In order to reach the climate goals, the energy we get from renewable energy must double over the next eight years. If not, it could compromise energy security, warns the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The electricity supply from clean energy sources must be doubled over the next eight years to limit global warming. If this does not happen, there is a risk that climate change, more extreme weather and water shortages will harm our energy security and even put renewable energy at risk.
This is the annual conclusion of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Climate Report, which was launched on Tuesday. This year WMO focused on the energy sector.
Energy security is the ability of an energy system to cover energy use, that is, how much power plants are able to actually produce the electricity we need.
If there is too little water, wind, sun, gas, oil, nuclear or coal, we can suffer from a shortage of electrical power. Large parts of Europe are experiencing this now, because Russia has cut off gas supplies and electricity prices have skyrocketed.
In its report, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned that more extreme weather, which climate scientists believe is caused by man-made climate change, can lead to primary energy shortages (such as water when drought occurs), and that extreme weather can devastate Also the power plants themselves.
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We are changing before our eyes
The energy sector is behind about three quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions. If we are to be able to do well in the 21st century, it is absolutely necessary to switch to clean forms of energy production, such as solar, wind and hydropower, and to increase energy efficiency, says WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas. press release.
By 2030, most countries, including Norway, have committed to halving their emissions. And when we get to 2050, the global community has a goal of zero emissions.
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— But we’ll only get there if we double access to low-emissions electricity within the next eight years, says Met’s Talas.
Time is not on our side, and the climate is changing before our eyes. We need a complete transformation of the global energy system, emphasizes the professor.
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This is how power plants can be affected
The World Meteorological Organization stated in the report that the world’s energy security is at risk due to climate change.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) provides several examples:
- All nuclear power plants are built near the ocean and the sea, because they need water for cooling. With rising sea levels and increasing floods and storms due to global warming, this infrastructure is at risk of inundation. If there is a drought, nuclear power plants may lack the water they need for cooling.
- Another example is that wind turbines can run the risk of being destroyed during storms and severe weather.
These scenarios are dangerous because they can leave people without electricity and disrupt critical infrastructure, and because a flooded nuclear power plant can lead to nuclear accidents – as in the case of Fukushima in Japan in 2011.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) also points out how extreme weather has already left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity:
- In January, Buenos Aires, Argentina, was hit by a historic heat wave that in turn led to a massive blackout affecting about 700,000 people.
- In November 2020, it was so wet and cold at the same time in Russia’s Far East that power lines were covered in ice and destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of homes were without electricity for several days.
The energy crisis revealed a weakness
The message of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is that it is necessary to increase investment in renewable energy, in order to reduce emissions and prevent this extreme weather from escalating and destroying power plants.
The energy and climate crisis has exposed the weakness and vulnerability of an economic system largely dependent on fossil fuels, says Francesco La Camera, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
They co-wrote the report with 25 other organizations from the energy sector.
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You will better predict the weather
The World Meteorological Organization, which is of course very interested in weather forecasting, comes up in the report in several ways that they believe can help power plants withstand the most severe weather.
It’s about early and more advanced weather warnings, which give the industry time to prepare for severe weather, and use energy more efficiently. These systems can warn of drought, flood, wind and sun.
Advanced weather warning systems are already being integrated into power supplies in Beijing, China, in the Italian dolomites, at hydroelectric power plants in Tajikistan and at solar power plants in Germany, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
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