This study seeks to relay vital information relating to green energy whose usage is increasingly gaining momentum in most nations. The adoption of green energy and its controversial nature forms the key topic o the study. It focuses on specific nations where the concept has been adopted effectively. The nations are Germany and Ontario, Canada. The nations have invested their resources that include monetary resource, human capital, technology, and time in conducting feasibility studies and exploiting the natural resources in a bid to producing green energy. The journey towards attaining their current state has not been easy, as a lot of policy formulation and implementation has characterized it. The paper is to highlight the principle benefits of green energy, its harnessing process, usage capacity in the nations, resources required for its realization, the contribution of Kyoto protocol in its adoption and the challenges that threatens its successful adoption.
The aspects form the key deliverables of the study given that they are of great significance in decision-making. Notably, the nations are using wind, solar, coal, and natural gas as their major resources for the generation of green energy. They intend to use the power generate to enhance social integration and boost economic development of the nations. They also intended to use the power generated to expand household connections, access to electricity by commercial enterprises, improve economic performance and security. The study involves the use of electronic resources such as print journals, books, and web articles as primary sources of data. This is to ensure that the information relayed is credible and factual in nature to aid accurate decision-making by various stakeholders in the sector.
The use of green energy is increasingly being adopted in most nations globally. The increasing rush to produce green energy or to embark on the production of green is attributable to its benefits and the availability of the requisite resources. The source of energy is preferred since it is generated from natural resources that are less harmful, readily available, power that they generate is less toxic to the environment, and the energy is non-pollutant despite the controversies surrounding the use of green energy. As noted by Sørensen (2011), green energy that is also known as renewable energy comes from natural resources that are less harmful to the environment. The resources include sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and wind. The availability of these resources is scaling the rapid change from the use of thermal energy that presents plenty of effects to the environmental sustainability to green power. The move to green power holds the capacity to provide solutions to most of our energy problems globally apart from other environmental benefits. The availability of high power capacity that it bounds to foster will also promote social integration and economic development.
According to Craddock (2008), Germany and Ontario Canada are among the regions that have fully embraced the use of green energy. Due to this, they have been able to correct some of the environmental issues that were increasingly affecting them because of air contamination. The rate of air pollution in the nations has come down significantly and the number of people connected to power has gone up (Khanberg & Joshi, 2012). This is attributable to heavy investment in the production of green energy using solar power, wind, coal, and natural gas. The sources of green energy form their key areas of focus in their quest to revolutionize power harnessing. They resorted to the sources since the nations enjoy reasonable amount of sun light, plenty of wind flow and natural gas.
Since they started exploiting natural sources of energy, the nations have registered tremendous achievements both in the number of people connected to power and the cost of energy. In particular, Ontario authorities have been able to increase the household connections to higher rates.
This is attributable to the ability of the state to increase its capacity power rate by over 25%. This has in turn advanced the contribution power levels to sustainable levels. German authorities on the other hand, predict a steady increase for voltages the sources will be pumping to the national grid. According to the projections presented by the government, wind energy will rise to 14%ad solar power will rise steadily by 3% by 2030 (Helm, 2008). Other nations such as Denmark have registered remarkable growth as far as green energy production is concerned. The nation recorded 18.4% of its power 48.6% and 18.5% of power generated by wind, coal, and natural gas respectively in the year 2009 (Ryland, 2010). The nation is one of the best case studies that have implemented the Kyoto protocols resolutions and that enjoys the benefits that are associated with the use of green energy.
Despite the nobleness of the concept of green energy, it has formed the basis of fierce controversy between stakeholders who questions its relevance if it has increase the cost of living. The controversy arises given that most people are critical about the high cost that electricity attracts in the recent past at a time when they thought the renewable energy would lead to a reduction in prices. The controversies arise due to the poor energy policy that is adopted by the respective nations. To address the issues arising, favorable energy policy is needed to help in reducing the occurrences of drought, wildfires, floods, and mudflows whose causes are the poor climatic conditions. The idea was generated to reduce pollution of the environmental that is causing environmental degradation.
The concept of green energy was identified to promote the availability of sufficient energy to power industrial activities and light households. Its adoption was preceded by high-powered deliberations on the state of electricity supply where it was established that reliance nonrenewable sources of energy was not sufficient (Lipp, 2007). It was also established that the nonrenewable sources of energy used currently would not be sustainable in future as the resources that fuel its usage are broadly being depleted (Johansson & Burnham, 1993). Therefore, the concept of renewable energy is effective for climate change in the nations with the clear improvement of the energy policies. This is because the energy policies can be effective or ineffective in the management of climatic conditions.
