How Solar Power is Part of COP26’s Solution
Earlier this month, leaders from all over the world got together in Glasgow for the COP26 summit to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Two of the goals of this summit were securing global net zero by mid-century and keeping 1.5 degrees within reach, and adapting to protect communities and natural habitats. The way to achieve a carbon-free future is to radically rethink how energy services are delivered. This includes accelerating the phase-out of coal and other fossil fuels, and building resilient ways for communities to live and thrive.
During the summit, we were reminded that the energy sector accounts for 2/3 of greenhouse gas emissions. This corresponds to one of the main aims of COP26: to accelerate the transition towards clean power. The gasses produced by traditional energy makers using fossil fuels enable global warming, and release hazardous fumes and smoke that contribute to pollution levels. Indeed, each household that gains off-grid energy access reduces their amount of produced CO2 by 461kg per year.
Helping Communities to Thrive
One of the big opportunities is that solar power is more affordable, cheaper than fossil fuels and coal, and provides clean air, all the while benefiting communities and creating less damage to the environment. Currently, fuel and traditional power prices are extremely volatile and constantly evolving. The cost of solar energy however is very stable and much more affordable. Indeed, though startup costs are important, going solar is a money-saver in the long term. Indeed, power from fossil fuels costs between 5-17 cents per kilowatt hour compared to 3-6 cents for solar power, a number that’s still trending down. As a result, households are able to spend less on energy whilst at the same time benefiting from more favourable living conditions.
The Situation in Africa
As the summit took place in Scotland, Africa was reminded that its future directly depends on activities both in and out of its immediate ecosystem. Climatic chaos impacts different parts of the world irrespective of who emitted the most greenhouse gases or who was more carbon compliant. Indeed, despite contributing less than 5% of the world’s greenhouse emissions, Africa currently carries the heaviest burden of associated climate change effects.
The continent is the most vulnerable one when facing climate changes due to having a low adaptive capacity resulting from financial and technological limitations. Moreover, between 1951 and 2020, Africa witnessed a higher rate of global warming of 0.15°C per decade compared to the world average of 0.08°C. This leads to projections that Africa will experience an increase in hot extremes in addition to more intense and frequent rainfall extremes.
How Solar Power Can Help Prevent Global Warming
As COP26 encourages nations to turn towards a greener future, Lumos already provides reliable and clean power to households and businesses, a vital component for clean air and for leading a lifestyle in the best conditions possible. Indeed, 88% of customers saw their quality of life improve when switching to a greener solution, which also benefits the environment, helping contribute to a brighter future. This positive impact on individuals radiates into local communities and has the power to boost the local economy, improving areas such as jobs, education, security and health.