Energy is a topic that drives conversation, but also spurs on debate. Many are concerned with the types of energy that we depend on most and their ability to last or harm the environment that we live in long-term. Renewable energy is an alternative to traditional energy sources including coal, oil and natural gas.
Coal, oil and natural gas are referred to as non-renewable energy sources, because they can eventually dwindle and become less accessible over time. In some cases, retrieving these non-renewable energy sources can be incredibly expensive and also cause harm to the environment. Renewable energy comes in a variety of different forms and has the ability to offer benefits that are not obtainable through the use of non-renewable energy alone.
Renewable energy is seen by many to have the power to transform the way we use and obtain energy sources. There are many aspects of renewable energy that are seen as positives, but there are a few downsides. By taking a closer look at the pros and cons of renewable energy, you can decide for yourself if it is the better alternative to non-renewable energy including coal, oil and natural gas.
Pros of Renewable Energy
1. Lessens Global Warming
Global warming is a huge cause for concern and something that many environmental scientists are very worried about. Traditional non-renewable energy is harmful to the environment and causes high amounts of emissions that further global warming. However, renewable energy sources do not produce these harmful emissions and could be a great way to increase the efforts to slow down the global warming process. Coal fired plants are responsible for about 25% of all global warming emissions, which means that converting from coal to a renewable energy source could have a huge positive impact on the global warming problem.
2. Improved Health
Fossil fuels decrease the overall quality of the air that you breathe on a daily basis. There is both air and water pollution caused from the burning of fossil fuels as energy sources. Research has shown that replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources could have such a positive impact on air quality and health that mortality rates could be improved as a result. Poor air quality can lead to disease and illness, but renewable energy sources can help reduce this problem and make the air that you breathe much cleaner and less harmful to your health.
3. Vast Supply
One of the biggest concerns in relying on non-renewable energy is that the supply will undoubtedly dwindle over time. However, this is not the case with renewable energy sources. Most renewable energy is inexhaustible and vast. Wind, sunny skies, plant residue and other popular forms of renewable energy are vast and not going anywhere. These renewable energy sources are diverse and have enough potential to power the nation over and over again. Relying on renewable energy sources is a much safer bet.
Cons of Renewable Energy
1. Generating Quantities That You Need is Difficult
Renewable energy does have a lot of potential, but it is not quite as powerful or easy to generate electricity as fossil fuels are. This means that in order for renewable energy to be the alone energy source we might have to make changes to our energy consumption. More energy facilities might need to be built of a transition to renewable energy is going to be made.
2. Reliability is a Question
Many view sustainability as a major pro for the use of renewable energy, but renewable energy is not quite as reliable as you might think. Renewable energy is often reliant on weather factors, which is hard to predict. The wind and sun are not always accessible. This means that relying on renewable energy can be somewhat risky and there are concerns. It might be more sustainable long-term, but it is not always reliable. When these resources are unavailable, it is impossible to use them as a renewable energy source. This means that renewable energy is often unreliable, unpredictable and inconsistent, which is not how you describe non-renewable energy.
3. Too Reliant on Technology
Renewable energy is dependent on technology as a means for making it accessible. This type of technology is extremely expensive and is attached to very high costs. This means that renewable energy is not always the most cost effective option. Since non-renewable energy is not as reliant on technology, it can be more affordable and more easily used. The equipment required for the use of renewable energy is not necessary when using non-renewable energy sources including coal, oil and natural gas.
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is constantly replenished and never runs out, which is the main difference. This type of energy is sustainable over long periods of time due to the fact that it is natural. Renewable energy is reliant on technology, but it has the ability to reduce the amount of dependence that we have on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are not replenished naturally and they will become more difficult to extract and gain access to over time. Sustainability is not the only difference between renewable energy and non-renewable energy.
Renewable energy also has the ability to impact the environment in a positive manner. This can be seen in improved air quality, lessening of global warming, less harm to the environment through reduction of methods designed to extract fossil fuels. There will even be new jobs created involved with renewable energy.
Most Used Types of Renewable Energy
Wind Energy: Wind energy is completely pollution free and can power a plant without relying on coal or gas.
Solar Energy: This is the most prevalent type of renewable energy and is now more affordable than ever before. It does require unique technology, but it is a tremendous renewable energy source.
Biomass Energy and Cellulosic Ethanol: This includes materials like corn, soy and even wood, but this type of renewable energy is not as sustainable as others.
Biogas Energy: Animal waste has the ability to be transferred into a clean-burning gas that is better for the environment and can be used to power electricity.
Geothermal Energy: The steam and hot water that lie deep beneath the surface of the earth can also be a vital type of renewable energy.
Where Are The Best Renewable Energy Resources?
There is more than just one type of renewable energy that is available. You might have heard of the sun referred to as a renewable energy sources, but there are many others. The renewable energy industry is growing as more and more people start to see how this is the wave of the future.