Vergés considers that people are aware of climate change, but another step forward is needed and think about how to change today’s energy model.
We talk to Ramon Vergés, who holds a degree in engineering and is a member of the Network for energy sovereignty (XSE).
What are your goals at XSE?
We want to see a profound change in paradigm, where there is social control of means of production in a sustainable world and where the model of growth that has lead us to the current energy situation changes. We also believe that a new energy model must come from the grassroots. The many different proposals that exist at a local level are the best guarantee for a transition to happen.
Are people really aware of the need to take care of the environment?
I believe so, that it’s in their minds. What is lacking, I think, is to put it into practice, to reflect on what I can do individually to stop this situation; how can I use energy in a more sustainable way, for instance when I’m cooking, warming my house, etc. There must be a relationship between everyone’s concerns and the impact they cause.
What should someone who wants to be environmentally responsible do regarding energy?
The first thing you can do is to look at the back side of your energy bill and look at the energy mix. We will see how energy is produced in the country and what its CO2 footstep is. Also, our energy company tells us what are the sources of the energy they sell. With this indicator we can know of the company providing us with energy is doing things right. This is the first easy piece of advice for an internal audit, to start seeing if what we consume is sustainable.
Once we gain awareness, is it easy to buy energy from renewable sources?
It is as easy as picking up the phone and calling our company and asking for a certificate that our energy is green, or swap to a company that offers this option, just as we’d do when they increase our telephone or internet bill.
We can make changes at home.
If you want your home to be totally self-sufficient or to use energy from renewable sources, it is important to get advice from specialized technicians. For someone who doesn’t know the sector it may be cumbersome to access objective information. We have lived times when new constructions emerged everywhere, without thinking about insulation. A lot of energy is lost through doors and windows and walls. Building a house that is efficient and uses its own renewable energy sources is a costly investment, but it brings benefits in the long term.
What are the expectations for the future?
The future is renewable. It is full of hope because technology helps us. From what I see, generations reaching adulthood, as the Fridays For Future (FFF), bring hope. At least they talk of the problem at home and talk about it with their families, and this is a good starting point, to share knowledge. And thanks to this we will see initiatives coming from the people, but governments need to chip in too.
What is the renewable energy of the future?
I’ll take a chance. Even if there are many technologies and they all are specific in adapting to the different needs. If I were to pick two to change the model, I would say biomass and solar energy.