In the halls of power, these times are sweaty in many ways now that we are experiencing record heat waves due to the climate change and at the same time, facing geopolitical crises. Come help us, Anja, was the famous refrain in the song by the Pääkkönens band in 1989, later a catchphrase, but in our situation today, such pieces do not make many of us even smile. In order to keep from breaking under the current energy-related pressure, it is time right now to invest in renewables.
It was not enough that we were warned of the Earth getting warmer, but it took a shameless, aggressive war and blackmail with energy to get us spurred into the home stretch in our energy shift. It is high time for the spurt, because the heat waves that Europe and European cities are suffering from show in a tangible way what climate discomfort is like. The built city environment, the thronged masses of people, vehicles and machines increase radiation by 5–9 degrees Celsius.
It is uncomfortable to see the utility bills when the energy markets are in turmoil; cooling costs bushels of money in the summer, not to even speak of the heating costs in the winter. The electricity prices exceed our pain threshold now that they have multiplied from what they were the past few years.
High energy costs have a direct, negative impact on consumers’ buying power as well as on companies’ cost structures. Energy is a necessary basic commodity, which consumers cannot well go without, because the heating of rooms and water for use form over 80% of the energy consumption of homes (including all forms of energy).
Green Shift is a pan-European solidarity movement
The mantra of self-sufficiency is strong today. Germany, who made a mistake in adopting a trusting energy policy, is now considering a continuation for its nuclear power after it had decided to abandon nuclear energy following the accident in Fukushima. In such a special situation, it might be appropriate to extend the view past the wartime while the EU is speeding up licensing processes for renewable energy projects in order to facilitate new energy production.
”Renewable energy produces the trump card – solar power plants in particular are especially quick to implement compared to many other forms of energy.”
Regrettably, it is not possible to obtain quick price reliefs in the large, slow energy markets, unless we include political interventions. At this point, renewable energy produces the trump– solar power plants in particular are especially quick to implement compared to many other forms of energy.
The International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA has produced a handy list of the benefits of renewable energy. In addition to the obvious climate-related benefits, we often forget that local and distributed production often means access to energy for larger global populations and also improved local employment rates. A good example is given by the plant owned by Korkia Aurinkoenergiarahasto Ky (Korkia Solar Energy) in the Badajoz region in Spain, where unemployment and emigration have been high compared to the rest of Spain. In addition to positive environmental effects, the solar power plant has been important in local ways as well.
We know that the Finns are by their nature capable of joining their forces, of blowing on the same coals (to cite the Finnish phrase; pun intended; we are happy to see the use of coal decreasing) next winter, and of accepting some discomfort so that the continent will not yield to the blackmail of its eastern neighbor. If required, we will surely know how to wedge together as one front to face the energy challenges – appreciating and remembering the fact that Finland has taken care of its energy in a laudable way. We thank our farsighted decision makers and the parties working in the energy sector.
Let us now use the same farsightedness and unity to implement the shift on larger scale. Let’s take our EU friends by the hand. Let’s move forward. Let’s invest in local renewable energies. Together. Through the wintry snow, dammit.