Why is Renewable Energy Important? 10 Critical reasons
With renewables in the limelight for decades, it begs the question—Why is renewable energy important?
Climate change is emerging as the number one threat to humanity, from gigantic hurricanes to blistering polar vortexes. Let’s explore why renewable energy is important for the future.
1. Renewables are Inexhaustible Energy
Wind, sun, and water are always available. The earth continues to cycle, constantly replenishing renewable energy, making renewables inexhaustible and popular (1).
The consumption of renewables has tripled from 2000 to 2019
With fossil fuels, resources are limited, where importing and international tensions increase to obtain natural gas. Drilling for fossil fuels in our homelands is also an issue, as oil spills may occur, threatening our oceans.
2. Renewable Energy Reduces Dependence Overseas
Instead of using fossil fuels from overseas with geopolitical tensions, countries can use domestic resources to create jobs and produce cleaner energy sources (2). In fact, the U.S. is currently working on ways to build a 100% clean grid:
As you can see, renewable energy gives countries a chance to thrive domestically. Nations can use natural resources available on their land, such as hydro, solar, and wind to generate electricity. Local manufacturing industries can also take advantage of renewables expanding.
3. Renewable Energy is Cost-Effective
When you answering the question, “Why is renewable energy important?” you have to mention that the price continues to decline (3). Its elements such as water, sun, wind—are free!
For residential homes, there is an upfront cost to pay, such as setting up solar panels. However, in the long-run, prices stabilize.
During COVID-19, oil prices spiked because people used less transportation. Renewables are gaining an opportunity for faster adoption as renewable prices decline (4). Dan Shreve, the head of global wind energy research for the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie stated:
Renewable generation sources have become extraordinarily competitive from an economic standpoint,… It’s a terrific story.
On the other hand, fossil fuels continue to fluctuate as politics, manipulation, and scarcity continue to drive prices.
4. Renewable Energy Creates Jobs
Jobs such as installing solar panels and wind turbine technicians expect to grow 94% to 100% in the next decade (5).
Renewable energy jobs have the largest projection to grow faster than other industries.
Globally, there were 5.5 million renewable energy jobs (6). By 2019, there were 11.5 million jobs, doubling in roughly six years.
5. Renewable Energy is Clean
Fossil fuels emit harmful chemicals into our atmosphere, such as greenhouse gases (7).
Renewables come from clean sources, such as sun, wind, water. These elements also do not produce air pollution, unlike fossil fuels. While other sources, like geothermal energy have pros and cons because they produce some air pollution, it’s at a much lower rate than fossil fuels.
6. Renewable Energy Helps Local Governments
Each area in the U.S. and around the world has different needs and costs. Local governments embracing renewables by creating regulations and legislations friendly to building clean energy has advantages (8), such as:
- Lowering electricity costs, saving money
- Reducing greenhouse gases and emissions
- Improving air quality
- Strengthening energy systems
- Job creation
- Uplifting the community
7. Rural Areas Benefit From Renewable Energy
Rural areas have vast amounts of land to use, readily available. These same areas tend to be remote, where it can be harder to find work or receive help.
Other benefits for the rural community includes (9):
- New economic opportunities
- Reduce water usage
- Protect against power disruptions
- Free up funds, as renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels
8. Renewable Energy Increases Access to Electricity
Not everyone has electricity. More than 1 billion people lack electricity access (10).
One more billion do not have reliable electricity. Renewables create the opportunity for power in impoverished areas with declining technology costs, improved reliability, and supportive government policies.
9. Renewable Energy is Expanding Rapidly
Renewable and alternative energy sources present excellent opportunities for possible investments. For example, job creation, industry expansion, stocks, and products such as the electric car (11) mark the beginning of a new age. Elon Musk, Tesla’s Technoking, founder of Space X, and the mind behind many other innovative companies put it like this:
And we will have the choice of the collapse of civilization—and into the Dark Ages we go—or we find something renewable.
Fortunately, renewables are trending up. Global electricity generation from renewables in 2018 was 26.2% and may increase to 45% in 2050. In addition, the U.S. has seen a 100% increase in renewables from 2000 to 2018 (12). To help put this acceleration into perspective, you can check out the latest pros and cons of wind energy for a first-hand look at a rapidly growing industry.
10. Health and Environmental Benefits of Renewable Energy
Renewable energy can help improve our health. For example, solar power can help the environment and increase health benefits (13), such as:
- Reducing water scarcity
- Mitigate climate change, saving billions
- Curb air pollution and prevent billions in health damages
- Reduce pollutants, saving thousands of lives in unnecessary health costs
At the end of the day, there’s many reasons why solar energy is important, along with other renewable energy sources because their development unlocks a better future for us all, and the planet alike.
The renewable energy that is growing the fastest is solar energy.
It currently employs the most people globally and is projected to increase for decades to come. For more of the latest information on the solar industry, you can find out more on our homepage.
Yes, renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels because they are inexhaustible. Rapid adoption is leading to the decline in renewable energy prices, including advancement in technology. Many will argue that fossil fuels are a cheaper source of energy, but that greatly discounts the future.
Renewable energy can save the planet by reducing our carbon footprint, resulting in less smog, better air quality, and cleaner water.
For example, biomass energy has pros and cons, but when comparing the burning of natural materials like wood to fossil fuels like gasoline, it’s easy to see which is better for the Earth. From the health of our planet, to the health each individual all across the map, our collective futures depend on the development of renewable, and sustainable energy sources.
- Renewable energy explained. Retrieved from: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/renewable-sources/
- Energy Innovation Seen as Needed to Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil Save Money | The Pew Charitable Trusts. Retrieved from: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/news-room/press-releases-and-statements/2012/07/24/energy-innovation-seen-as-needed-to-reduce-dependence-on-foreign-oil-save-money
- Renewable Energy Prices Hit Record Lows: How Can Utilities Benefit from Unstoppable Solar and Wind? Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2020/01/21/renewable-energy-prices-hit-record-lows-how-can-utilities-benefit-from-unstoppable-solar-and-wind/
- How Renewable Energy Could Emerge on Top After Pandemic – Yale E360. Retrieved from: https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-renewable-energy-could-emerge-on-top-after-the-pandemic
- Green growth: Employment projections in environmentally focused occupations: Career outlook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/data-on-display/green-growth.htm
- Renewable energy employment worldwide 2019 | Statista. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/859908/employment-in-renewable-energy-sector-globally/
- Renewable Energy Definition and Types of Renewable Energy Sources | NRDC. Retrieved from: https://www.nrdc.org/stories/renewable-energy-clean-facts
- Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments | US EPA. Retrieved from: https://www.epa.gov/statelocalenergy
- Renewable Energy Brings Economic Boost to Rural Communities | NRDC. Retrieved from: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/arjun-krishnaswami/renewable-energy-brings-economic-boost-rural-communities
- Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.irena.org/benefits
- Elon Musk Says We Must Switch to Renewables or Plunge Into “the Dark Ages”. Retrieved from: https://futurism.com/elon-musk-says-we-must-switch-to-renewables-or-plunge-into-the-dark-ages
- Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Retrieved from: https://www.c2es.org/content/renewable-energy/
- The Environmental and Public Health Benefits of Achieving High Penetration of Solar Energy in the United States | Department of Energy. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/downloads/environmental-and-public-health-benefits-achieving-high-penetration-solar
Hi, Im Dara. Born and raised in Farmingdale NY and I spend my time online covering alternative energy news and local developments,in the space. My mission is to help more people realise the benefits of using alternative energy. When i’m not blogging about energy you’ll find me walking my dog, working out, or practicing meditation!