The purpose of the study
This study is set to provide relevant information pertaining to the whether renewable energy is effective for climate change and its imperativeness in diverse societies with focus to Germany and Ontario Canada. The paper also aims at highlighting the principal controversies that surrounds the usage of green energy. The concept of green energy has been over emphasized as a credible solution to the diverse environmental complications that are witnessed in most parts of the world. Green energy has also received support from various quarters as a viable method of energy generation due to the unending nature of the key resources that are vital in its generation.
Indeed, the renewable energy policy can be an effective or ineffective strategy in the management of climate change depending on the underpinning regulations and provisions such as those relating to electricity cost and greenhouse gas emission.. based on its intent and objectives. What is needed is for various nations to ensure that its underpinning provisions such as those regulating the cost of electricity and emission of greenhouse gases among others are favorable. As things stand in Germany and Ontario, it is evident that renewable policy cannot offer effective solution to climate change however; the streamlining of the policy would make it effective.
Statement of the problem
There is inadequate information about the effectiveness of renewable energy is managing climate change globally. The inadequate understanding is attributable to the formulated perception by various individuals that green energy is not a solution to the climatic issues. They base their argument on the increasing associated costs of electricity that occurs as a consequence of the inferior green energy policies adopted by the respective nations (Ryland, 2010). They also cite the substantial amount of greenhouse gas emissions that is attributable to inferior energy policies. The green energy that is expected to be “green” is not because of the poor policies regulating the manufacturing process, distribution, and installation technologies.
They focus more on the cost related aspects, emission of greenhouse gases and poor policies regulating manufacturing, distribution, and installation of the relevant technologies while ignoring the environmental benefits that accrue from the concept. Therefore, the rethinking strategy by Germany and Ontario leaders should be based on transforming policy guidelines but not abolishing the use of renewable energy given that it remains one of the effective ways of managing climate change whose effects are dire environmentally. Thus, the paper gives reliable information on the relevance of green energy despite the controversies surrounding its usage including its effectiveness in the management of climate change.
Germany and Ontario Canada are focusing their resources in generating power or electricity through diverse sources. The sources have been and continuously getting selected in recognition of their ability to generate sufficient kilowatts of power. They are also selected in recognition of their sustainability capacity. The sustainability aspect is vital to guarantee effective flow of power to facilitate the execution of diverse operations. The major sources of energy that are exploited in the nations include wind, solar, coal, hydropower, natural gas among others (Kroh, 2014). In particular, the nations have effective flow of wind in various parts of their fields. The plain land winds are sustainable and they flow at a good speed that is required for power generation. In Germany, wind power amounts to over 25% of the amount of power generated nationally. The nation takes advantage of the favorable environment that is characterized with fresh flow of wind. Variably, Ontario explores wind energy that forms one of its available natural resources.
The nation has enhanced its wind energy production that enables the realization of over 2.312MW of wind power that is being dumped into the grid per minute. The amount of energy from wind power that is being dumped into the grid translates to a whopping 12% of the nation’s grid capacity. That is the regions 12% power needs is being met by wind alone. This growth has not sunk into most people’s minds as majority of the people never thought that wind could facilitate the realization of such amount of energy (Pond, 2012). They did not imagine that wind energy could be that powerful and that it could do well in the long-run. The nation has developed viable plans and a framework for harnessing the in-excess wind that flows in its land. The decision to tap the resource was made a decade ago to foster power adequacy in the region. The nations also use solar energy to produce electricity.
This is achievable by installing solar panels in areas that are exposed to sunlight. The strategy has become mandatory in the nation and every house developer is expected to adhere to its requirements. The solar panels are essential since they require the availability of sunlight alone as things stand. Other sources of energy explorer by the nations include coal, hydropower, and natural gas (Koningstein & Fork, 2014). Hydropower forms a significant source of power as things stand in Ontario currently as it helps in the generation of more than 4.091 MW and 159 MW of renewable energy. The combination of the amount of energy produced through wind and hydropower sources translates to a good figure of 6562 MW of renewable power that puts the region in the global map of nations with successful green energy adoption plans (Bauerova & Nicola, 2014). The increasing amount of green energy that is being produced is steadily transforming the nation’s economic and social stability as people find it easy to execute business activities.
