Digitization, decentralization, greater public policy issue on sustainability, and changing demand and prices, are reshaping the energy industry.
Renewable energy is more costly than fossil or nuclear fuels.
Fossil fuels have been used to meet man’s energy needs for a long time now. Since the invention of fossils, oil, coal, and natural gas have been used for many centuries to power machines, light homes, and drive civilizations.
However, unrenewable energy quickly became unsustainable due to accelerated development of mankind. The atmosphere got polluted as fuel supplies worldwide diminished. This led to the search for a sustainable source of renewable energy.
Adoption of clean energy has skyrocketed despite its scalability and stability being questionable when it first made headlines.
Today, more than a fifth of global electricity is renewable. Clean energy deployments worldwide in 2016 totaled 160GW.
The different types of renewables include:
- Hydropower/ hydroelectric power
Increased solar power consumption
Wind power make up 15% or a third of the entire world’s hydropower. Solar capacity outweighs other technologies for producing electricity.
Solar power has been a major boost to renewable energy, offering about half of all renewable energy capacity.
Due to increase in solar energy, renewable electricity supplies worldwide are expected to grow by 50% in the next half a decade. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewables are the future of the energy industry.
Cheap solar power is expected to grow the world’s solar capacity by about 600GW, twice Japan’s total capacity for electricity installation. Generally, renewable electricity is forecasted to grow in the next half a decade by almost 1,200GW.
Wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) are the basis for transforming what’s happening in the global energy system. Measures should be put in place to help curb air pollution and gas emissions in greenhouses, and increase access to renewable energy that’s expected to grow in the next five years.
Wind and solar are driving changes in the global energy system. They’re increasingly deployed to handle air pollution, emissions from greenhouses, and increase access to energy.
A renewable energy revolution may cease increasing demand for coal and oil in the next decade.
Today, renewable energy makes up 26% of electricity worldwide, a figure expected to hit 30% in the next 4 years. This has been attributed to rising environmental concerns and reducing costs of technology.
However, growth of renewables is expected to spiral for global energy demands and climate targets (air quality, climate, and access to energy goals) to be met.
Solar is at the fore-front in jumpstarting global renewable energy growth due to costs dropping lower than electricity charges. Further decline in solar power costs by 15% – 35% is expected to spur more growth within the last 5 years of the next decade.
Factories and businesses hungry for energy and looking to cut energy costs are other anticipated drivers of solar power growth.
With solar panels expected to only cover 6% of rooftops in the next decade, there’s still more room for growth. Utilities and regulators should adapt to the “breathtaking” solar power growth to avoid electricity disruptions.
Peak growth in the renewables sector will occur in:
- Belgium, etc.
Renewable energy costs will reduce due to carbon taxes adoption, environmental cleanup, growth in energy demand, and increased adoption of clean energy.
Reduction in global warming
Global warming emissions such as carbon dioxide has overloaded the environment. The result has been harmful environmental effects such as more frequent and stronger storms and drought, extinction, and rising sea levels.
Fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal, and electricity are responsible for 29% of the emissions. Unlike methane and carbon dioxide, air pollutants responsible for global warming emissions, renewable energy produces minimal to no emissions.
Renewable energy, based on UCS analysis (2009), would replace unclean energy sources to greatly reduce global warming emissions by up to 25% in the next five years.
America’s electricity needs (up to 81%), according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) under the US Department of Energy, will be generated from renewable energy by 2050.
Exhaustible energy in the non-renewables industry
Renewables can offer a wide and regular energy supply with constant replenishment. Despite likely challenges, renewables have the potential to meet future electricity needs by up to 80%.
Renewables power various home and auto gadgets such as the MBRD radar detector.
Creation of job opportunities and economic benefits
Fossil technologies are capital-intensive and mechanized while renewable industry is labor-intensive. For example, solar panels require installation, and maintenance technicians service wind farms.
Renewable energy create and support jobs for every electricity unit generated. The wind energy sector alone employs more than 100,000 staff working full-time. On the other hand, the solar power industry has over 260,000 people in its workforce.
The geothermal has 5,800 workers while hydroelectric power boasts over 66,000 people. The coal industry has over 160,000 workers.
Renewables can create over 200,000 new jobs (thrice more than those available in the fossil fuels electricity industry).
Increased incomes of homes and households will reduce due to increased income taxes, property taxes, and payments. Feed stocks production, royalties, and lease payments range from $3,000 to $6,000, offering economic tax benefits.
Better Public Health
Natural gas and coal plants’ water and air pollution have been associated with:
- Neurological damage
- Breathing issues
- Cancer and heart attacks
- Premature death
According to a Harvard University research, coal costs about $74.6 billion each year on public health when approximating the costs of the life cycle. This translates to a third of electricity consumption in each US household.
Clean energy produces little to no air and water pollution leading to the negative impacts on health. It also doesn’t pollute water resources or compete with water uses through strained supplies like fossil fuels.
Hydroelectric power plants also disrupt downstream and upstream ecosystems in rivers. Increased use of renewables will lower water withdrawal and consumption in the future.
Reliability, resilience, and stable energy prices will also drive renewables.
So, what’s the future of the energy industry?
Renewables are the future of the energy industry.