As the effects of global warming create changes in our climate, more people are choosing alternative types of energy. For the last 150 years, most of the world’s energy has come from burning fossil fuels. As these resources become depleted and prices for these resources continue to climb, people are looking for more sustainable resources.
Some sustainable energy resources are also renewable, like wind, solar, and hydropower. This means that they can never be depleted or used up. Not all sustainable energies are renewable, however. For instance, if used in moderation, natural gas is sustainable, but there is not an endless supply of it like there is an endless supply of solar energy.
Here is a list of 10 reasons to choose renewable sources of energy:
We can’t use it up. It’s that simple. The wind will always blow and the sun will always shine. Harnessing the energies of the wind and sun is smart because they can’t be exhausted.
On the other hand, if we continue to use fossil fuels and other non-renewables at the current rate, they will be depleted in this century. It is estimated that we have about 50 years of oil and natural gas left and up to 114 years of coal remaining. Other estimates say that oil could be depleted in as little as 30 years.
It’s available everywhere
Some sources of renewable energy are available in every corner of the planet. For instance, solar power is now being used in places that previously didn’t have access to power grids. With renewable energies like solar power, which can be set up anywhere in the world, even people in third world countries are able to have power now.
Rapidly advancing technology
Another reason to choose renewable resources is that there is so much to discover. One of the newest forms of renewable energy is tidal hydroelectric power. There are some disadvantages and environmental concerns, but scientists are working to mitigate the downsides.
New technologies are also making solar power more efficient. As it gains in popularity, the growth curve for solar power is continuing to move upward. We are familiar with terms like solar thermal and photovoltaic because they have been around for a while, but what about terms like “heterojunction solar cells” and “perovskites”?
Better for Your Health
The effects of burning fossil fuels are well-documented. From heart attacks to asthma, the health impacts are too big to ignore. They also need to be factored in when considering the rising costs of using non-renewable sources of energy.
It is estimated by the National Resources Defense Council that air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels causes over 100,000 deaths each year and the annual cost is 820 billion dollars. This is expected to get worse each year that we continue to use fossil fuels.
It’s less expensive
Renewable energy recently surpassed other forms of energy as the cheapest form of energy. Switching to renewable energy is going to cost less and less, too, as it becomes more widely produced and used
Better for Your Future
It is difficult to imagine what the world would be like right now if the previous generation had switched to solar energy during the 1970s energy crisis when it first started gaining popularity. It is difficult to imagine, that is, unless you live in a green city.
Currently, over 100 cities in the U.S. get 70% or more of their electricity from solar power. They are starting to see the benefits to people’s health and the lower cost of their electricity.
Better for the Planet
The fact that renewable energies have zero emissions is reason enough to switch from burning fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels is having a disastrous climate change impact due to global warming, as evidenced by extreme weather events, rising sea levels, forest fires and increased droughts.
The energy sector continues to be an area of major job growth. The most rapid growth in this sector is seen in the solar and wind industries. Jobs in energy efficiency operations are expected to see a 10% growth. Electric vehicles, battery storage, and wind generation jobs are increasing in number.
Diversified energy sources create reliability
When we have more energy types to choose from, we reduce our risk. Currently, we are seeing rising gas prices because we are dependent on oil. As we move away from this dependency, we will see more and more benefits of having diversified energy resources.
Renewable energy sources are safe compared to many other types of energy. There is little to no risk of explosions or disasters like oil spills and fires.
There is a Future with Renewable Energies
There are so many reasons to choose renewable energy resources. We can continue to use them without putting future generations at risk. In fact, the more we use them, the more available they will become. This actually sets future generations up for success.