Climate change, Russian aggression and soaring cost of living: how renewables can help solve three major crises – Scotsman commentary

Renewables can drive down energy prices, cut carbon emissions and reduce the power of despots like Vladimir Putin (Photo: William Edwards/AFP via Getty Images)

Finding solutions to all three will require careful consideration of complex issues and more than a few difficult choices.

However, there is one thing we can do to address all three challenges: greatly expand our renewable energy supply.

The benefits of climate change are clear: to prevent global warming from spiraling out of control, we need to stop emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Perhaps less clear is why a wind farm could help thwart Vladimir Putin’s dreams of creating a new Russian empire.

However, Russia is the world’s third largest producer of fossil fuels and the second largest gas reserves. Without tax revenues and exports from this sector, Putin could not afford to pay for an army anywhere near the size of the one intended for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

And if the rest of Europe reduces its dependence on Russian gas, they can take a tougher stand against Putin. For decades, the West has been making deals with tyrannical regimes, forgetting about human rights, solely because they controlled large amounts of oil.

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British Defense Secretary Ben…

A country largely powered by its own renewable energy sources would have ironclad energy security and would also be free from such pressures to compromise its values, with potentially damaging consequences.

In addition, as the Climate Change Committee, which advises the UK and Scottish governments, has pointed out, increasing renewable energy is a good way to protect consumers from high energy prices.

It says that if the UK government had already achieved its goal of 40 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, the typical electricity bill would be £100 less, while boosting UK fossil fuel production would do little to reduce the price because they are sold all over the world. goods.

In 2013, then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s response to rising electricity bills was to “get rid of the green crap”. According to the award-winning Carbon Brief websiteoverall electricity bills in the UK are now around £2.5bn higher than they would have been if this ‘shitty’ policy had been kept in place.

It’s time to see this as a historical mistake.

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