Renewable energy is becoming more and more popular as there are more demands for energy due to the increase in population across the world. According to a projection by S&P Global Market Intelligence, 44GW solar will come online in 2022, almost double the 23 GW of 2021 – such is the rise of renewable energy sources.
The increasing dependence on green energy resources is not only aimed at combating pollution and global warming, but also at solving many other major problems. Let us see why renewable energy resources are so crucial in today’s date.
1. Control global warming
The ever-increasing population clutters the world, and as a result, there is a surge in human activity. As a result, our atmosphere is overloaded with carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. The consequences are many, from drought, species extinction and pollution to rising sea levels and more frequent and stronger storms.
Different non-renewable energy sources generate different amounts of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, leading to global warming. On the contrary, most renewable energy sources produce little or none of these gases and pollutants. Even when the full life cycle (manufacture, installation, operation and decommissioning) of clean energy sources is considered, total global warming emissions are minimal.
Evaluating the numbers gives a clearer picture. Coal releases 1.4 to 3.6 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour (CO2E/kWh), while wind generates only 0.02 to 0.04 pounds of CO2E/kWh based on a life cycle. For solar, it is 0.07 to 0.2, and geothermal is responsible for 0.1 to 0.2. Hydroelectricity generates only 0.1 to 0.5.
2. Improved public health
Air and water pollution caused by coal and natural gas plants leads to a range of health problems in humans. From respiratory problems and heart attacks to neurological damage, cancer and even premature death, pollution has detrimental effects on every part of our body.
Most of these health impacts are caused by air and water pollution that clean energy resources do not cause. Wind, hydroelectric and solar technologies produce electricity without polluting the air. Biomass and geothermal systems emit a few air pollutants, but their total air emissions are much lower than those of natural gas and coal-fired power plants.
Additionally, solar and wind energy resources do not require water to operate, so they do not pollute water resources or strain supplies by interfering with drinking water, agriculture and other industries. other critical water needs. On the other hand, natural gas drilling and coal mining seriously pollute drinking water sources. Thermal power plants also consume a lot of water for cooling.
3. Economic benefits and job opportunities
Fossil fuel technologies are generally mechanized and capital intensive, while renewable energy resources are more labor intensive. For example, solar panels require manual labor for installation and wind farms require technicians for repair and maintenance. This therefore means that on average, the renewable energy industry creates more employment opportunities than non-renewable systems for each unit of electricity produced.
➢ Sector jobs
The wind energy industry needs employees for various responsibilities such as manufacturing, construction, project development, turbine installation, transportation and logistics, operation and maintenance, as well as legal, financial and advisory services.
The solar industry employs people for manufacturing, solar installation, sales and maintenance. Similarly, other industries, including geothermal, hydropower, and biomass, are also hiring candidates for several operations.
➢ Economic benefits
In addition to the jobs created in the renewable energy industry, the growth of clean energy can also generate positive economic ripple effects. For example, businesses in the clean energy supply chain will make a profit, and independent local businesses will benefit from increased household and business incomes.
Local governments also benefit from renewable energy, particularly in the form of property taxes, income taxes and other payments from owners of renewable energy projects.
Owners of land on which wind projects are built often receive lease payments and even payments for power line easements. They can also collect royalties based on the project’s annual revenues. Landowners and rural farmers can also get new sources of additional income by supplying feedstock to biomass power plants.
4. Endless Energy
Endless sunlight, strong winds, excess plant matter, abundant heat from the earth’s core, and fast flowing water are inexhaustible things. Thus, each of them constitutes an abundant and constantly renewed source of energy. In contrast, conventional energy sources such as coal, oil and natural gas are limited and cannot be replenished once they run out.
Renewable energy has the potential to become an important source of electricity in the future. Clean energy sources are a crucial part of the sustainable energy system that can propel development today without endangering the lives of future generations.
5. Stable energy costs
Clean energy sources are able to provide electricity at an affordable price and can therefore help stabilize energy costs in the future. Although setting up renewable facilities requires initial capital investment, once built they can operate at very low costs. This is mainly because, for most renewable energy technologies, the price of fuel is zero. Therefore, clean energy costs can be very stable and cheap over time.
In addition, the costs of clean energy technologies have steadily fallen and are expected to fall even further in the years to come. We expect costs to come down as markets mature and more companies take advantage of economies of scale. On the contrary, fossil fuel prices can change abruptly and are likely to experience substantial price increases.
Increased use of clean energy can reduce demand and costs for coal and natural gas by increasing competition and diversification of energy sources. Additionally, a greater reliance on clean energy will help protect the general public when fossil fuel costs soar.
Apart from the above five points, green energy has many other reasons to be embraced as a major source of our daily needs.
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