Brown Bag: Energy is in major transition, and it will change the society

Energy engineering and production of energy is going through a major transition. Much has already been done to achieve the goals set in Paris climate agreement, but we are still only embarking on this journey. The Brown Bag seminar organized on the 29th of April focused on energy and the transition in energy production.

Professor of energy systems and environmental engineering Eva Pongracz told about the major change taking place in energy production. According to her, decarbonisation is one of the keys of future energy policy and production. We need to find ways to produce energy without carbon dioxide emissions and to reduce CO2 intensity. This all aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. It will be achieved by developing sustainable energy engineering.

At this point, achieving those goals looks promising. The first goal of reducing emissions by 20 percent has been mostly achieved. There is still much to do. To achieve the goals of 2030, we need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses and increase energy efficiency. This demands a lot of investments and development. We have to change, how we generate energy, how we transport it and how we consume it. The main goal right now is to reduce the total amount of energy consumption and produce all the energy we need with renewable energy sources.

It is financially very profitable to move towards sustainable energy engineering. Every euro invested in sustainable energy will be returned sevenfold. This is a huge profit by any standard.

The next speaker was research professor Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen from Oulu Business School and Finnish Environment Institute.

Maria talked about the systemic change in energy business and the whole society. To achieve the 1.5-degree goal, we need to stop using fossil energy sources rapidly and increase the amount of carbon sinks.

Energy production must make a transition from demand-driven system to production-driven system. This means that the amount of produced energy will depend on the natural phenomena and emission limits. The decision of sustainable choice will be moved from the consumer to production. This will change the consumption of energy since the amount of usable energy will vary and depend on the nature. If the sun does not shine and there is no wind, there will be less energy available. Society has to adapt to the new situation where energy is no more a homogenous commodity.

Both speakers stressed that we need to electrify transportation. Everything from individual to public and commercial transportation must run on sustainably produced energy.

We need to make big changes as a society in order to stay alive. Failure is not an option.

Last updated: 30.4.2020