After two years of enduring an unprecedented pandemic and its corresponding economic ramifications, we at AllEarth were eagerly anticipating the end of the crisis and reprieve to global supply chains. The tragic turn of events in Ukraine has reintroduced geopolitical instability to the supply chain story. The war in Ukraine and the international response to it, occurring right on the cusp of a transition to a post-pandemic world has made it abundantly clear how war itself and the connected geopolitical relationships and changes to them have real-world impacts on economies both near and far. More specifically, the current crisis has significant implications of the energy world, both the fossil fuel-based forms of energy we’ve collectively relied on in the past and the green, renewable forms of energy we must rapidly transition to.
The potential consequences of this ongoing conflict for the global economy and energy sector are staggering. In the short-term, we’re witnessing an acceleration of the economic and supply disruptions that we hoped would begin to ease over the first half of the year, which we were tracking in our previous blog posts on inflation and the supply chain. Metal prices have skyrocketed, wheat and agricultural prices are rising, and the rapid increase in heating and fuel costs are felt by most Americans. The solar industry, along with many others, is feeling the pressure of rising commodity prices.
This crisis has reignited a debate around what our collective energy future looks like. On a global and domestic level, the war in Ukraine has brought into clear focus how reliant we still are as a world on fossil fuel. Many countries, while seeking short-term alternatives to oil, are increasing their imports of other fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal. In a genuine emergency, one may argue that alleviating short-term pain comes first, even if that means temporarily abandoning longer term goals. The risk we run, however, is losing sight of the big picture as we collectively navigate this crisis. Global warming and climate change continue to accelerate, and our current lifestyle and globalized economy only serve to exacerbate these trends. Last year, the renewables energy segment grew at a record rate — up 6% over the prior year— following the trend of increased electricity demand. Yet 2021 also saw Co2 emissions hit a record high, underscoring the severity of our environmental crisis. This current moment is presenting an opportunity to strengthen our collective resolve to advocate for and help create a more resilient and sustainable grid on both national and local levels, and a livable planet to host us over the long term.
Every person, family and company has its own unique needs and preferred ways to contribute toward a more sustainable future for themselves and their community. This may mean taking the leap now to finally investing in a home solar system, such as an AllEarth solar tracker or ground mounted array, upgrading an existing array, or joining a community solar program. These are all options we offer at AllEarth. For some, this may be as simple as choosing to move closer to work, to take the bus, or find a way to work remotely more often. Some may be called to activism work to advocate for pro-renewable energy policies. There are various ways to participate in the transition to a cleaner energy future, and we are glad to assist you if your goals align with ours and the products and services we offer. As we navigate this uncertain period, we remain steadfast in our goal of advocating for policies that support the much-needed transition to a sustainable grid, while providing solutions and products needed to implement this shift.
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