As noted, the adoption of green energy has brought about several benefits that include continuous flow of power, reduction of air pollution or emission of toxic gases, and increased access to electricity. However, several controversies/disadvantages have marred the usage of the renewable energy that threatens to impede the full adoption of the concept (Pahl, 2012). This is evident given that its viability is being subjected to serious questions. Particularly, the controversies arises due to the costly nature of the electricity that the introduction of green energy has exposed individuals to in most settings. The issues arising surrounds the rationale with which the sources that were thought to increase effective and efficient access to power have turned to be expensive for the common people.
Many people are expressing their displeasure with the rising prices in both Germany and Ontario. This has been a major issue as some individuals noting that the concept of renewable energy should be aborted or its exorbitant nature be dealt with accordingly. They affirm that it does not make sense to invest a lot money in generating something that creates more burden. The center of controversy is justified as the cost of electricity in both nations has gone high with Ontario recording the highest residential electricity rates more than North America (Pahl, 2012). This trend applies to Germany where prices of electricity have also hit a record high of 20%. Subsequently, controversy arises on the suitability of the renewable energy in mitigating climate change holistically. This has been an issue since some of the renewable sources of energy still emit greenhouse gasses that are unfriendly to the sustainability of favorable climatic conditions. Notably, the controversial aspects cannot demystify the effectiveness of renewable in the management of climate change. It will remain a fact that the extreme climatic conditions that causes severe environmental degradation are manageable through the use of renewable energy since the sources of energy limits the amount of toxic gases and substances that are emitted in the atmosphere.
This among other benefits that the green energy has facilitated in various nations such as increased power capacity, increased household connectivity, and supply asserts that renewable energy is viable. What needs to done is the adoption of effective green energy policy framework to cushion users of electricity from the effects of cost externalities. Therefore, there is need for the nations especially policy makers to device ways through which the negative externalities that are becoming detrimental to electricity users is corrected appropriately.
In Germany, Ontario including Denmark, the pursuit for green energy production was started after proper evaluation and analysis of the needs of the people. The nations also started exploiting the natural resources after establishing their sustainability (Smil, 2012). For instance, in Ontario, a serious blackout that stalled various activities including transportation, medical activities, production in companies and socio-economic activities prompted the need for more advanced sources of energy (Slater, 2015). The need that arose in the year 2003 where the city was hit by heavy traffic jam, medical emergencies, and lifestyle alterations. Secondly, Ontario authorities established that the dependency on electric power was not doing them any good, as the supply was limited to certain areas.
The low power capacity affected power distribution thereby causing power rationing for fair sharing of the available energy. Therefore, power shortage due to the overstretched sources of energy that were available is one major reason why new and sustainable sources of energy were sought (MacKay, 2009). The need to light many households in the region also formed a vital reason for the adoption of the renewable sources of energy (Smil, 2012). The idea was to help in cushioning the public from the dangers of environmental degradation that impeded heath standards of individuals, availability of food and water. The poor environmental conditions also propagated the occurrence of diverse calamities such as drought, floods, and wildfire whose resultant effects are enormous.
According to Clark & Cooke (2012), authorities in Ontario developed a policy framework under Ontario’s green Energy Act (GEA). The legislation was designed to help in facilitating the processes of exploiting green sources of energy towards the improvement of power megawatts. In the 2009 Act, clear provisions were made on how the process was to be executed, the people involved, the level of expertise required, resource mobilization strategies, and the process of site identification (Lund, 2010). The Act was to provide a platform through which the conceptualization and implementation of the idea is effectively executed without undue complications. According to a report on electricity generation by the Ontario department of energy, the policy framework developed provided for the formation of electricity regulatory body with various designated functions (Bartley, 2005). The body’s responsibility was to conduct a feasibility study on various sources of energy detailing their benefits and demerits, facilitate the setting of prices per M/Ws of power, and regulate supply.
