Why is Renewable Energy Important?

Learn the Importance of Renewable Energy in 2020 & Beyond

Solar and wind power providing energy to a rural home

Renewable energy is a topic on everyone’s lips this year – besides COVID-19, the election, and Tiger King of course – because it is an issue so many people feel passionate about.

Renewable energy is produced via sources that do not deplete – such as sunlight, wind, and hydropower, and that means that as long as those sources exist, so do we, and so does our power. These types of alternative energy also generally don’t produce any negative byproducts, which are causing serious harm to the environment.

Of course, we all hear that renewable energy needs to be a priority and that we need to use more of it, but why?

We’ll dive into exactly why it’s so important here.

Why is Renewable Energy Important for the Future?

Because without it, we will run out of ways to power our world.

That may sound dramatic, but it’s true – if we don’t find ways to replace all the ways we currently generate electricity, we will run out. Many experts estimate we could have as little as 100 years until we run out of fossil fuels, and burning other sources such as our own trash and trees can only take us so far.

The other major reason why it is so important (and for most people the most important reason) is that all non-renewable sources harm the planet and make the world a more difficult place to live for plant, animals, and humans. Air pollutants and smog hanging in our cities and towns exacerbates allergies, symptoms of asthma and lung disease. Global warming, acid rain, and physical damage to the environment are also major negative impacts caused by the continuous burning of fossil fuels.

Why is wind energy important for the future of renewable energy?

Once you learn how wind energy works, you’ll be wondering why we have not been taking advantage of this amazing renewable energy source for longer!

Wind never runs out, and is one of the cleanest ways of delivering energy to people worldwide through wind farms. Wind power also reduces carbon emission and saves water. Because of wind farms, 103 billion gallons of water and 198 metric million tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided in 2019 alone.

If you want to power your home with wind energy or other alternative energy sources like solar and lower your reliance on fossil fuels, you can look into how to switch to renewable energy with Inspire today.

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Why is solar energy an important source of renewable energy?

Solar power is important because it is clean, meaning it doesn’t harm the planet to produce, and the sun will exist for as long as we do, meaning it will never run out. Solar energy panels can be placed on any surface that faces the sun, so it’s ideal for placing on residential and commercial buildings to contribute energy to the power grid. That means that almost any building could contribute to the production of solar energy.

Why is the development of renewable energy sources important?

Renewable energy is vital for sustainable development because:

According to experts, we may only have 20 years [1] to reverse the effects of climate change before irreparable damage is done.

Fossil fuels will run out – experts believe we have between 53 and 110 years before supplies will be scarce and unable to fuel the world.

Sustainable energy sources are much more affordable – they pay for themselves over time, and that makes electricity cheaper for the consumer.

Renewable energy infrastructure creates jobs - in 2019 alone, 12,000 new jobs were created across all 50 states within wind energy.

Clean energy reduces the risk of respiratory health problems. According to the World Health Organization, household and ambient air pollution caused 7 million deaths globally in 2016. About 94% of these deaths occurred in low and middle‐income countries, with South East Asia and the Western Pacific regions bearing most of that burden. Such issues could be drastically reduced if we were most reliant on energy sources that did not rely on the burning of fossil fuels.

Why are alternative energy resources important?

Because the world is being damaged at an alarming rate, the development of renewable energy infrastructure takes time, and fossil fuels are running low. There is a clock ticking both on how long it will be until fossil fuels run out, and how long it is before irreparable damage is done to the planet.

Types of Green Energy

There’s a lot to be said about each form of sustainable energy, so let’s explore the types of green energy and what they can offer us:

Biogas
Biogas is produced after organic materials are broken down by bacteria in an oxygen-free environment, biogas is created by a process called anaerobic digestion, which occurs naturally in landfills. Biogas systems use anaerobic digestion to recycle these organic materials and turn them into biogas. The resulting product contains both energy (in the form of gas), and soil products. Every year, the US produces more than 70 million tons of organic waste, and despite the clear benefits of using biogas as an energy source, the US currently only has 2,200 operating biogas systems.

Biomass
Biomass is simply organic matter generating energy. It is cultivated from things like grass clippings, wood pellets, crops like corn and sugarcane, and even animal waste. Biomass as an energy source is often used alongside wind energy, with agricultural waste being burned to heat water and produce steam to power wind turbines. This is a renewable source of energy because plant matter can always be regrown.

