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Renewable Energy's Potential and Key Success



Ongoing developments in various countries worldwide offer a promising future marked by a secure, inclusive, and sustainable transformation of the energy sector. To achieve and align with the UN's SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), the Paris Agreement, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this transition must be accelerated and expanded.


THE POTENTIAL OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

The generation of renewable energy creates drastically lower emissions compared to fossil fuel combustion. As fossil fuels contribute to over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all CO2 emissions, shifting to renewable energy is crucial in addressing the climate crisis. Renewable sources, unlike fossil fuels, originate from natural resources that replenish faster than they are used, offering a virtually limitless supply, depending on the source. Key forms of renewable energy include solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, and bioenergy.


LESSONS FROM SUCCESS

Founded in 1973 as DONG, the Danish company Ørsted was heavily reliant on fossil fuels, with 85% of its energy generation coming from sources like coal in 2006, making it responsible for a third of Denmark's emissions and Europe's most fossil fuel-intensive company. However, through the integration of various energy companies into their corporation, Ørsted gradually transformed into a renewable energy-focused organization. During their shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy, Ørsted identified 7 key lessons learned throughout this significant transition:


  1. Confront Your Reality in a Changing Landscape: Understanding the context in which you are doing business and how it is likely to change.

  2. Define a sustainable vision: The vision should effectively convey and guide the company's strategy, where clarity is essential.

  3. Engage and Align Stakeholders: Acknowledge the risks and opportunities of transformative change, especially for a green business shift. Align with key stakeholders, including policymakers, investors, employees, and customers.

  4. Mobilize Behind Your Vision: Once your vision is defined you must act decisively to pursue it. Identify the options, decide how to move out of the legacy business, and build the new platform you desire.

  5. Drive Tangible Action: Set medium term, ambitious, science based emission reduction targets that are rooted in your vision to steer and stimulate transformation. These targets should be both achievable and actionable.

  6. Expect Exponential Change: Change and progress is not always linear or incremental. It often starts slow and then accelerates rapidly. Be prepared for both the gradual emergence phase and the rapid diffusion phase of transformation.

  7. Go the Distance: Embrace that the path to change includes setbacks. Stay committed and persistent in the chosen direction, despite challenges.


The global shift toward secure, inclusive, and sustainable energy is gaining momentum, with renewable sources at the forefront. Drawing inspiration from successful transitions, such as Ørsted's journey, the lessons learned provide a roadmap for accelerating the necessary transformation toward a cleaner and more resilient energy future, aligning with international goals for a sustainable and equitable world.


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