#Waste2Wealth: The lowdown on your power
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5 fast facts:
- Over the last eight years, renewable energy has dropped drastically in price – solar cells reduced by more than 80% and wind power by more than 40% the cost. Unlike coal power, these renewables use nearly no water.
- The burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil accelerate climate change but the South African government wants to use coal, and to use extremely expensive and dangerous nuclear power as the way of reducing emissions.
- If we go beyond an annual increase of 1.5°C, climate change will have irreversible negative effects for humans and nature. Global commitments demand we reduce temperatures by 3°C by the end of the century. We are fast losing this war!
- Shifting shipping from road to rail, and investing in better integrated public transport, can considerably reduce costs.
- Globally, renewable energy provides more jobs per kilowatt hour of electricity than fossil fuels.
WWF has a strong focus on ensuring that South Africa is able to make the move to a low-carbon, equitable future.
This means not only investigating the environmental impacts of our current energy mix, but looking at some deeper associated economic issues. In the transport sector, our work has highlighted energy and climate savings from shifting freight to rail, as well as helping to build capacity in relevant sectors to facilitate this shift.
WWF conducts research that highlights the potential of renewable energy to address South Africa’s needs whilst driving green growth.
Through the Science-Based Targets initiative, WWF is helping several companies to understand what is required to ensure that their carbon emission trajectories align with the global need for mitigation. This includes auditing energy use and looking at ways to reduce consumption, improve yields and capitalise on low-carbon technologies.
WWF also works with municipalities to investigate development priorities that result in integrated urban environments with reduced environmental footprints. This is achieved through sustainable energy provision, better integrated transport and waste reduction.
What can you do?
- Find out where your energy really comes from. Audit to assess your energy consumption at home and work. For businesses this must include direct energy and energy involved in suppliers’ activities.
- Reduce your emissions with quick wins of using LED bulbs, setting electric geysers at 60°C and washing clothes in cold washes. Medium-term investments include insulating your ceiling and buying appliances with the best possible energy rating.
- To reduce the largest home energy cost, invest in solar water heating or use geyser timers to heat water during the day to make use of daytime solar power feeding into the grid.
- Reduce transport energy consumption by minimising your travel, making use of public transport wherever possible and setting up ride-sharing or carpooling schemes.
- Urge your ward councillor to fast track municipal support of household feed-in tariff incentives to generate grid electricity from household renewable energy installations.
On 27 July WWF is hosting the 2017 Living Planet Conference, where we bring together exceptional experts in the food, energy and water sectors to share solution to the challenge of waste. Join the livestream as we think differently, consume wisely and act collectively. Bookmark the page now.