Despite, the existence of the body in Ontario, more questions are emerging than answers pertaining to the suitability of green energy. The questions are emerging from the public who are major electricity consumers (Smil, 2012). They are concerned about the high cost of electricity and the continuous emission of greenhouse gasses that are harmful to the environment. They are unhappy since they think that the increase in supply of electricity should lead to affordable electricity. The high cost has made them to put pressure on the government to find amicable solution to the cost issue or do away with the renewable energy. Certainly, the questions are arising due to the failure by the Ontario’s current policy framework on energy development technology to deliver the desired results by the consumers. Firstly, the regulatory framework has failed to facilitate the setting of favorable prices for electricity thereby causing anxiety among consumers. In particular, it has failed to put a price cap or subsidize the production of the electric power to relieve consumers from the burden of incurring huge charges. The body has also been accused for lack of sufficient commitment towards commercializing the new technology of renewable energy as required. The process towards total reliance on renewable sources in Germany is traceable in a similar way as Ontario’s journey. The process in Germany was also characterized with the execution of a feasibility study on the available resources that could be tapped including the establishment of their sustainability. A systematic establishment of the available resources to support the production of green energy followed the feasibility study (Bartley, 2005). The nation also formed an effective energy regulatory body whose role is to oversee the process of harnessing renewable energy to steer industrial and household activities or meet the growing needs of consumers. Germany as a nation is keen to promote environmental safety that is becoming a concern to the whole world. The nation is currently installing more coal generating plants to generate more power as aback strategy to the renewable energy sources that are becoming unreliable to some extent. Germany and other nations executing this plan are keen of ensuring that climatic change issues are managed appropriately. Therefore, it has to remain clean that renewable energy is critical in the management of climate change as evident.
Germany is one of the best nations that have been using green energy in producing power. Renewable energy production is a project that was started with the government with the aim of increasing the amount of power available for consumption in the nation (NRTEE, 2012). It cannot be said that the concept of renewable energy is not viable towards providing credible solutions to the climate change globally. The concept is one of the highly effective and if adopted properly superior results can be evident. This is noticeable since the reason for the failure of the green energy relates to the policies adopted. Otherwise, renewable energy has contributed to the reduction of carbon emissions, increased power capacity in the nations and has helped in the management of climate change. In Germany and Ontario, the adoption of green energy has elicited mixed reactions as people think that it has intensified life instead of simplifying life given that the cost of electricity has been increasing. The increase in the cost of electricity and other externalities is making people intolerant thereby putting pressure on the authorities in Germany including Ontario to rethink their strategy. The rethinking is directed towards the construction of more coal plants but the intent remains to generate clean power.
affirm that the issues surrounding the usage of renewable energy is becoming hot and will form a key determinant in the on who the leaders who will be elected in the coming elections. (NRTEE, 2012). The pundits holds that the candidates should majorly focus on rethinking the policy guidelines with the aim of bringing the cost of electricity down instead of abolishing the concept given that the use of renewable energy will help in controlling climate change.
Certainly, renewable energy holds the capacity of providing solutions or reducing climate change whose impacts are highly detrimental. What is not right is the energy policy adopted in the nations (Holbun, 2012). The policies that surround the holistic benefits of the renewable energy should be realized. To address the policy issues the federal government in both nations should create a pan Canadian or German energy policy, merge the suite of energy-related programs purposely to run through all departments within the energy department of the federal governments. The nations should subsidize the cost of producing renewable energy to reduce the exorbitant charges that consumers incur. There is need for the governments to adopt other forms of support systems. They should also consider imposing high tax rates for companies that emit huge amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
The primary factors that fueled the exploration of green energy include the increasing need for more power to steer operations in commercial entities and households. More need for energy to power rail engines, vehicles, light up homes, and facilitate industrial process was increasing at an alarming (Pond, 2012). Therefore, the nation adopted the new sources of energy as a quest to manage the emerging energy deficits that were compromising operations in the transport sector, commercial and domestic settings (Grinwis, 2014). Similarly, the nations decided to adopt the new sources of energy to contain the environmental dangers that are eminent in diverse settings. They have been keen to ensure reasonable reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The idea is to reduce environmental degradation and protect the nations from bearing the effects associated with poor environmental or climatic conditions that include flooding, wildfire, storms, and drought among other calamities.
According to the authorities in Germany including US, the calamities can only be mitigated if appropriate and timely measures are undertaken to safeguard the environment. The authorities hold that the dangers posed by the calamities are severe and would lead to irreversible global disaster in the years to come. To are, Germany and Ontario State in Canada have managed to record tremendous growth in the pursuit of green energy production. In Germany alone, the utilization of fossil fuels is contributing over 27 percent of the nation’s overall electricity capacity (Grinwis, 2014). The increase is attributable to the additional number of installations of renewable power generators that are able to produce over 40.2 billion kilowatt-hours of power. The increase is up from 35.7 billion kilowatt hours of power in the same period in 2013. According to the Bloombergh report, most of the achievements realized in the energy sector occurred in the past decade. The dedication with which the state supports the venture has fueled its tremendous success as the 27% increase in the power grid surpasses even the US growth levels.
