Benefits of renewable energies

Renewable energies are on the rise, making them a sector with great potential and also the future of energy transition. This term is widely used in the energy sector that seeks to change the way energy is generated and consumed, supporting the decarbonisation of the economy and the generation of energies through renewables. But what are renewable energies? To give a simple definition, they are obtained from inexhaustible natural sources: some due to the immense quantity of energy they contain, and others because they are capable of being regenerated by natural resources. Although at Viesgo we have the first three, the following are included:

  • Wind energy
  • Hydraulic energy
  • Mini-hydraulic energy
  • Photovoltaic energy
  • Solar energy
  • Biomass energy
  • Sea-based energy, such as tidal power, ocean energy, current energy, ocean thermal energy and osmotic power.
  • Geothermal energy

What are the benefits of renewable energies?

All these energies offer advantages wherever they are implemented:

  • Reduction in energy dependency due to local sources. This leads to energy independence, as they are stable, local resources that also encourage the economic development of the region, promoting its autonomy.
  • Inexhaustible” sources.
  • They do not generate waste and any that is generated is easy to process.
  • They do not produce CO 2 and other pollutant gases and any that are produced, such as in the case of burning biomass, are considered a neutral balance of emissions because their combustion does not favour an increase in greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Impact of the Paris agreement on renewables

Over recent decades, the speed at which renewable energies is implemented has increased gradually, as they are essential in the fight against climate change. The installation of and support for these resources involves a reduction in greenhouse gases and responds to and complies with the agreements reached between the different countries and, more particularly, the 2015 Paris Agreement. Following the 21 st Conference of the Parties, the signatories agreed to reduce pollutant gas emissions to slow down the increase in global temperature to below 2ºC in relation to pre-
industrial levels, and to make every additional effort to ensure it does not exceed 1.5ºC. This Agreement was ratified by the European Union on 4 th October 2016.
In view of this European context, Spain has transcribed these goals to three basic policies: the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, the 2021-2030 Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), and the Fair Transition Strategy, establishing even more ambitious goals that the European Union. As indicated in the PNIEC sent for EU approval, these goals are:

  • 21% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) in relation to 1990.
  • 42% renewable energies in relation to the total end consumption of energy for the entire EU.
  • 39.6% improvement in energy efficiency.
  • 74% renewable in electricity generation.

In short, the global use of renewable energies must be considered on three mainstays:

  1. Energy independence of the countries, it being a stable and local resource.
  2. Change in economic models from a centralised generation system to a more distributed system.
  3. Fighting climate change.

Author: José Melguizo, Viesgo Renovables