The future of clean energy is happening now – and it’s exciting.
Energy is something we all rely on in our day-to-day lives. Whether you’re at work, home, or out and about, we often take for granted how much energy is used to keep our lives running smoothly, and to keep our worlds moving forward.
Despite a steady fall in the past few years, demand for fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil remain unsettlingly high compared to renewable energy alternatives (BP, 2021), coming in at 83.1% of worldwide energy consumption compared to 16.9% for all clean energy substitutes. This figure is unsustainable and demands immediate action and a change in our consumption habits if we are to put an end to the harmful impacts of climate change on our planet.
Therefore, it is no wonder Affordable and Clean Energy was selected as Goal 7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, representing and tackling one of the most significant issues in our global community today. In the words of the UN, Goal 7 is all about ensuring “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’. The UN and all member states agreed on 5 targets to ensure steady progress towards the realization of this vision by 2030, which are:
- 7.1 Ensure Universal Access to Modern Energy
- 7.2 Increase Global Percentage of Renewable Energy
- 7.3 Double the Improvement in Energy Efficiency
- 7.A Promote Access to Research, Technology, and Investments in Clean Energy
- 7.B Expand and Upgrade Energy Services for Developing Countries
While some argue that achieving this vision by 2030 seems unrealistic, many are optimistic, and with good reason.
On the one hand, affordability is a major barrier to progress. As of 2019, 759 million people worldwide still lacked access to electricity, and a third of the planet are still without clean cooking fuels and technology due to increased global poverty, in part caused by the cataclysmic effects of the global pandemic (UN SDG Report, 2021).
However, as the cost of renewable energy generation falls, more and more countries are developing energy infrastructures to support their populations. In line with this trajectory, solar and wind power is predicted to grow five to ten times faster than any other power-generation technology over the next couple of years (McKinsey, 2020), meaning that access to affordable and reliable energy is more within reach than ever before.
Clean technology is also developing at an increasingly rapid rate, while demand for fossil fuel generated energy decreases globally. In 2021, investment in the worldwide clean energy transition totalled $755 billion, a 21% increase from 2020 (BloombergNEF, 2022). This investment is due to create over 38 million jobs by 2030 (Reuters, 2021), and is already producing exciting innovations in energy consumption and production, such as the rise of electrification in transport and industrial sectors, as well as the commercialisation of energy-efficient smart systems, technologies, carbon capture and nuclear energy innovation.
While this is an exciting time for clean energy, to achieve Goal 7 requires a massive amount of input from individuals, businesses, and governments alike, especially those in developed nations. Only then will we be able to ensure worldwide access, allowing people everywhere the infrastructure to build healthier and stronger communities.
At Ethical Jobseeker, regularly post opportunities with a range of fantastic organisations driving their vision towards a cleaner future.
Fred Olsen Renewables has been developing and operating windfarms since the 1990’s, and now delivers clean energy solutions across the European grid. Fred Olsen’s vision is to minimise the global environmental footprint and support the shift towards a decarbonised society through their projects, which is why they take active leadership in operating all parts of the energy value chain, from concept to operation. Their current portfolio comprises a total generating capacity of 529.7 MW, with many more exciting future projects in the pipeline.
Natural Power is an independent consultant and service provider specializing in green energy projects, with over 25 years’ experience and a worldwide network. To date, the organisation has overseen over 3,500 projects, working to realize their vision of creating a world powered by renewable energy. In 2021, Natural Power won the coveted Judges Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards and their recent partnership with Keystone Engineering has allowed them to expand their inspiring work further into the U.S market, continuing an extensive track-record of success in green energy innovation.
Good Energy has been giving people the solutions to climate change since 1999. As the greenest energy supplier in the UK, Good Energy is the only supplier with a Uswitch Green Tariff Gold Standard accreditation on all of its tariffs, and is a top rated Which? Eco provider. Over 170,000 households use Good Energy to help generate their own clean electricity, and with over 95,000 supply customers, a community of over 1,600 independent, sustainable generators, and increasing investment in Gold-Standard projects to improve biogas and green energy access worldwide, this organisation is making an impact.
If you want to find out more about any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, visit the UN SDG website.
To track the goals, see the UN SDG Tracker by Our World in Data here.