Our present energy-dependent world has turned its eye towards renewable sources of energy. With rising demands for scarce fossil-based energy resources and the consequent greenhouse emissions, there is a growing effort to fulfil our energy demands with cleaner, greener alternatives. There are various forms of renewable energy sources, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
So, in this article, we will explore the present state of these renewable sources and how they will progress tomorrow. We will also explore some of the ongoing trends in this space and their impact on you.
Is Renewable Energy Sources the Way of the Future?
Yes, renewable energy sources will play a significant role in the future of energy. An important reason as to why is because renewable energy is better for the environment. Fuel-free, carbon-free electricity generation has numerous advantages. Furthermore, as the demand for renewable energy grows, costs are falling significantly. Renewables will undoubtedly become the world’s primary energy source soon, as the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted in its 2020 report.
Renewable energy sources are clean and limitless sources of energy. They differ from fossil fuels primarily in their diversity, abundance, and ability to be used anywhere on the planet. But most importantly, they do not emit greenhouse gases or toxic emissions. Their costs are also dropping at a constant pace. However, despite their current volatility, the general cost pattern for fossil fuels is in the other direction.
Growth of green and clean energy is inevitable, as figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show: they accounted for nearly 50% of all new power generation capacity built-in 2014, making them the second-largest energy source in the world after coal.
As per the reports from the International Energy Agency, global electricity demand would climb by 70% by 2040, with its percentage of final energy usage jumping from 18 to 24% over that period, majorly owing to the developing economies such as India, Africa, the Middle East, China, and Southeast Asia.
Why Do We Need Alternative Energy Sources?
There are two reasons why you should adopt renewable resources: they are infinite (especially solar energy), and they do not give off toxic substances like carbon monoxide dioxide (CO) and greenhouse gases (GHGs).
We must understand that finite energy sources are limited resources, implying that we should spend them wisely. At our current rate, this would be exhaust around the year 2060. Even if we find an unlimited supply of fossil fuels, at some point, we would be extracting them at an unsustainable rate. And, as deposits become scarcer, drawing them would become extremely high-priced much before this time.
Moreover, given the current situation of the globe, drying out of fossil fuels is not our primary concern; instead, the emissions produced by burning them are far more dangerous.
Kinds of Renewable Energy
Renewable energies cover:
Wind energy: the energy taken from the wind.
Solar energy: refers to the energy derived from the sun.
Hydraulic energy: refers to the power or energy received from waterways.
Biogas and biomass: refer to the energy extracted from organic material.
Geothermal energy: refers to the heat energy from the core of the Earth.
Tidal energy: refers to the power or energy gained from the tides.
Wave energy: the energy taken from ocean waves.
Bioethanol: the organic fuel fit for vehicles and collected from the fermentation of vegetation.
Biodiesel: organic fuel for automobiles, obtained from vegetable oils
What Are the Advantages of Using Renewable Energy?
You may also hear the renewable sources of energy referred to as green energy or clean energy. It is far friendlier for the planet to obtain electricity from renewable energy sources than to burn fossil fuels.
By pursuing alternative energy sources, both governments and private customers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Consequently, curbing global warming and climate change. Let’s glance at the environmental consequences of clean energy as well as the economic advantages it can provide:
Slowdown the climate change: Energy production through fossil fuels is the largest source of CO2 emissions in the United States. The emission of greenhouse gases is the chief cause of global warming and climate change. Natural gas, charcoal, and other fossil fuels have a substantially higher carbon footprint than alternative energy sources. Shifting to renewable energy sources for power production will benefit the environment by slowing down and reversing climate change.
Save lives: As per an estimate adopting just water, wind, and solar energy could save around 7 million lives every year.
Reduce harsh weather: We can experience a reduction in severe weather conditions like floods, storms, and cyclones triggered by global warming if we stop and eventually reverse the impact of climate change.
Reduce fuel dependence: We can diversify our energy supply by utilizing large-scale green technologies and reducing our reliance on foreign fuels.
Economic and job development: Creating additional utility-scale power sources can stimulate economic growth and employment in the installation and manufacturing sectors.
Whenever the oil reserves of the world get exhausted, we’ll turn to another source of energy, especially renewable sources of energy. However, we must be vigilant in discovering new types of energy to continue civilization’s growth. And also maintain the high standard of life that we’ve already come to expect.
What Renewable Energy Trends Should You Keep an Eye on in 2021?
Renewable energy technologies are stretching the limits of what has been achievable. In 2021, look for a combination of more conventional sources that are developing and newish technologies that are just beginning to work in the actual world.
Solar remains the trendiest product in the market, with improved energy efficiency and lower costs thanks to ever-improving photovoltaic panels.
Renewable hydrogen will grow in popularity in 2021, even though it is a new, lesser proven technology. There’s also the possibility of a surge in sustainable methanol, but that won’t happen for a few years.
There will be a rise of utility-scale biogas, especially biodiesel derived from organic resources like sugar, along with synthetic fuels produced using captured CO2 and methane outputs. Because synthetic fuels are not renewable energy, this could be the ultimate type of alternative energy.