The environment is a topic that is on everyone’s mind right now, and for good reason. The continued rise in global temperatures, unstable weather patterns, and unseasonal storms are touching many areas of the world.
Rather than this being an issue that just impacts certain countries or demographics, it’s the one true global issue we all face. But all is not lost — there are a wide range of different green initiatives and energy solutions that are being put into practice right now. Let’s dive right in and take a look.
The UK is focusing on wind farms and tidal energy
As an island with a rich and varied coastline, not to mention a position near the North Sea, the UK is ideally placed to take advantage of these forms of renewable energy. While the country has a long history of coal-fired power stations and nuclear energy, the shift to renewables has been on the cards for some time.
In a world in which conflicts continue to show the fragility of gas and oil supplies, being self-sufficient when it comes to energy generation has perhaps never mattered more. The key thing to remember here is that by diversifying its energy sources, the UK is building up flexibility in the medium to long term. Exactly what you want to do as a country that’s looking to innovate and streamline when it comes to renewable energy sources.
China is spending big on solar energy
With a landmass that surpasses most other countries on Earth, China is ideally placed to take advantage of one of the more space-intensive forms of energy generation. While this may be a green initiative that has its critics — generating power when there’s no sunshine being the obvious one — these are people who largely miss the point. Solar is about capturing sunlight and then storing the electricity it generates for use at a later date.
The heavy level of Chinese investment in both panel farms and large scale storage technology is something that is set to transform how the country generates electricity. Not only will this stop them from having to import anywhere near as much coal for their traditional power stations, but it will also provide a higher degree of immunity to volatile global energy markets.
Chinese factories being powered by solar will allow margins to improve, prices to become even more competitive, and the labor market to become more resilient. This is crucial for the long-term success of a country that now has a burgeoning middle class and an aging population.
America is leading the way when it comes to fracking
Now you may not think of this as a renewable energy source, but it is natural and gives off very little pollution when you compare it to burning wood or coal. Long ago America was the world’s biggest oil exporter, but those days are gone as a result of the rise of the Middle East, and Saudi Arabia in particular. This is why fracking has become essential to a country that is the world’s biggest economy and the world’s largest energy consumer.
American manufacturing and agriculture — the country’s biggest industries — are increasingly being powered by this underground energy source. This is also a country where homeowners are increasingly making the switch to solar panels and ground source heat pumps. All of these little changes add up to create a global superpower that is no longer dependent on importing oil to function.
Saudi Arabia is diversifying away from oil
The interesting thing about the green shifts that are going on around the world is that countries that have been almost solely reliant on selling fossil fuels are changing tact too. Saudi Arabia is the best example of a country in rapid transition with their Vision 2030 already taking shape at a real pace.
Their goal is to move away from an overreliance on oil to generate their GDP and diversify into something of a global hub for business and pleasure. Major sporting events like world title fights, F1, and soon the World Cup are all making their way to Saudi, as is the popular LIV golf series.
They’re also enacting laws that dictate any company that wants to do business with them has to have their regional HQ in the country’s capital city, Riyadh. Some see it as a bold move, others see it as a global power flexing its muscle and showing it can use the backing of state-owned oil to diversify faster than anyone else can.
Big businesses are busy incorporating green changes
Supermarket giants like Tesco and Walmart are busy stripping as much plastic packaging out of their supply chains and off their shelves as possible. Petrol stations and rest stops are increasing the number of charging points for electric vehicles at an exponential rate.
Major clothing brands are experimenting with plant-based fabrics and looking to solve the issue of microplastics in the oceans and the atmosphere that polyester causes. The list could really go on and on here, but the key point is that big business is now awake and aware of the problem, and it doesn’t stop there.
Entertainment venues like nightclubs are moving to recycled drinks containers and straws, while also being increasingly powered by green energy. Many are also looking to partner with drinks and food suppliers who have shorter, greener supply chains to reduce their carbon footprints wherever they can. This all points towards a future that is looking increasingly greener by the day.
Paradigm shifts in the way we do things are by no means related to how we approach generating energy and powering our lives. Plant-based foods are becoming increasingly popular, upcycling is becoming increasingly common with median earners, and even physical entertainment spots are now rivaled by online alternatives like online casinos and video streaming platforms.
It will certainly be interesting to watch as these green trends continue to gather pace.