From the age of complaints…
It isn’t that long ago that a few trailblazers began the movement toward a renewable economy; scientists and engineers developing the technology, investors risking their money on an expensive and unknown technology, a few politicians pushing through the first subsidy schemes and environmental NGOs campaigning for more…
These pioneers were operating in an unsure and rather hostile environment. For the large majority of companies and consumers, deviating from the “business as usual”-scenario wasn’t an option.
The situation was a constant struggle and complaining was rife. Many found renewables too expensive. Too unreliable. Completely unrealistic. How would Europe carry the burden, “while China was building a coal power plant a week”. Not to mention the tug-of-war about the visual impacts of wind turbines or about their noise. The pioneering few who had dedicated themselves to the development of renewable had reason to complain too, about how they were fighting an uphill battle against the status quo, with little investment or support. About how many other companies were just “greenwashing” themselves: giving the impression of going green, but in reality not changing their practices at all.
… to the era of opportunities
But times are changing fast. And despite all worrying evolutions, there are also changes for the better. Renewables are no longer expensive, unreliable and unrealistic. In a lot of regions, renewables are already cheaper than fossil fuels and nuclear, even with fossil prices at a record low. And that won’t change. On the contrary, renewable technology continues to become more efficient month after month.
Renewables are becoming more and more popular, but we must not become complacent. The momentum must continue.
– This is the right time to stop complaining and invest time and energy in more productive activities. Let’s go for it together. The more time and resources we invest in the transition to 100% renewable, the faster this transition will happen. Complaining is unproductive, achieves nothing and is a waste of our time.
– Let’s celebrate renewable energy. Let’s encourage people to tell their green energy story and to be proud about it. Positive anecdotes will encourage others to invest in renewable energy, even if the story is simply somebody installing solar on his roof or switching to a green electricity contract. Somebody in Extown won’t switch to renewable energy because a professor in Stanford says so. But because they will hear that their neighbors are doing it and benefitting from it and will want to get involved too.
– Let’s unite around renewable energy. Climate change is the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced, but offers a unique opportunity to focus on cooperation. We are all in this together, and we all must pool our resources and expertise (and money) to force this transition.
EKOenergy for all
The more people participate, the more diverse the movement for a 100% renewable world becomes. This is great. Multinationals switching to renewable energy, students campaigning for divestment, religious leaders praying for more respect for the planet, IKEA selling solar panels and batteries….
EKOenergy is proud of being part of this movement for positive energy. We aren’t interested in scoring different solutions and approaches. We don’t want to compete with other initiatives either. To the contrary: we are actively joining strengths with other campaigns and organisations, such as the Global 100% RE, IRENA’s Coalition for Action, the World Bank’s Connect4Climate and many more. We want to help provide renewable energy to everybody.
The positive approach helps to bring more people and organisations into the movement. 100.000 consumers from 10 countries have already made the switch to EKOenergy. We are sure that their example will inspire millions of others. All this helps us to spread our message for a 100% renewable and sustainable word. It also helps raise funds to finance new projects, in particular via our Climate Fund and our Environmental Fund. And this is only the beginning.
Author: Steven Vanholme. Steven is coordinator of EKOenergy, the international ecolabel for electricity.