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Renewable Energy Activities – Hosting the Olympics is an energy-intensive process – on the part of the athletes, the coaches, the organizers, and the infrastructure itself. The International Olympic Committee is committed to sustainability.
For the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, the organizers have committed to using only electricity produced from renewable energy sources, mainly solar and biomass. Read on to discover the benefits of generating electricity from renewable sources and try four alternative energy activities for kids!
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From 2030 onwards, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will require all Olympic host countries to be carbon positive. This year’s game in Tokyo is a big step in that direction. The Olympic Committee has committed that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be carbon-free.
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Neutral and positive carbon represent the net input or output of carbon gas from a particular event or process. Carbon neutral means that the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from the earth’s surface is equal to the amount of carbon that the earth’s surface absorbs from the atmosphere. We often call this a net zero carbon strategy.
Carbon-positive means that the amount of carbon deposited on the Earth’s surface exceeds the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by an event or process. Because we have excess carbon in the atmosphere and oceans, carbon-intensive recycling strategies are beneficial to the environment.
With today’s reliance on many carbon-based fossil fuels, every Olympic organizing committee must take important steps to achieve a carbon-neutral or carbon-positive result for the grand event. These ambitious environmental goals begin with the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Fossil fuels are energy sources derived from coal, petroleum and natural gas. Under the intense heat and pressure of the earth, plant and animal matter decomposes into these carbon-based energy sources. Fossil fuels, also known as non-renewable resources, are found below the earth’s surface. We extract fossil fuels by digging deep into the ground to extract them, a process known as mining. Once mined, different types of energy companies and organizations transport, refine, and burn fossil fuels to produce energy.
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Environmental concerns about fossil fuels focus on four aspects. The extraction, transportation and refining of fossil fuels and their derivatives destroys our ecosystems in many ways. Additionally, burning fossil fuels for energy releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
Fossil fuels are extracted from the earth on land and in water. Terrestrial coal mining changes the entire landscape of the mining area, changing the flora and fauna that live there. Trees are cut down, soil erosion, increased sediment concentrations in local waterways, increased noise due to the use of heavy mining equipment, and reduced air quality.
Land-based oil and natural gas extraction, through mining or drilling, disrupts large areas to build the infrastructure needed to eliminate carbon-based energy sources. Changes in habitat landscape debris for many species, damage soil nutrient density, damage local waterways, and degrade air quality.
To extract fossil fuels underwater, energy companies build offshore oil rigs and pipelines to drill the wells needed to access fossil fuels. The search for oil and the construction of infrastructure for extraction seriously disrupts marine ecosystems.
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Once extracted, fossil fuels must be transported to refineries to be refined. Transporting fossil fuels requires massive infrastructure development from building oil and natural gas pipelines to using coal trucks. This infrastructure disrupts ecosystems and poses significant health and environmental risks to people, animals, and vegetation surrounding the infrastructure, particularly if there is a breakdown or infrastructure failure. damaged.
Many times, pipelines built on lands protected by indigenous peoples, such as the Dakota Access Pipeline in the United States, disrupt sacred sites and pollute the soil, air and water of communities already marginalized by other conditions.
Once refined, fossil fuels must be transported back to power plants, gas pumps, and homes for final use. To achieve their goals, large oil tankers, trucks, and trains transport fossil fuels for thousands of miles. Sometimes media leaks, spilling the contents into the environment.
During oil refining, fossil fuel refineries release toxins into the soil, air, and water of nearby communities. To get a clear picture of the health and well-being of people living in gated communities around oil and natural gas refineries, we recommend watching the documentary, Mossville: When Big Trees Fall. As in Mossville, Louisiana, people living in communities near oil refineries have higher rates of cancer, respiratory disease, and other serious health effects from pollutants and toxins that contaminate water. , air and soil.
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When fossil fuels are burned, carbon compounds are released, increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are heat-trapping compounds that are necessary for our planet to be habitable, but in excess (as is the case now) they can raise our planet’s average global temperature, causing climate change worldwide. The excessive presence of greenhouse gases also increases the acidity of our oceans, causing drastic negative changes in marine ecosystems, which are the main source of oxygen production for the planet.
Fortunately, there are alternative energy sources to fossil fuels. These renewable energy sources come in many forms, but they have one thing in common: their use significantly reduces carbon emissions.
With the advancement of new technology, this energy source is becoming more and more affordable. However, much work remains to be done to transform the current grid to accommodate the flow of alternative energy sources.
Using renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels significantly reduces the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources do not require transportation to refineries, thereby reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation infrastructure.
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In addition, fossil fuels must be burned in order to be used. When energy companies burn these fuels to produce electricity, the process releases carbon. With the exception of biomass, renewable energy sources are not burned to produce energy.
Read more to learn about renewable energy production, especially solar and biomass, the types of renewable energy used for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee is committed to providing 100% of the electricity needed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games from renewable sources. That is, electricity will come from two renewable energy sources:
After the East Japan Earthquake devastated Fukushima Prefecture, Japan focused on rebuilding the area using locally produced renewable energy. The Olympic Committee’s commitment to supporting the Olympics with clean energy supports the Fukushima local economy as well as the two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
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The use of renewable energy sources to power the Olympics directly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 on Clean Energy, ensuring access to affordable energy. affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern for everyone. Furthermore, by using electricity generated from wood biomass and solar energy, the Olympic and Paralympic Games also support the Digital Sustainable Development Goals. 13 Climate Action, encouraging people to take immediate action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Relying on local renewable energy sources to power the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics sends a powerful message to a global audience about the importance of generating electricity from sustainable sources. steady. As the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games mainly use solar and biomass energy sources to power the event, we have prepared more information and activities to focus on how of these two energy sources.
We can generate electricity from the sun by using solar panels to collect and convert light energy into electricity. A solar panel is made from a collection of solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells. The word photovoltaic means light (photophotography) electrical energy (volts) based on the Latin origin of each word. These photovoltaic cells are made from different types of silicon. Solar panels are blue or black depending on the type of silicon used in the construction of the panels. Both colors effectively and efficiently absorb light.
Silicon is a metallic substance, which means it has both metallic and non-metallic properties. Silicon looks like a metal. But unlike other metals, silicon conducts electricity with average efficiency. Because it is “fine” when it conducts current, we classify it as a semiconductor. Electrons pass through semiconductors to generate electricity without overheating, a characteristic that makes semiconductors, like silicon, the perfect material for electronics and solar cells.
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When sunlight hits the solar cell, it causes electrons to move between the silicon cells. This flow of electrons is called electric current. Because the sun doesn’t shine all the time, the large battery stores electricity so it can be used even when the sun isn’t out.
Much of the unused plant remains after harvesting agricultural products such as corn. This unused vegetation or biomass is a renewable energy source. We can harvest and burn biomass for generators.
Burning biomass generates heat. This heat turns water into steam that turns turbines to generate electricity. Biomass is also an efficient heat source for homes or businesses.
Biomass energy production releases carbon into the atmosphere, but it is a carbon-neutral energy source. Plants (or biomass) absorb carbon dioxide from
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