Home Tags Posts tagged with "Renewable energy"

Renewable energy

Image source: Pexels

For more than a century, fossil fuels have been the source of the world’s power. The only thing about it is that it has been harming the environment in the process, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, carbon emissions, and climate change. And as more and more people become aware of the harmful impact of fossil fuels, they’re looking into safer, alternative energy sources to do their part in helping the environment.

Unfortunately, in their efforts to make positive changes, it’s going to lead to misconceptions in conducting research. This can then sway decisions, and that’s okay… It’s natural to have questions about how renewable energy works and why it’s the better option over fossil fuels because if you’re going to make the switch, you need to understand what you’re switching to.

There are, of course, different ways to generate renewable energy, so it’s understandable to want to know if solar power is the best way to generate clean energy over hydropower or if making the switch really will save on your electric bill… But in searching for answers to those questions, you’re also going to run into mistruths and falsehoods that simply aren’t true…

As you know, you can’t believe everything you see or read online, so to set the record straight, if you’re planning on switching to renewable energy or just considering it, here are some common misconceptions you want to avoid.

Misconceptions About Renewable Energy to Avoid

1. Renewable Energy Sources Can’t Provide Enough Electricity For Your Needs

There is a great concern among skeptics that wind and solar energy can’t meet the world’s growing needs for electricity, especially during certain seasons and times of the day. Well, the funny thing about this particular skepticism is that wind and solar power are infinite resources that can be used all the time; non-renewable sources are actually deteriorating in supply.

According to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), not only is renewable energy feasible but it’s making the grid more reliable as well. In fact, the US could reach an 80% renewable energy penetration rate by 2050. So to say that renewable energy can’t provide enough electricity to meet the world’s needs is pure blasphemy.

2. Renewable Energy is Expensive

One of the biggest draws to switching to renewable energy is because it lowers your electric bill! Why else do you think people are having solar panels installed on their roofs? To speak further on that, people who aren’t able to have solar panels installed are still able to reap the benefits of renewable energy simply by switching to alternative electricity.

People in Texas are switching electricity providers and are now able to find the least expensive energy rates in TX. It’s cheap because it’s a natural resource that doesn’t require any manmade efforts. People don’t have to invest millions of dollars for the sun to rise or for the wind to blow, therefore, renewable energy is a great way to not only help the environment but also lower your electric bill.

3. Renewable Energy Kills Birds

It’s been said that clean energy kills birds, and that’s just not true. Now, it’s important to note that wind turbines have caused some bird deaths by flying into the turbines but not the way people are making it out to be. According to the National Audubon Society, bird deaths are more likely due to cats, tall buildings, and the greenhouse effect of excessive pollution.

4. Renewable Energy Isn’t a Reliable Source

This myth is more so directed towards solar and wind energy. The theory is that because sun and wind can’t be produced around the clock that it isn’t reliable. Well, this is where people go wrong. Wind and solar energy actually go hand-in-hand.

Wind speeds tend to pick up at night and solar energy is produced during the day but just because they’re not sources that are produced around the clock doesn’t mean that they’re unreliable. Things like batteries and other energy storage sources have made wind and solar energy very reliable sources, giving you the flexibility to use the power whenever you need it.

So, just because the wind isn’t blowing or if the sun isn’t visible to you, that doesn’t mean your house will shut down. Both wind and solar energy are abundant sources. Biomass, hydropower, and geothermal are energy sources that indeed do produce electricity around the clock.

Renewable energy is a hot topic at the moment and more countries are starting to drive toward the end goal of generating all of their energy from renewable sources. A huge amount of the research is going into wind and solar energy and that’s what most people tend to use on their houses if they want to generate their own power, but what about the other sources? The research into solar and wind energy is mostly directed at efficiency because there are a lot of downfalls. If you live in a country that isn’t particularly sunny or windy it’s going to be patchy. Relying on something completely out of your control to generate your power isn’t ideal which is why some of these alternative energy sources are a lot better.

Hydroelectricity

dam

Pixabay

Hydroelectricity is a fairly well established source of renewable energy. It works by putting turbines in a dam which are then turned by the flow of the river. The initial costs are obviously going to be fairly high when compared with wind turbines or solar energy but after that large outlay, it’s a lot cheaper. The cost of generating hydroelectric power is around 3 times cheaper than the cost of solar panels and you can get a far larger yield out of it as well.

Bioenergy

Bioenergy isn’t something that is used all that much but it has the benefit of recycling materials as well as producing clean energy. Bioenergy – Renewable energy uses waste in a lot of different ways to produce energy. A large amount of it comes from farms but there are all sorts of sources. Biodiesel was one of the options for clean cars but it hasn’t taken off as of yet. Bioenergy is one of the only clean forms of energy that can directly replace fossil fuels so we can still make use of those power plants without too many expensive modifications.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is a clever way of producing power using the temperature difference above ground and below ground. Like hydroelectricity, there are quite significant costs initially because you need to bury a lot of the equipment below ground. However, it doesn’t require much maintenance afterwards and it’s a lot cheaper than solar energy. It works out about the same price as wind energy but you don’t have to deal with the added issue of people that don’t want wind turbines near their house because it’s an eyesore.

Coal

fire

Pexels

Coal is obviously a terrible source of energy, but only in the way that we use it right now. It sounds like an impossibility but there is such a thing as clean coal. By using new equipment that filters out a lot of the pollutants so they can be buried deep underground, it is actually possible to burn coal without damaging the environment. It would take a lot of modification to update the power plants but once it’s done, the energy produced would still be about half the cost of solar energy.

Solar and wind energy are still valuable sources of clean energy but these options are often cheaper and more reliable.