Green Conversations is one of the signature projects of EFL, which is conducted in a fast track conversation format focussing on various areas of concern to nature. The fourth in the series was aimed at energy, which successfully concluded on 18th September.
The energy requirement by all populations across the world is on the rise in unprecedented rates. The need for energy and its related services to satisfy human social and economic development, welfare and health is increasing. Returning to renewables to help mitigate climate change is an excellent approach which needs to be sustainable in order to meet energy demand of future generations.
The opportunities associated with renewable energy sources includes: Energy Security, Energy Access, Social and Economic development, Climate Change Mitigation, and reduction of environmental and health impacts. Despite these opportunities, there are challenges that hinder the sustainability of renewable energy sources towards climate change mitigation. These challenges include Market failures, lack of information, access to raw materials for future renewable resource deployment, and our daily carbon footprint.
Mitigating and adapting to climate change are key challenges of the 21st century. The changing global climate is posing increasingly severe risks for ecosystems, human health and the economy. At the core of these challenges is the question of energy — more precisely, our overall energy consumption and our dependence on fossil fuels. To succeed in limiting global warming, the world urgently needs to use energy efficiently while embracing clean energy sources to make things move, heat up and cool down.Globally, the use of energy represents by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. About two thirds of global greenhouse gases are linked to burning fossil fuels for energy to be used for heating, electricity, transport and industry
Our use and production of energy have a massive impact on the climate and the converse is also increasingly true. Climate change can alter our energy generation potential and energy needs. For example, changes to the water cycle have an impact on hydropower, and warmer temperatures increase the energy demand for cooling in the summer, while decreasing the demand for heating in the winter.
Out of the five speakers at the fourth green conversation, the evening started with the presentation by Dr. Vidura Ralapanawe. He elaborated on how the present generations are at a transition stage in terms of energy. He talked about global trends in terms of switching to renewable energy. How the countries have succeeded in the installation of solar rooftops and contributed to the energy grid. If proper innovations are backed and a proper plan is implemented, Sri Lanka holds massive potential in terms of sustainable energy.
Next in line was Wardani Karunaratne, a legal consultant at EFL who added valuable insights into the prevailing legal framework in terms of energy consumption and environmental concerns. She cited cases like the Sampur case which EFL undertook in terms of protecting the environmental rights and responsibilities of the citizenry.
Mr. Prabath Wickramasinghe, who is the managing director at FirstEnergy talked on the Rooftop and ground-mounted solar power industry. He predicted that the present progress in solar power in Sri Lanka is not at all sufficient to manage future growth. He suggested that the government and utility should be more aggressive in developing solar power, otherwise the alternatives are costly and pollutive.
Mr.Sanith de Silva Wijeratne who is the CEO at the carbon consulting company presented on the co-operate stand on gas emissions and how to mitigate the excessive emission. He suggested ways and means on how companies can reduce the carbon footprint through the sustainable use of energy and who can play a role in implementing the strategies.
Mr. Parakrama Jayasinghe, who is the past president at the Bioenergy Association of Sri Lanka, shared thoughts on the demand side management of energy. He talked on how energy usage can be optimized in an engineering aspect and suggested possible initiatives.