by Tina Olivero

    Revolutionizing Global Energy with Sustainable Wind Solutions

    Like many others, I used to think climate change was a hoax. I believed there were too many conspiracy theorists making false claims—those people with too much time on their hands and not enough science to back it up. I was dead wrong. Let’s take a look at the facts.

    As 2023 drew to a close, the World Meteorological Organization sounded the alarm, declaring it the hottest year on planetary record. The Global Carbon Project delivered another sobering message. Amid companies scrambling to reach net zero, greenhouse gases from fossil fuels reached an all-time high in 2023. How can this be?

    The answer is startlingly simple. The demand for world energy is far exceeding sustainable new energy solutions. The global energy demand comes from more energy use in a rapidly growing population. The population on our planet grows at a rate of 60,000 people every 8 hours. That alone is enough to tip the energy use scales into one of massive demand.

    Experts believe that if we continue to explode in population, we will need 50% more energy than we currently produce to sustain humanity by 2050. DOUBLE the current energy production. That is staggering.

    According to the International Energy Industry, “Despite many pledges and efforts by the government to tackle global warming, CO2 emissions from the energy industry have increased by 60% since the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change, which was signed in 1992.”

    Global Primary Energy Consumption by Source
    Global Primary Energy Consumption by Source


    How do we provide world energy access and enable robust economic growth, all while reaching net zero by 2050? That’s the question everyone is scrambling to answer.

    The goal is to ensure we deliver energy that is clean and also builds an energy economy dominated by renewables. But even then, renewable energy production has a carbon footprint.

    To reach net zero emissions by 2050, annual clean energy investment worldwide will need to more than triple by 2030 to around $4 trillion. This level of investment will create millions of new jobs, significantly lift global economic growth, and achieve universal access to electricity and clean cooking worldwide by the end of the decade.


    With energy production responsible for a staggering 73% of all emissions, we are now realizing that the solution to climate change may not be stopping any energy source but rather creatively adapting with innovation that ensures each energy source reaches a net zero outcome. That means the world’s greatest minds working together to decarbonize energy sources at an unprecedented rate. Encouragingly, approximately 42% of Fortune Global 500 companies have either achieved net-zero emissions or publicly pledged to do so by 2030.


    Today, when we think about the new energy mix, we think about a diverse range of energy sources that include coal, oil, gas, nuclear, hydropower, solar, wind, and biofuels.

    None of the traditional sources of energy have gone away. Instead, we are called to find new ways to adapt and reach the goal of net-zero, through carbon capture and storage and other game-changing technologies that allow us to continue to use traditional fuels and build on sustainable new energy at the same time. So the way forward is not an either-or scenario of oil and gas vs. renewables, it’s both!

    To meet global energy consumption, we see a rise in energy production in just about every single energy source. This, coupled with a global commitment to reduce carbon through creative innovation and new solutions, surprisingly adds up to a global energy opportunity, the likes of which the world has never seen.

    We can see world energy demand and the pollution crisis in one of two ways:

    We need to get rid of coal, oil, and gas, and even then we are not likely to make it.


    We will build on the mix of energy sources, vary the rate of use within each sector, and apply innovation and technology to reach net zero in every energy source.

    As a human race, in a population explosion, where energy demand will be ever-increasing, the latter solution will prevail and provide economic prosperity as a direct result of the application of new and unprecedented climate-conscious solutions.  

    So rather than arguing about what energy source is good or bad, let’s focus all our attention on reaching net zero in every energy sector. That’s the new energy-sustainable goal that will elevate us in these challenging times. It’s the innovators, sustainable energy developers, technological wizards, and net zero adapters that are going to lead us into the future. In other words, it’s “Our Great Minds”, that will pave the way to a world that cares for the planet and brings prosperity and opportunity all at the same time.


    In the realm of renewable energy, onshore wind stands as a tried-and-tested champion, backed by a robust global supply network. Offshore wind is poised for a meteoric rise in the renewable energy arena as well. By harnessing the formidable power of ocean winds, offshore installations are strategically positioned to benefit from stronger and more consistent wind patterns.

    In the pursuit of net-zero emissions by 2050, wind power—both onshore and offshore—takes center stage alongside solar energy. Substantial increases in annual wind capacity additions are imperative to reach world energy demand and the net-zero pathway by 2030.

