Skip main navigation

What is the clean energy transition?

The energy sector is the largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for about three-quarters of total global emissions.

The energy sector is the largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for about three-quarters of total global emissions.

Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, are the primary sources of energy for the sector. Combined with industrial processes, they contribute nearly 90% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (the remaining coming from other activities including transportation and the heating and cooling of buildings). Thus, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector is critical to achieving net-zero by 2050.

To achieve such reduction will require major changes to the ways in which energy is generated, transported and consumed. An increased use of electrification and a transition from fossil fuels to cleaner, and more sustainable, energy sources (that produce little to no greenhouse gas emissions) is essential.

These clean energy sources could include technologies such as:

  • wind energy (using wind turbines to convert wind energy into electricity)
  • solar energy (using solar panels to convert solar energy into electrical energy)
  • hydro energy (using the power of flowing water, such as waterfalls or tides, to power turbines and generate electricity)
  • bioenergy (burning biomass, such as wood or agricultural waste, to generate heat or electricity)

Your task

Let’s reflect on your understanding of hydrogen in the clean energy space. Have you heard anything about hydrogen as an energy source?

This article is from the free online

The Role of Hydrogen in the Clean Energy Transition

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now