The global population increased at its fastest rate in recorded history during the twentieth century, rising from around 1.6 billion in 1900 to over 6 billion in 2000. And due to the rising population, the energy demand has also increased exponentially. Therefore, the world is facing two potential threats.
The first is undoubtedly climate change due to fossil fuel consumption, which is a short-term gain and long-term pain! Second, it is the cost of energy. So what is the most viable solution that we have to deal with this issue?
Well, renewable energy sources are our best bet as they are cleaner and greener. Therefore, we need to learn more about these sources.
The world runs on coal today. Therefore, it makes up for 41% of total electricity generation, as per the World Coal Association.
And it is no doubt that coal consumption is not an eco-friendly source of electricity generation due to the high level of pollution (air and water contamination all through mining and air pollution during combustion).
Secondly, the miserable workplace conditions for mine workers have caused health concerns in thousands of workers worldwide. So, what is the most important lesson to learn? In my opinion, it is to take responsibility and not take things for granted!
Since we are already witnessing the aftereffects of fossil fuel consumption, which are neither democratic nor good for nature. Therefore, it is high time to learn more about the alternatives which can help lead us in the right direction.
Simply because we get it from more practical and less dangerous natural resources on Earth. Which are not finite or exhaustible, such as wind and sunlight, to name a few. Therefore, these sources are sustainable and cost-effective for all practical purposes.
Since renewable energy is an alternative to traditional energy like fossil fuels. Hence, it is generally less harmful to the environment.
Top five renewable energy sources and why can they make a difference?
The first and most obvious advantage of solar energy is that, aside from panel production, it emits no greenhouse gases. And, this is the primary driving force behind all green energy technology.
The more nations strive to meet their climate change commitments by reducing emissions. The better the solar energy gets in terms of production and cost.
Another significant benefit of using solar energy is that it is free, well, not for you and me at least! Free in the sense that we get it directly from the sun! However, initial installation and maintenance can be a little costly for some people.
Nonetheless, for most, it is not that bad! Hence, I said it is more cost-effective than traditional energy sources.
Yet another benefit of using solar energy would be less costly raw materials compared to oil or coal. And it requires significantly less active labour than conventional power generation. But in my view, it is much better than coal mining because we all know how bad it may turn for some miners in those mines.
Wind energy is a top-rated source of renewable energy. And like solar, it too has many advantages. That is the primary reason why it is one of the fastest-growing energy sources.
However, the best thing about wind energy is that it is inexpensive compared to traditional power sources. Here is how? After the production tax, wind power is one of the most affordable energy sources available today. How so? as it costs 1–2 cents per kilowatt-hour.
On the other side, it reduces the uncertainty that fuel costs add to traditional energy sources because electricity from wind farms is sold at a fixed price over a long period.
3 Hydroelectric power
Another most useful renewable energy source, an exceptionally versatile source of energy. How so? As we can generate energy from this source using small and large dams, rivers, and streams.
The cool aspect of this type of renewable energy source is that it does not emit pollution. So, it is a much more environmentally friendly energy source for our planet.
Since bioenergy is a widely available renewable energy source, using it to generate electricity can also help us reduce waste.
In addition, biomass is organic matter which abounds in our surroundings. Did you know that it is easily accessible from forests and croplands to waste and landfills?
And fortunately so, all biomass receives its energy from the sun – thanks to photosynthesis. Moreso, biomass resources regenerate relatively quickly compared to fossil fuels. As a result, we will not run out of biomass for energy production.
Although it is not a popular renewable energy source for public knowledge, scientists have known its potential for a long time.
Why is it one of the best renewable energy sources? Well because, ocean currents provide renewable energy, which is great for two reasons. First, it is safe in terms of production as well as dependability.
In addition, we can produce energy from the ocean locally and forever. But the most remarkable thing about ocean energy is that it relies on never-ending flows that ensure the future availability of energy. Therefore, we should pay more attention to ocean energy. Luckily, we have more water than the land!