Around the world, the renewable energy sector has become a major growth industry: according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), employment in this sector rose by 5 percent in 2015, accounting for 8.1 million jobs around the world. The industry is projected to add another 24 million positions by 2030, as the world’s population clamors for alternatives to fossil fuels.
While the steady increase of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and the rise of global temperatures can make the state of affairs for the future of our climate seem bleak, there is positive progress being made in regards to how we, as a species, respond to the crisis. A report released recently by the Paris-based International Energy Agency revealed that over three-quarters of newly-installed electrical production in 2015 was made up of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.
Earlier this year, we reported that the countries of Portugal and Germany had set new records by generating electricity using renewable resources, with Portugal running on 100 percent renewables for four-and-a-half days, and Germany reaching 95 percent over the duration of May 8, 2016. But a much bigger achievement made the previous year by Costa Rica went largely unnoticed, where electricity was generated for nearly the entire year of 2015 on renewable resources alone.
A great deal of the carbon dioxide that our industry produces can be extracted at the source before it gets into the atmosphere, where it would otherwise act as a greenhouse gas, trapping solar radiation before it can radiate back out into space. While the gas can be trapped, storage becomes an issue, especially given the sheer tonnage that is emitted by power plants and factories across the globe. But a new process may allow CO2 to be processed into solid rocks, made up of stable compounds that won’t enter the atmosphere.