It’s no secret that we are in the middle of a climate crisis. With that, there have been a lot of measures taken by governments to switch to different forms of clean energy. In that sector, we have renewable energy. So, what exactly is it?
Renewable energy is defined as “energy derived from natural sources that are replenished at a higher rate than they are consumed (1).” Simply put, the energy is produced faster than it is used, so it helps the environment with a lack of excess energy production. Sources of renewable energy-such as sunlight and wind-are abundant and always replenishable.
On the flip side, non-renewable energy is produced through fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas. These energy sources take millions of years to form, and when they are burned for energy, they cause severe damage to the environment through greenhouse gases. The more fossil fuels burned, the more harmful greenhouse gases are produced, such as carbon dioxide, are released into the air and damage the atmosphere (1). These harmful gases damage the atmosphere by breaking the ozone layer, which helps protect us from the Sun’s power.
There are many positive aspects to renewable energy. It is cheaper in most countries and creates up to three times as many jobs as fossil fuels, which benefits the economy. Furthermore, it is a step in the right direction in regards to the climate crisis.
Renewable energy benefits businesses through providing energy, security, economic development, and energy price stability. In addition, it has a more promising sense of stability since it is produced locally, which is less affected by price spikes or unexpected disruptions in the supply chain (3).
The most plentiful source of renewable energy is solar energy. In fact, the rate at which solar energy is received by the Earth is about 10,000 times greater than the rate at which humans use the energy (1). Solar energy can be used for heating, cooling, natural lighting, electricity, and fuel for a handful of applications (1). Plus, at the rate which it is produced by the Sun, it is impossible to run out.
Not every country has the same access or ability to use solar energy. However, a large amount of solar energy is feasible for every country. From a financial perspective, the cost of making solar panels has drastically decreased in the last decade, so going solar has never been cheaper. There are also a considerable amount of financial incentives to go solar. For environmental and financial reasons, going solar is the way!