. They have lower energy density. For the same amount of power, larger installations or storage systems are often required. They are intermittent and don't provide on-demand power like fossil fuel plants. Storing renewable energy efficiently remains a challenge. Batteries and other storage technologies are improving but haven't matched fossil fuel reliability yet. Large-scale renewables need significant land area—especially solar farms and wind turbines.
Geopolitics is shifting as countries invest in renewables. China dominates solar panel production, while Europe leads in wind turbine manufacturing. Countries with abundant renewable resources (like wind in Denmark or hydropower in Norway) gain economic advantages. Oil-exporting nations face economic diversification challenges.
Transitioning away from emissions-intensive fossil fuels is essential for climate goals. The rate at which we can completely replace fossil fuels while ensuring grid stability and addressing energy poverty is slower than what the climate demands.