Context: In recent times, geopolitical conflicts and inflation issues are linked with the dependence on fossil fuels. The green energy gives a solution for world peace in this context.
About Green Energy:
- Green energy is any energy type that is generated from natural resources, such as sunlight, wind or water.
- Green energy sources are usually naturally replenished, as opposed to fossil fuel sources like natural gas or coal, which can take millions of years to develop.
- Green sources also often avoid mining or drilling operations that can be damaging to ecosystems.
- Types: Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Hydro Energy, Geothermal Energy, Biomass, Biofuel
About Fossil Fuels:
- Fossil fuels are made from decomposing plants and animals.
- These fuels are found in the Earth’s crust and contain carbon and hydrogen, which can be burned for energy.
- In 2019, 84% of primary energy consumption in the world and 64% of its electricity was from fossil fuels.
Major Fossil Fuel:
- Coal: Coal is a material usually found in sedimentary rock deposits where rock and dead plant and animal matter are piled up in layers.
- More than 50 percent of a piece of coal’s weight must be from fossilized plants.
- Countries by proven coal reserve: USA>Russia>Australia>China>India
- Natural Oil: Oil is originally found as a solid material between layers of sedimentary like shale.
- This material is heated in order to produce the thick oil that can be used to make gasoline.
- Countries by proven Oil Reserve: Venezuela>Saudi Arabia>Iran>Canada>Iraq
- Natural Gas: Natural gas is usually found in pockets above oil deposits.
- It can also be found in sedimentary rock layers that don’t contain oil.
- Natural gas is primarily made up of methane.
- Countries by proven Natural Gas: Russia>Iran>Qatar>Saudi Arabia>USA
Fossil Fuel as a Conflict Factor:
- Climate change: Climate change is the consequence of overuse of fossil fuels over centuries.
- Fossil fuels are responsible for greenhouse gas emission and other air and water pollutants.
- War-Conflict: Large quantities of fossil fuels are concentrated in tiny geographical pockets.
- Hence, the urge to control regions rich in reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas forms the sum and substance of foreign policy worldwide.
- Countries neighboring these prized regions, as well as others, play all sorts of games to grab them — deploying religion, language, alliances to that end.
- Conflicts also suddenly start when there is a temporary change in the balance of power, breaking the earlier, often fragile, equations of peace.
- For example, occupation of minerally and industrially rich Ruhr region by French and Belgian troops led to the crash of the German currency and the economy, which eventually led to the start of World War II.
- Inflation: Wars induced situations lead to inflation which has a cyclic effect on economic and social sectors.
- For example, Inflation induced due to the Ukraine-Russia war.
Green Energy as driving force:
- Green energy is important for the environment as it replaces the negative effects of fossil fuels with more environmentally-friendly alternatives.
- Green energy can also lead to stable energy prices as these sources are often produced locally and are not as affected by geopolitical crises, price spikes or supply chain disruptions.
- That could eliminate the reason for many territorial conflicts.
- A decisive shift towards renewable energy could alter the destructive chain of events.
- The Government and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and Domestic Development Banks (DDBs) can support the green energy sector through a credit enhancement mechanism.
- Public institutions can nudge the private players by innovative financing models and policies to fund the much-needed green energy sector.
Given the advantages it offers, the incentives that the government is providing to the development of green energy infrastructure and the growing demand by environment-conscious consumers, the future for the green energy sector seems very bright.
Source: The Hindu