Electricity is an integral part of modern life. From powering our homes to providing transportation and data services, it’s an essential resource that enables us to live and work as we do. But as electricity consumption increases, so too does the amount of emissions produced which contributes to global warming. So, does using electricity cause global warming?
The answer is yes. While electricity itself is not a primary contributor to global warming, it produces the majority of the emissions that are. The most commonly used forms of electricity, such as coal and natural gas, release large amounts of carbon dioxide, a key contributor to climate change. In fact, coal-fired plants make up nearly 40% of the world’s electricity production, and are a leading source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, electricity also contributes to global warming indirectly, as electricity is used for so many different activities, such as manufacturing products and heating our homes and transport. These activities, too, produce emissions that add to global warming.
It is important to note, however, that electricity does not have to be a burden on the environment. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, provide clean electricity that does not produce any emissions. The problem is that these sources of generation still need to be heavily subsidized in order to make them financially viable. Despite this, renewable energy has grown rapidly, and nearly 17% of the world’s electricity usage now comes from renewable sources. This is a significant achievement and shows that changing energy sources can reduce emissions and minimize the impact of global warming.
Using electricity can also have positive implications for global warming. By using electricity, we are able to cut down on emissions from other activities that we deem necessary, such as heating, transportation and data processing. Furthermore, electricity is essential for many energy efficiency technologies, such as smart thermostats and LED lighting, which use less energy and help reduce emissions.
Ultimately, using electricity does cause global warming, but with the emergence of renewable energy and new energy efficiency technologies, the climate impact of electricity usage can be mitigated. To further reduce emissions from electricity, governments must continue to support renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, and businesses must adopt greener ways of working. Through concerted action, we can reduce the carbon footprint of electricity and help mitigate global warming.