Sustainability challenge and related SDGs
Since the 19th century, fossil fuels have increasingly become the dominant source of energy. While they have fuelled the economic growth over the last century, the burning of fossil fuels has also led to a substantial increase in greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and is therefore one of the main causes of the climate crisis. In addition, fossil fuel prices are subject to artificial scarcity, resulting in regular price spikes.
SDG 7 “Affordable and Clean Energy” aptly describes the challenges associated with fossil fuels.
Sustainable development can only be achieved with energy sources that cause little or no harm to the environment and provide energy at a low cost – neither of which applies to fossil fuels. Moving away from fossil fuels is one of the most urgent steps we must undertake as humans to limit the climate crisis. Thus, the implementation of SDG 7 also contributes directly to SDG 13 “Climate Action”.
- 7.Affordable and Clean Energy
- 13.Climate Action
Possible solutions and their contribution to achieving the SDGs
Renewable energies are the solution. But renewable energy is more than #HydroPower, #Solar and #WindPower. Wood is a typical source of energy that was used long before solar panels were invented. Today, wood pellets and other plant materials are considered second-generation #Biomass, which comprises a diverse set of energy sources. Second-generation #Biomass (or advanced #Biomass) is further derived from industrial (and sometimes residential) waste such as compost, frying oil, or slaughterhouse waste. First-generation #Biomass in turn is derived from food crops grown for the purpose of energy production. Certifications ensure that this #Biomass energy has no negative impact on global food security.
Primarily related SDG Targets: 7.1, 7.2, 13.2
Investment Rationale and Growth Potential
Second-generation #Biomass plants are gradually becoming lucrative investment opportunities. While for a long time the investment costs were too high for venture capital and at the same time the risks were too high for institutional investors, the tide has turned.
Today, technology has advanced to the point where companies can successfully extract energy from sewage sludge, landfill gas, wood and various other forms of organic compounds. With international net-zero pledges, the global energy system will continue to move away from fossil fuels and toward renewables of all kinds.