The Importance of Renewable Energy for the Future
Sustainable energy has enjoyed a considerable amount of publicity in recent times. Of course, this is due in large part to the undeniable effects of climate change. Although valiant efforts have already been made to reduce the emissions of fossil fuels, experts agree that further steps need to be taken.
This largely involves the presence of renewable sources of energy. Not only are these methods sustainable from a long-term perspective, but their effects on the environment are not nearly as dire when compared to traditional sources. So, it is crucial to look towards the future. What advancements can we expect to witness? Are some renewables more viable than others? Why is solar power one of the most effective solutions currently available? If you wish to learn more, look at the information provided below.
What are the Most Relevant Renewable Energy Sources for the Future?
To be clear, not all renewable energy sources are realistic (at least with our current technology). Geothermal energy and tidal power are both dependent on location. Even hydrogen fuel cells (such as those which are beginning to power electric vehicles) will require several changes to become appealing to the public. Having said this, the two most relevant renewable energy options are:
- Wind energy
- Solar power
Solar energy is particularly promising due to the sheer number of flexible options available to generate reliable sources of power. Innovations include unique designs such as floating solar panels, panels integrated into the physical structures of buildings and even flexible fabrics capable of transforming sunlight to power.
Now that we have begun to appreciate some of the many available options, let's delve into another topic. Is renewable energy palatable to the average American consumer?
Is the Concept of Renewable Energy Becoming More Popular?
The United States has always been a global leader in innovation and therefore, it is not surprising to learn that renewable energy consumption is on the rise. According to data recently released by the Energy Information Administration, here are the top sources of renewable energy in terms of market share:
- Biomass(39 percent)
- Wind(26 percent)
- Hydropower (22 percent)
- Solar (11 percent)
- Geothermal (2 percent)
Furthermore, it has been shown that the consumption of renewable sources of energy grew for the fifth consecutive year (according to data compiled in 2020). The total consumption of green power currently represents an impressive 12 percent of the total amount of energy used in the United States. Most experts agree that these figures are set to increase in the coming years; especially when referring to solar power.
The Importance of Clean Sources of Energy for Future Generations
There are many reasons why clean energy sources represent the next logical step. Perhaps the most relevant is the fact that the effects of climate change are virtually undeniable. Fossil fuel emissions have already resulted in drastic global effects and unfortunately, the extent of this damage has yet to be fully realized.
Another important point to recall is that fossil fuels are available in limited quantities. As these sources of energy continue to deplete, suppliers will have to spend more money to find viable sources. These expenditures are inevitably set to trickle down to the average US consumer.
Finally, solar power is one of the cheapest and most logical alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. The price of this form of energy continues to drop and as a direct result, these options are now becoming available to the average consumer.
Solar energy is a particularly potent solution for the US market thanks to the amount of sunshine that many states experience daily.
To put these observations in perspective, it is estimated that the United States alone is expected to increase the number of solar power installations by four million units over the next three years. This meteoric rise is showing no signs of abating.
A Quick Look at the Most Rapidly Emerging Sources of Global Energy
As we have seen, many different forms of renewable energy can be leveraged by local, regional and national governments. Solar power is the most abundant resource in the world today. The United States is currently generating well over 100 gigawatts of energy thanks to the ever-present power of the sun. While other options such as wind and tidal flows are certainly viable opportunities, these may take more time before coming to fruition.
Finally, it is important to recognise that the science of photovoltaics (harnessing the power of the sun) has existed for decades. As this technology is already understood by industry professionals, it is clear to see why it is often the preferred renewable energy choice.
A Heliocentric Future?
The sun has been burning for over 4.5 billion years and it will continue providing a reliable source of energy for at least another 4.5 billion years. Why not use the power located directly above our heads to avert the devastating consequences associated with fossil fuels?
The bad news is that the effects of climate change are already taking place. The good news is that society has an opportunity to avert more dire consequences by embracing the concept of solar power sooner as opposed to later. Thankfully, businesses and consumers are already realizing the countless advantages of solar energy.
Ray Brosnan is the co-owner of Brosnan Property Solutions. BPS help homeowners become more eco-conscious.