In recent years, decarbonization and energy transition have been widely discussed and increasingly urgent topics. With the growing concern about climate change, the search for clean and sustainable energy sources has become fundamental to guarantee a healthier and ecologically balanced future. Among these sources, solar energy has been highlighted as one of the main alternatives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Decarbonization and energy transition: Why are they important?
Decarbonization is the process of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other greenhouse gases responsible for global warming and climate change. The energy transition, in turn, consists of changing energy production and consumption systems, replacing fossil sources, such as oil, coal and natural gas, with renewable and clean sources, such as solar, wind and hydroelectric energy.
The importance of this transition is undeniable. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, it is necessary to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. To achieve this target, we need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.
Solar energy: a clean and sustainable alternative
Solar energy is one of the main alternatives in the search for clean and sustainable sources. It is generated from the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity through photovoltaic panels. This form of energy does not emit greenhouse gases and has a low environmental impact during its production and use.
In addition, solar energy is inexhaustible and available practically all over the planet. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), photovoltaic solar energy is the fastest growing renewable energy source in the world. In 2022, global renewable energy generation capacity grew by a record 9.6%, adding 295 GW. About 83% of the installed capacity for electric energy generation in the world last year corresponded to renewable sources. Photovoltaic solar generation added 191 GW of power last year.
Investments and public policies for the energy transition
To accelerate the energy transition and the use of solar energy, it is essential to establish public policies and investments in this area. Tax incentives, financing and subsidies for the installation of solar panels are examples of measures that can encourage the adoption of this source of energy.
In several countries, such as Germany, China and the United States, governments have implemented policies to encourage solar energy, resulting in a significant increase in installed capacity and job creation in the sector. In Brazil, for example, Normative Resolution No. 482 of the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL) establishes the electricity compensation system, allowing consumers who generate solar energy to inject the surplus into the grid and receive credits to reduce consumption in shorter generation periods.
Benefits of energy transition and solar energy
- The energy transition and the adoption of solar energy bring numerous benefits, both for the environment and for the economy and society. Among the main benefits are:
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: Solar energy does not emit CO2 and other greenhouse gases, contributing to decarbonization and mitigation of climate change.
- Preservation of natural resources: Solar energy is renewable and inexhaustible, not using finite natural resources such as fossil fuels.
- Decentralization of energy generation: Solar energy can be generated on a small scale, such as in homes and commercial establishments, reducing dependence on large plants and transmission networks.
- Job creation: The solar energy sector has registered significant growth, generating direct and indirect jobs in areas such as research, development, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of photovoltaic systems.
- Reduction of energy costs: Solar energy can reduce electricity costs for consumers, especially in places with high incidence of solar radiation.
Decarbonization and energy transition are key processes to face the challenges of climate change and ensure a more sustainable and balanced future. Solar energy presents itself as one of the main alternatives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the search for clean and sustainable sources. Investments and public policies that encourage the use of this energy source are crucial to accelerate the energy transition and reap the environmental, economic and social benefits of this change.