Kermit the Frog is right when he sings that it’s not easy to be green. Wind power? Sure, but please not in my backyard, and if possible, without a concrete base. Hydropower then perhaps? Yes, but please without damaging the river landscapes. Or maybe photovoltaics? And if you could put it on roofs so that it doesn’t seal any soil, and, as in France, over already sealed car parks (the sealing of which did not cause outrage at the time)? Yes, that’s fine, but please consider the supply chains, which are very likely to end in China and are possibly stocked by raw materials that may come from regions associated with forced labour.
Ok, then let’s stick to natural gas and indirectly finance the next war, as we have done recently? Not exactly brilliant, either. LNG, that sounds great, that could be the solution? But it produces even more greenhouse gases than ordinary natural gas and comes from countries where grown men are afraid of rainbow flags. No, France is right, let’s use nuclear energy, we’ll take care of the contaminated waste by 2100 at the latest, I promise. It’s just annoying that the construction will take at least 15 years, so the window of opportunity to fight the climate crisis is already closed. It’s like planning for the third half of a football match.
Let’s face it, there is no perfect solution. Much like with almost every decision in life, with the notable exception of the choice of partner, of course. However, instead of burying our heads in the sand and waiting for death, we are in a position to choose the best possible alternative, take the future into account in our planning, and learn from past mistakes.
“The use of renewable energy sources remains the best (not perfect!) solution to our energy problems.”
Walter Hatak, Head of Responsible Investments
Erste Asset Management
Photo: (c) Stefan Huger
If we keep this in mind and refrain from allowing our own egotism and fossil lobbying to have a say (unlike at the most recent climate conference), the use of renewable energy sources remains the best (not the perfect (!)) solution to our energy problems (alongside research into the use of new energy sources such as hydrogen). But this time, with the political support of European market leaders. Then hopefully they will be spared the fate of the European solar industry, which drowned in the Chinese subsidy flood more than ten years ago. Moreover, this time there will be added input from the West under President Biden. Perhaps this will one day bring us the perfect, independent solution without human rights violations. Christmas is upon us.
This article is part of the ESGenius Letter on the topic of the Energy of the Future. The other articles with information and insights on sustainable energy use can be found here.
For a glossary of technical terms, please visit this link: Fund Glossary | Erste Asset Management
Prognoses are no reliable indicator for future performance.