Planet B is not an option: the energy crisis can become the driving force for change
Science has been saying it loudly for a long time now: continuing to invest in the production of fossil fuel energy sources is a suicide mission that will soon lead to the destruction of the planet. And if the results of ongoing climate change have not carried much weight up until now, the energy crisis caused by the war in the Ukraine and by Putin’s blackmail may create the right and urgent momentum to bring about a pivotal change of course.
It’s no news that fossil fuels pollute. Yet instead of working towards an economic policy of saving and sacrifice above all for less well-off families and the SMEs that find themselves in more difficulty, the moment has come to invest in renewable energy. In terms of energy, in fact, the current clean energy capacity of Italian companies would be able to cover requirements equivalent to 60 GW in three years.
What does this correspond to? According to estimates by Greenpeace, 60 GW would substitute 15 billion cubic metres of natural gas and would allow the production of 80 billion kilowatt-hours per year. A quantity seven times greater than the increases in gas production foreseen by the Draghi government and far higher than what could be generated by the much-debated 6 ERP nuclear power stations that France wishes to build.
Talking of energy, according to the scenario described in the “Italia 1.5” study by Greenpeace, 75% of production could be reached using renewable energy within 2030 and 100% within 2040. And it is not only a matter of exploiting the sun and the wind, resources which Italy certainly doesn’t lack. It is also about making a zero waste system fully operational for all the precious resources deriving from waste separation and from the reclamation of non-hazardous waste that, at present, goes overseas.
The situation generated by the war in the Ukraine and the intransigent attitude of the Russian leader will cause an energy crisis without precedent in history. For Europe and for its main importers of Russian gas and petrol – Germany, France, Spain and Italy – it is time to choose. Either renewable energy sources and energy independence, or a slow escalation towards the implosion of our planet. The first signs of this, without even bringing Greta Thunberg into it – are already undeniable and there for all to see.