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Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Utilization

Energy demand is required to improve people’s health, welfare, and meeting economic and social development is on the rise each day. All societies in the world need a form of power to support basic human essentials such as cooking, lighting, communication, mobility, and space comfort (Gielen et al. 2020). Fossils including oil, gas, and coal have been the most dominant source of fuel since 1850. These conventional sources have an adverse environmental impact on the environment because it emits excess carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. There is a need to adopt a renewable energy supply system with zero carbon emission to save the planet. This paper aims at expounding the effectiveness of renewable energy and the utilization of energy efficiency in regards to climate change.

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The continuous increase in energy-demanding services and the decline in fossil fuel deposits are major challenges affecting most parts of the world. For instance, in developed and developing countries, electricity, which is a nonrenewable fuel source powers almost all activities. Unfortunately, it impacts the environment and climate negatively because a large amount of coal is burned to produce it. There is a shift towards the utilization of clean and renewable sources such as solar ones, modern biomass, small-scale hydro, wind, marine, and geothermal energy.

Climate Change

Climate change refers to the global alteration of the natural environment due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. This phenomenon has become the greatest 21st-century challenge affecting people, government, nations, and businesses (Cavicchioli et al. 2019).

Modifications of weather patterns over a long time have severe implications on natural habitats and human beings. It causes an adjustment in production, resource utilization, and economic activities. To mitigate the possible side effects of global warming, greenhouse gas emission has to be reduced by lowering the predominance of fossil fuel.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there has been an unusual global warming trend for the past 100 years (Cavicchioli et al. 2019). Increased greenhouse gases emission attributed to human activities such as burning gas or coal, deforestation, gases from industries, rice agriculture, and methane production accounts for elevation of greenhouse gas emission and later climate. For example, from 1750, the industrial revolution emitted methane, CO2, and nitrous oxide by 15, 31, and 17 % respectively (Riti and Shu, 2016). An increase in wildfires and drought duration, some wildlife species extinction, and reduction in reduced snowpack amounts in the mountains are indicators of climate change.

Natural gas and coal are conventional sources of energy that have been contributing to climate change in the past. Currently, the US electricity, which is a form of non-renewable energy, is the greatest contributor to the climate change. It leads to water scarcity and causes water and air pollution (Laws, 2017). Over-reliance on this power exposes citizens to atmosphere and health damage. In addition, consumers are exposed to fluctuations in commodities prices.

In Polar Regions, climate change effects are amplified because it causes melting of ice caps and glaciers. However, the effects imposed on the south and north extremities have adverse impacts globally (Laws, 2017). Global warming triggers hurricanes and floods and it causes an increase of between 10 and 32 inches in seawater levels (Riti and Shu, 2016). Ecosystems diversity are continuously destabilized due to changes in plants and animal species in a habitat. Some organisms may become extinct while others may adapt to the new environment (Laws, 2017). Additionally, the emergence of novel diseases such as the Zika virus is attributed to the alteration of weather patterns.

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Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is unlimited, inexhaustible, clean, and rapidly refilled natural form of energy. A combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency helps in reducing fuel demand (Akram et al, 2020). They benefit our health, climate, and economy because of not emitting carbon dioxide pollution. Geothermal power, solar, and wind energy are some renewable resources currently used in the US. Unlike electricity, these forms of fuel does not utilize water in production. Thus, it does not strain and pollute water resources, which is critical for residential use, wildlife, fish, and agriculture. In contrast, coal and gas impact water bodies negatively by polluting drinking water.

Technology innovations have spearheaded the use of renewable energy globally, and as result, over-dependency on electricity and burning fossils has been greatly reduced. It also helps in restoring the planet by lowering the volume and rate of greenhouse gas concentrations in the air and protecting the ozone layer from depletion (Gielen et al. 2020). Currently, most environmental programs have renewable energy and energy efficiency issues as critical agenda to be addressed critically (Heryadi, and Hartono, 2017). Clean energy utilization achieved through renewable sources prevents climate system interference, it also leads to atmospheric greenhouse gas stabilization.

Energy efficiency cleans out air and saves energy and consumers resources. Wastage of power and heat loss during transmission and through the utilization of inefficient technologies not only cost businesses and family’s income, but it also increases pollution and climate change (Riti and Shu, 2016). There are several ways through which fuel efficiencies can be achieved, this includes using energy-efficient machines for cooking, lighting, heating, cooling, and refrigeration. In addition, designing landscapes and buildings in a way that accommodates trees and changing some behaviors such as leaving lights on when leaving a room promote energy savings.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy can function synergistically to spearhead decarbonization of global power. These two combinations can lead to an 80% reduction of emitted greenhouse gas by 2050 (Gielen et al. 2020). Globally, about 36 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO₂ attributed to energy supply were released into the atmosphere in 2015 (IRENA, 2017). A reduction to about 9.5 Gt and 12 Gt by 2020 is required for maximum warming of 2°C above the preindustrial period to be achieved (IRENA, 2017). Expanding renewable energy and energy efficiencies is likely to reduce 90% of carbon dioxide emitted from the source of power as shown in Figure 1 below.

Reduction Potential of CO₂ Emission Through Technology Use.
Figure 1: Reduction Potential of CO₂ Emission Through Technology Use. (IRENA, 2017).

In a study conducted to determine power consumption rate in China, Germany, India, Japan, and the USA by IRENA (2017), the reduction of energy intensities and energy consumption was evidenced in countries with a renewable energy sources and those utilizing energy efficiency. This implied that the synergy benefits consumers by saving the cost of power. Consequently, it also reduces fossil fuel utilized in production, which in turn lowers carbon emission and climate change.


An increase in renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies result in energy savings and environmental protection. It has been evidenced that synergy between the two has a significant impact on global energy because it causes decarbonization. Therefore, there is a need for all nations to adopt the utilization of renewable sources and efficient energy technologies. This move is critical because it aids in averting the adverse effects of global warming and climate change.

Reference List

Akram, R. et al. (2020). Heterogeneous effects of energy efficiency and renewable energy on economic growth of BRICS countries: a fixed effect panel quantile regression analysis. Energy, 215, p. 119019. Web.

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IRENA (2017), “Synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency, a working paper based on REmap”, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Abu Dhabi.

Cavicchioli, R. et al. (2019). Scientists’ warning to humanity: microorganisms and climate change. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 17(9), pp. 569-586. Web.

Gielen, D. et al. (2019). The role of renewable energy in the global energy transformation. Energy Strategy Reviews, 24, pp. 38-50. Web.

Heryadi, M.D. and Hartono, D. (2017). Energy efficiency, utilization of renewable energies, and carbon dioxide emission: case study of G20 countries. International Energy Journal, 16(4), pp. 143-152.

Laws, A.N. (2017). Climate change effects on predator–prey interactions. Current Opinion in Insect Science, 23, pp. 28-34. Web.

Riti, J.S. and Shu, Y. (2016). Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and eco-friendly environment (RE 5) in Nigeria. Energy, Sustainability and Society, 6(1), pp.1-16. Web.

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