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19 January 2024

What is the role of citizens in the energy transition?

Citizens can have a direct impact on the process of change towards a sustainable future. Our day-to-day choices and active participation are the linchpin of the energy transition. We would like to explain our role in this transformation.

papel de ciudadanía en la transición energética

The energy transition to an emission-free economy is a global challenge. Decarbonizing the way we produce and consume energy is key to curbing climate change and building a future that is as sustainable as possible

In this context, our role as citizens is essential. We are not mere observers of policies and measures to combat climate change, we are another player with the aim of contributing to the common goal. This proposal is in line with goal 13 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. 

 

The role of citizens in the energy transition

The energy transition is a series of changes in the models for energy production, distribution and consumption with the aim of achieving greater sustainability. This will enable the energy system based on fossil fuels to be transformed and become a model based on renewable energies. But what role do citizens have in this transition? 

Everyone has a responsibility when it comes to making decisions that are sustainable and respect the planet in the different aspects of our lives:  

  • Awareness and education. Understanding today's energy challenges is the key to knowing how to take advantage of the solutions available to us. 

  • Participation in decision-making related to own energy consumption or in emerging renewable energy projects, such as local energy communities, which enable energy to by used collectively by a group of neighbours. 

  • Responsible consumption: There are gestures we can make in our daily lives that may seem insignificant but could actually make a difference. For example, recycling, opting for shared mobility or making greater use of public transport.

  • Electrification of energy demand. It is the use of electricity produced from renewable energies instead of fossil fuels. An example of this is using a heat pump to heat your home instead of oil heating or using an electric vehicle instead of a combustion-engine vehicle. 

 

In this context, younger generations are demonstrating that they can act as accelerators of the energy transition. In Europe, two-thirds of young people consider sustainability and the fight against climate change to be a priority.

This "Green Generation"  is committed to the shift towards sustainability. They care, for example, about purchasing sustainable products or prefer to prioritize those companies that are governed by green policies.

autoconsumo y ciudadanos en la transición energética

What are the benefits of the energy transition for us? 

If we actively participate in the energy transition, we ourselves will notice its many advantages:

  1. Economic savings. The use of renewable energies is not only good for the environment, it also benefits consumers because it is cheaper to produce. The use of renewable sources can be translated into significant long-term savings because it reduces the price of energy

  2. Better health. Renewable energies and the electrification of the demand for energy are synonymous with reduced emissions. When we improve air quality, we also improve people's health. So much so that between 2005 and 2020, when the use of renewable energies increased significantly, deaths attributed to fossil fuels decreased by 15.7%, as indicated in a study by The Lancet Countdown.

  3. Job creation: A more sustainable economy also provides new opportunities for local employment, not only in the renewable energy plants, but also in the new industries and businesses that are created around them. In fact, a Renewable Energy and Jobs report published by IRENA in 2023 confirmed that there are approximately 13.7 million workers worldwide engaged in the renewable energy sector, a figure that almost doubles the 7.4 million that there were in 2012.

Undoubtedly, being an active part of the energy transition is an investment in our future. We are playing a key role in this transformation. Together we can start building a more sustainable present for a cleaner, healthier future for all.

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