Over the next 20 years, global electricity use is going to double. By 2050, the earth is expected to home 10 billion people. More people will lead to more energy consumption, and if non-renewable energy sources continue to be used, pollution levels are predicted to be a cause for 6.6 million deaths by 2050.
In the age of global warming and growing population, renewable energy is surely the way to go. So why is it taking so long for the world to completely adopt the trend?
One reason is, renewable energy, although good for the environment, may not be as effective as other non-renewable resources.Their initiation and maintenance costs tend to be higher than current systems. Fossil fuels and natural oils are currently perceived to be much more efficient in getting the work done. So naturally, why would an industry go through the pain of paying extra money to get a weaker source of energy?
Another drawback of green energy is that it requires hands on activities in maintenance. Sustainable energy, such as biomass, requires community involvement and collective action to maintain. Although providing greater employment opportunities, transportation costs of biomass tend to be very high.
Renewable energy sources are not always sustainable. If coal mining is bad for the environment, so is the mining of neodymium, silicon and other rare earth elements from the earth that are used for making wind turbines and solar panels.
Higher subsidies on petroleum and oil have caused industrialists to prefer using these non-renewable energy sources. Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of £3.4 trillion ($5.3tn) a year, equivalent to £8m a minute each day, according to the International Monetary fund.
However, it is difficult to imagine the world without renewable energy. Renewable energy in spite of its challenges is the most efficient way to move forward. Solar, wind, hydro and biomass energy are our best options to create a greener more sustainable planet.
So when will the earth really be self-sustainable and be completely fuelled by renewable energy? Only time will tell. But, it is clear to see that global warming and climate change are real, no matter what the President of any country says. Sooner or later the entire planet will have no option other than to adopt greener and renewable energy sources. We can only hope to be alive to see such a glorious day.
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