Temperature fluctuations are nothing new in the history of the Earth. Previous climate changes, however, happened so slowly that flora, fauna and humans had enough time to adapt to the new conditions. Today we are confronted with extremely rapid global warming. In the last 100 years average temperatures worldwide have increased by 0.75°C. Climate researchers have now issued warnings that we could be faced with a global temperature increase of up to 6.4°C by 2100. The consequences would be devastating – the extinction of plant and animal species; mass migration; growing competition for resources and, not least, declining standards of living.
What exactly is happening?
Two main factors:
Warmer temperatures – scientific evidence confirms that the rate of temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution is extremely high. This is rapidly causing glaciers to melt and artic sea ice to shrink at an accelerating rate.
Rise in sea level – Sea levels have significantly raised in recent decades averaging at 10cm around the UK and 19cm on average globally since 1900. This will result in lower lying areas being flooded; others deserted.
Climate change threatens to become a socio-ecological problem whose influence will be felt worldwide.
What are the causes of climate change?
One of the causes of global warming is the increased emission of greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO²), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), which is linked to the onset of industrialisation over 200 years ago. The higher concentration of these climate-damaging gases in the Earth’s atmosphere is responsible for the so-called “greenhouse effect”. The planet’s heat builds up under a layer of CO² and radiation into space decreases, resulting in increased temperatures on the surface of the Earth.
What are we at WIRSOL doing to combat climate change?
Until just a few years ago renewable energy was not taken seriously, sceptics doubted that this technology would ever be able to satisfy any significant demand for energy. Thanks, however, to intensive research and development renewable energies – in particular, photovoltaics have experienced rapid growth. No surprise since lower system costs make self-consumption of the power produced ever more economical and attractive. Taken in combination with the growing desire for greater independence from the energy market the number of research programs to develop storage media is also increasing. A photovoltaic system combined with a suitable storage guarantees you clean electricity – at all times!
Energy systems in many countries around the world are experiencing a significant and ongoing trend to increased production of renewable energy. Meaningful integration of solar into existing energy systems is of key importance if supplies are to be guaranteed. Research and development are essential to achieve this goal.
We at WIRSOL are thus participating in numerous programs and studies – our many years of project experience and technological know-how enable us to make an active contribution to secure, environment-friendly, affordable energy supplies.