Discussions about transitioning to a clean energy economy are often framed in negative terms. Emphasis is placed on the challenges of making the transition, which, while being considerable, are outweighed by the potential benefits.
At Woodbourne Group, we’ve been embracing the huge potential of clean energy to deliver cost-savings as well as carbon reductions, at the game-changing Curzon Wharf
We’re also backing the clean energy innovators and pioneers of the future through our Woodbourne Ventures initiative.
What are the benefits of clean energy and how can it help to power the net-zero economy of the future?
What are the benefits of a clean energy economy?
The transition to a clean energy economy is a global imperative. The continued burning of fossil fuels for energy is driving significant negative consequences for the environment and public health. Fossil fuels are also prone to price shocks and supply issues as a result of global events, as the war in Ukraine has amply illustrated.
The adoption of clean energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower provides multiple benefits across a range of areas.
The most obvious benefits of switching to a clean energy economy are environmental. Burning fossil fuels releases large quantities of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. This contributes to climate change and associated impacts such as rising sea levels, more frequent and severe natural disasters, and changes to weather patterns. The adoption of renewable energy sources reduces these emissions and mitigates climate change.
As touched on above, reliance on fossil fuels can be precarious. Sources of oil and coal are not always reliable and are liable to price shocks. Clean energy sources provide a more secure energy supply by reducing reliance on finite fossil fuel reserves and are not liable to geopolitical turmoil.
Renewable energy can be produced locally, reducing transportation and eliminating reliance on overseas oil supplies. Supply can be decentralised right down to neighbourhood level, giving communities security, energy independence and lower bills.
New Economic Opportunities
The transition to a clean energy economy can be a driver of significant economic opportunities. The creation of jobs in the installation, maintenance, and operation of renewable energy systems is a key advantage. This promotes the development of local businesses, stimulating economic growth and job creation.
The long-term stability of renewable energy sources provides cost stability for consumers and businesses, reducing the impact of price fluctuations associated with fossil fuels. This also improves energy efficiency, further reducing costs for end-users.
A Healthier Environment
The burning of fossil fuels is a significant source of air pollution, which is harmful to human health. Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion is linked to respiratory problems, heart disease, and other health issues. The transition to clean energy sources reduces air pollution and associated health problems.
Alongside this, the provision of green spaces, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure associated with clean energy economies, has been linked to improved physical and mental health outcomes. Cleaner air and healthier lifestyles promote better public health and less demand for healthcare resources. A clean energy economy could help make communities and individuals happier, healthier and more resilient.
The renewable energy sector is driving innovation. Ultimately this has the potential to drive down costs across the energy sector, making renewable energy sources more accessible and cost-effective. The sector is buzzing with possibilities and creating new opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Further research and development will also result in the production of more efficient renewable energy systems. With each new innovation, clean energy becomes more competitive when compared to traditional fossil fuel sources.
The Costs of Failing to Act
Clean energy is central to moving towards a sustainable, net-zero economy. Without this transition, the consequences for the planet and the life it supports could be catastrophic. Failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is already leading to rising sea levels, more frequent and severe natural disasters, and changes to weather patterns. This can lead to significant economic and social disruptions, as well as the loss of human life and displacement of populations.
The long-term costs of inaction, such as the costs associated with climate change impacts, are likely to be significantly higher than the costs of taking action. It is therefore imperative for governments, businesses, and individuals to take urgent action to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and mitigate the risks associated with climate change.
Challenges & Opportunities
The case for a clean energy economy is compelling, with recent geopolitical developments serving to focus the minds of policymakers on the need to secure, renewable energy. The benefits of doing so will not only be economic, but also in terms of better public health and more resilient communities.
At Woodbourne Group, clean energy is key to our vision of sustainable development, thriving economies and stronger communities. Our Curzon Wharf masterplan will bring this vision to life, and will set new sustainable standards during each phase of design, development, construction which will continue throughout its lifecycle. Through Woodbourne Ventures we are keen to support the next generation of entrepreneurs who have the ideas and the drive to take this forward.