By now, you’ll know that we’re not too keen on beating around the bush. So, we’re going to cut straight to the chase:
As reported by SOLARQUOTES at the end of last year, 2022 was the worst-ever year for greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, “human activity caused more emissions [in 2022] than any other.”
While “…the final figures aren’t in, they’re expected to be 0.8% higher than in 2021…that’s an extra 300 million tonnes: the weight of half the water in Sydney Harbour.”
If, like us, you read this and feel completely dejected, you wouldn’t be alone. While emissions are expected (optimistically) to drop from 2022 onwards, this isn’t by chance. It’s through the hard work of individuals, communities, companies and otherwise to cut their existing emissions and transform the way they operate that contributes to the reduction of emissions globally (and the reversing of climate change as a result).
The catch? We’ve got to keep it up – and keep innovating while we’re at it.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at:
The definition of greenhouse gasses
The effect greenhouse gas emissions has on energy prices and cost of living
Solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions on multiple scales
By the end of our discussion, you’ll not only have a better idea of what greenhouse gas emissions are, but how to tackle them as well.
What are greenhouse gas emissions?
A “greenhouse gas” is a term describing any gas that both absorbs and then emits radiant energy within the earth’s thermal infrared range, causing what’s now termed the “greenhouse effect”.
Think of what you know about greenhouses. They’re places where plants are grown, right? Hot… and with a ceiling that keeps everything within that space contained.
Now, let’s use that visual to explain the “greenhouse effect”. This is a lay term that scientists use to describe the process that occurs when energy from a planet’s host star (such as the sun, in our case) enters the planet’s atmosphere and hits its surface, only to have some of that heat be prevented from returning to space due to the “layers” of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
Put simply, the more greenhouse gasses emitted, the hotter the surface of the Earth becomes, causing all the tumultuous weather events, rising seas and temperatures that we’ve come to realise as the woeful effects of climate change.
How is solar energy an effective solution to lowering greenhouse gas emissions?
One of the most significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is the burning of fossil fuels including:
- Products or by-products of coal
- Natural gas
- Petroleum products
- Crude oil
- Non-renewable wastes
It does, therefore, stand to reason that one of the most significant contributors to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not burning fossil fuels – and preferencing methods of energy production that are safer, cleaner and more renewable than their fossil-fueled counterparts.
The huge benefits of opting for (and using) solar energy as a clean alternative to fossil fuels have been recognised, proven and reiterated for many decades – and with a very strong reasoning too. Utilising solar panels to generate power reduces the emission of CO2 (carbon dioxide) by, quite simply, lowering the demand for fossil fuels and reducing humanity’s carbon footprint as a result.
How do greenhouse gas emissions affect energy prices?
Let’s take natural gas as an example; one of the most common fossil fuel energy sources currently exploited in Australia.
It’s widely understood that Australian gas, as a concept and entity, is pushing up the price of power – but how?
Australia is known to be one of the largest exporters of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) the world has ever seen. And yet, we’re still paying some of the highest prices for gas across the world. It’s widely believed that around 70% of the gas from Australia is exported to other countries, while the remainder is used in homes, manufacturing and the generation of electricity.
This trend, which many commentators see as a failure of market regulation, is widely understood to continue pushing up the price of gas made available locally.
What’s more, fossil fuels are a finite resource. Industry the world-over is using up (and burning) fossil fuels much more quickly than they can be replenished. In fact, it’s widely understood that approximately 40% of CO2 emissions globally are emitted from electricity generation. This means that as fossil fuels become rarer, the price of obtaining electricity generated by those fossil fuels goes up as well.
With sun and wind being such plentiful natural resources in Australia, you might be starting to wonder why Australia hasn’t switched to a majority renewable energy sources sooner.
And guess what? We’re with you.
Yet, there’s so much you can do – and in ways that are more cost-effective than ever before – at both individual and community level.
Where does it begin? In your home.
What can be done about greenhouse gas emissions?
Let’s take a look at some “easy wins” first.
Ways of addressing greenhouse gas emissions in your home include:
- Installing solar panels
- Opting for a solar battery to help you store excess power and back-up your home power supply in case of an outage
- Joining a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and start earning money from the solar power your generate – learn more about this here
- Turn down that air conditioning and learn more about passive cooling here
- Opt for a vastly more efficient HVAC system (call our friendly team today on 1300 766 940 to find a solution that’s a great fit for you
…and so much more.
The great news is that as technology continues to adapt and climate change becomes a bigger ticket item on global agendas, the options you have for making all-important contributions to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions continue to multiply – and that goes for both home and business, too.
While global greenhouse gas emissions reached terrible heights in 2022, the news isn’t all gloomy.
As climate change continues to gain momentum on the international agenda, so too do the options we have for addressing it.
If you’re ready to make positive change, check out the rest of our articles in our Learning Centre, or call G Store’s award-winning team today 1300 766 940 for an obligation-free consultation regarding the options available to you.
We can’t wait to get you started on your journey.