    Realizing the envisioned levels of annual wind electricity generation necessitates a concerted effort to bolster support for wind farms, both on land and at sea. This entails streamlining permitting processes, garnering public backing, identifying optimal sites, driving down costs, and expediting project development timelines. By focusing our energies on these critical areas, we pave the way for wind power to play an indispensable role in propelling us toward a cleaner, sustainable future.


    Those who oppose wind energy may have valid local considerations. However, following strong environmental protocols will mitigate risk and ensure the progress of production. As a collective, we have to look at the bigger picture. We all live on this planet, and there are catastrophic global ramifications of not developing wind energy. Without wind energy, we face further climate change challenges coupled with energy demand increases.

    Without wind energy to support world energy demand, a domino effect begins to take place:

    We exacerbate further dependence on fossil fuels.

    Energy prices increase.

    When energy prices increase, all commodity prices increase because we need energy and fuel to make the world work.

    Food shortages increase.

    Painfully high inflation will dominate markets.

    Families will be pushed into poverty.

    Industries and supply sectors will falter and shut down.

    Slowed economic growth to the point that some countries will head toward severe recession.

    Energy is no longer a local commodity. It’s a global consideration, and we are all subject to the impact of climate change, global supply, and economic recession. It’s time we all “think globally” and work together to ensure the health of this planet. Take Europe as an example…


    Europe stands at a critical juncture, grappling with the impact of both the energy demand crisis and the climate crisis. Climate change is wreaking havoc on Europeans’ daily lives and will continue to do so. News reports of flooding, droughts, heatwaves, and other climate-related hazards are becoming more intense and frequent in Europe. These hazards have significant health and economic costs. Coupled with Europe’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, this presents a glaring vulnerability that compromises both energy security and efforts to combat climate change. For years, Europe has been a leader in acknowledging and addressing the existential threat posed by climate change. Through bold initiatives, it has forged a path toward renewable energy, creating a robust value chain and millions of jobs in the process. However, recent events, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have starkly highlighted the peril of fossil fuel dependence.

    The solutions to Europe’s energy and climate challenges are clear: rely less on fossil fuels, transition to renewables, electrify energy consumption, and enhance overall energy efficiency. While progress has been made, the current crisis underscores the need for accelerated action.

    It’s not just Europe; countries all around the world are grappling with the same fate. Climate change and energy shortages have made us realize that this is no longer a local issue; it’s a global game. We must navigate the complexities of decarbonization and take control of the climate and energy crisis before it takes control of all of us.


    To meet the burgeoning energy demands of the world, forward-thinking governments and business leaders around the globe are taking decisive action in the following ways:

    • Accelerating Deployment: By expediting existing projects and simplifying permitting procedures, energy nations can fast-track the transition to renewable energy sources.
    • Space Allocation: Ensuring sufficient space for large-scale renewable energy projects is crucial. By planning for and allocating adequate land resources, energy nations can facilitate the expansion of renewable infrastructure well into the future, surpassing targets set for 2030.
    • Industry Activation: Collaboration between industry stakeholders is essential to overcome the challenges associated with an accelerated transition. By fostering partnerships and innovation within the industry, energy nations can address bottlenecks and streamline processes to expedite the adoption of renewable energy solutions.
    • Hydrogen and E-Fuels: Establishing a clear role for hydrogen and e-fuels is paramount to unlocking investments in the future of renewable energy, particularly in the burgeoning renewable hydrogen economy.


    In the years to come electricity will become the core of the energy system. It will play a key role across all sectors, from transport and buildings to industry at large. Reaching net zero emissions globally by 2040 is the goal and in doing so we will be well on the way to supplying half of the world’s total energy consumption. This will require electricity system advances in the use of batteries, developing on-demand energy response, hydrogen-based fuels, hydropower, and fast adaptation to ensure a reliable energy supply.

    Regions with abundant natural resources, such as Newfoundland, Canada, with its vast land, water, and world-class wind potential, emerge as premium destinations for hydrogen production. By leveraging these resources effectively, energy investment companies can harness the power of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy source, driving economic growth and environmental stewardship in these regions while simultaneously supplying world energy demand with sustainable new energy.

    This concerted effort toward sustainable energy strategies represents a pivotal moment in human history—a chance to transform our energy landscape, protect our planet, and secure a brighter future for generations to come. The transition to clean energy is not just an option; it’s imperative for our survival and prosperity. Through collaboration, innovation, and bold action, we can rise to the challenge and build a world powered by sustainable wind energy and other renewable sources. The time to act is RIGHT NOW!

    Energy Institute
    United Nations

    Tina Olivero

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