Geothermal
Geothermal energy comes from heat within the sub-surface of the earth. The geothermal energy is carried to the Earth’s surface by water and steam. Geothermal energy can be harnessed for heating and cooling, or it can be used to generate clean electricity. Countries like Kenya, Philippines, New Zealand, El Salvador are heavily reliant on geothermal energy as opposed to other, less environmentally friendly energy sources. Geothermal also represents 90% of Iceland’s energy needs, making it a very “green” country.

Hydropower
Hydropower is a clean fuel source that is powered by water, and, once the dam has been built, is almost free to produce. Hydropower is harnessed through a system with three parts: a power plant that produces the electricity, a dam that can be opened or closed to control water flow, and a reservoir where the water is stored. The water behind the dam flows through, pushing against blades in a turbine, which causes it to turn. The turbine in this system then spins a generator that produces electricity.

Solar
Solar energy is an important energy source that relies on the rays of the sun, solar energy is mainly captured through the use of silicon solar panels using the “photovoltaic effect.” This is the mechanism by which solar panels harness the sun’s energy, thus generating electricity.

Wind
Like solar power, wind energy relies on the weather to produce electricity or not. This energy is harnessed through the use of wind turbines, which can be on land or offshore. It’s one of the cleanest and most sustainable sources of energy, producing zero carbon emissions and preventing the release of toxic gasses into the atmosphere.

That’s why wind energy is one of the renewable sources of energy we use for our Inspire customers – because it one of the cleanest and most promising forms of clean energy. If you’d like to find out more about how you too can make the switch to renewable energy click here.

US Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels

In 2019, renewable energy was responsible for around 11% of all US energy – and 17% for electricity generation [2]. That means that fossil fuels make up the majority of energy consumption. This has to change.

Fortunately, renewable green energy is on the rise. It’s predicted it will make up 13% in 2020, even with the strange circumstances we’ve found ourselves in, and that will continue to increase.

Advantages of Renewable Energy

We’ve covered many of the advantages of renewable energy in this article, so let’s recap:

  • Renewable energy is inexhaustible – unlike fossil fuels, wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy will always exist. We can’t live without it!
  • Little-to-no greenhouse gasses – a wind turbine replaces its carbon footprint in just 6 months of use. After that, it’s pure, clean energy for good.
  • Little-to-no pollutants – renewable energy sources don’t produce smog, acid rain, or other byproducts that can become trapped in the atmosphere or cause and aggravate respiratory disease.
  • Low cost – once a renewable energy farm has been built, it requires little maintenance for at least 20 years. That means costs are low, and you don’t have to continuously mine the earth or actively work to produce it. This will lower the cost of power over the long term.
  • Creates jobs – again, 12,000 jobs were created in the US by wind power in 2019.

Is renewable energy reliable?

Yes, because it will never run out and doesn’t require a huge amount of maintenance. When you consider all renewable energy sources working together, it’s an extremely reliable source of energy.

What’s the best renewable energy source for the future?

The best is when they’re all used together in tandem to cover the electricity demand. Clean energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower are even better because they don’t produce byproducts.

You can take advantage of renewable energy by switching to an Inspire clean energy subscription. Power your home & life with unlimited clean energy today.

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What kind of renewable energy will be used in the future?

It’s likely all the sources we’ve discussed in this article will be used together to supply the world with the energy it needs.

Can 100% renewable energy power the world? Will renewable energy meet future demands?

Yes, eventually, we will get to a place where only renewable energy sources power the world – and the sooner we do so, the better. Click here to make the switch to renewable power today.

How will we meet our energy needs in the future?

Renewable energy can be used everywhere: buildings can be heated and cooled through the use of biomass boilers, solar thermal water heaters and direct geothermal heat.

The transport industry can also get its energy from clean sources. Renewable electricity can be used to produce electro-fuels like hydrogen, which will fuel long-haul transport such as shipping and aviation. Reducing the overall demand for energy in the transport sector is critical, but it can be accomplished through policies promoting energy conservation and efficiency.

Industrial process heat can also be covered by green energy, with biomass producing renewable heat and hydrogen, providing the necessary energy for cement, iron and steel, and chemical industries.

The sooner we reach a world in which we are almost entirely fueled by renewable energy, the better. If you want to help change the planet for the better and protect it for future generations, there is a simple way to get started. Fortunately, we make it easy to make a huge change in just a few minutes – by switching to renewable energy with us.

Click here to get started.

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Sources:
[1] https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/climate-scientists-world-we-have-only-20-years-theres-no-turning-back
[2] https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=92&t=4#:~:text=In%202019%2C%20renewable%20energy%20sources,about%2017%25%20of%20electricity%20generation.

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