The availability of the additional sources of power that seem sustainable is depicting a promising future of Germany’s key economic and social sectors as the government is optimistic of executing its plans to expand power connections to a wider spectrum of customers. The government has plans to bring the nation to full light to foster superior execution of activities. Pundits and observers hold that Germany is bound to meet its aim of powering the whole nation and increasing its power supply by over 60% by the year 2050 (Dauncey, 2009). This is evident based on the current trend of connection including increase of the kilowatt power capacity. The country’s power penetration rates of renewable energy is becoming predictable because of its plenty wind and solar resources. The resources give the nation the opportunity of generating additional watts of electricity that is clean.
On the other hand, the drive to explore the available natural resources to produce energy is based on the plan to connect every household with sustainable electric power. The town whose economy is dependent on administrative, commercial and industrialism requires constant flow of power (Assadourian, Renner, Starke & Worldwatch Institute, 2012). Many of the business operators and industrialists in the area voiced concerns that power fluctuations are not good for the nation’s progress. They are also noted that they lose immensely due to inferior power flow. The highlighted facts form the reasons why authorities in the nation decided to harness power through fossil fuels.
Kyoto protocol was an action plan that was proposed to help in cautioning the world from the dangers of extreme climatic challenges. The protocol was part of the specific solutions developed by the UN to help in the fight against the increasing dangers of climate change. The framework was negotiated during the UN convention on climate change that took place in Rio in 1992 and it is voluntarily adopted by the nations (Hansen, 2013). The idea of the proposals developed is to help in the reduction of GHG emissions, carbon emissions, and human activities that causes climate change. The objective of the proposals presented during the summit is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. This is to prevent dangerous interference with the climatic system.
The main reason for the summit was to discuss the rising concern on climate change and best approaches possible to dealing with its challenges. The meeting was preceded by the scientific advice from various scientists pertaining to the issue of climate change, its causes, and solutions. The scientists provided highlights on how bad the impact of climatic change was getting. The scientists in their wisdom provided details on what should be done exactly to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and by how much quantity to enable the impact to be below threshold. These aspects formed the basis upon which deliberations were set during the summit (Clark & Cooke, 2012). Evidently, the scientists warned that human activities were becoming a challenge to the environmental sustainability and that human activity ought to be reduced if meaningful environmental safety is to be restored. Therefore, the framework developed in the UN summit aimed at formulating viable ways through which human activity would be reduced to promote environmental stability. This is to mitigate human interference by reducing GHG and greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Indeed, the summit helped in creating awareness about the dangers of the climate change, its causes, including why its reduction should be undertaken. It also facilitated deliberations on its effects both in the short and long-term situations, by how much it should be reduced and the dangerous threshold levels that it should attract (Hansen, 2013). The information enlightened various stakeholders and nations about the dangers of the increasing greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere. It is at the summit that nations undertook to join in the fight against climate change. They have been keen to ensure that its externalities are not experienced due to their detrimental nature (Koningstein & Fork, 2014).
Indeed, renewable energy remains an effective strategy for managing climate change related issues despite a number of controversies arising from poor energy regulating framework especially in Germany and Ontario. It is alos proven that energy policy can be effective or ineffective in the management of climate change. This calls for proper planning, extraction and distribution of the energy resources to enhance cost effectiveness including reduction in carbon emissions. Germany and Ontario have benefited immensely from the investment made in producing renewable energy. The nations have revolutionized operations in their respective energy sectors through enhanced power available for use in the industrial and domestic settings. Likewise, they have been able to reduce the amount of air pollution by reducing the amount of toxic gases that area released in the atmosphere. In particular, they have systematically enhanced access to power and household connectivity increased the amount of capacity power in terms of additional Megawatts in their respective main power grids. . The climatic change complications are also being mitigated due to the adoption o the renewable energy as the energy sources reduces the amount of toxic materials released in the environment.
For holistic achievement of benefits and eradication of the emerging controversies on the use of renewable energy, the nations need to adopt viable energy policy framework that is lacking. This is important since the availability of inferior framework that leads to the imposition of extreme terms of electricity supply is painting the concept in bad light. The framework makes it appear that the concept of renewable energy is not releasing the intended results and that it should be abolished. To address the issues arising, the federal government in both nations should create a pan Canadian or German energy policy; merge the suite of energy-related programs purposely to run through all departments within the energy departments.