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News Article

Entering the Path to 100 Percent Renewable Energy

By Cas Biekmann | Mon, 09/28/2020 - 15:15

COVID-19 has taken a tragic health and economic toll on the world. The one silver lining is that the pandemic also induced a temporary global drop in carbon emissions. The result: clearer skies, revealing a view of what a sustainable future could look like. For many governments and industries, the concept of sustainability remains elusive and much work needs to be done. Nevertheless, a path toward a 100 percent renewable future can – and should – not only be considered but also outlined.

Sampo Suvisaari, Energy Business Director for Latin America North at Wärtsilä, was involved in the creation of the company’s innovative initiative called Path to 100%. The question that is on everyone’s mind is how to not only achieve but accelerate the transition to 100 percent renewable energy? To answer this question, the Path to 100 gathers a team of experts from all over the world to gain valuable insights. “The initiative is our way of highlighting that a 100 percent renewable future is not only possible but likely in the foreseeable future. Our experts have some interesting descriptions on how this will be accomplished,” Suvisaari says. 

Visualizing the pathway toward sustainability is a challenging job and there are various factors to consider: people, capital, technologies and government policies need to fit together in unison to make the transition to renewable energy a success. The transition can take many angles, there is not one single solution; instead, there is a collection of options that could lead to developing a plan of action.

Once that plan is set in motion, its viability must be considered. The plan will only work if the solutions are concrete, financially feasible and possible to carry out in the short term. The implementation of the path needs to be realistic. Some countries such as Denmark and Germany have already shown the world that implementing initiatives for a sustainable world is absolutely possible. Nevertheless, every country is different and will have a different path to take. Suvisaari shares a crucial part of this insight in order to establish a solution: “The key point in visualizing a realistic pathway forward is to analyze the behavior of entire power grids, rather than focusing on individual elements alone. The results can be surprising,” he says.

Focusing on the behavior of the entire grid is an especially interesting exercise in the case of Mexico. While the country has a great deal of potential regarding renewable energy, its power grid has been known to struggle to keep up with demand. In light of the administration’s vision of the country’s energy transition, the question of a sustainable path might be more imperative than ever. To shed light on the issue, MBN and Path to 100 are organizing a webinar on the topic very soon. Stay tuned to find out more.

Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst