Why move to other energy sources? Solar, Hydropower, biomass, geothermal and other types of renewable energy are great alternatives, and that is for many reasons.
The World Health Organization considers pollution one of the biggest threats to everyone, affecting 100 million people. You know, up there with malaria and HIV. Clean air, water and lands are essential for a healthier life. I say the move is worth it. For us, and for every other species in this planet.
Alternative energy is not the most affordable option all the time, but that is because we live in a system in which fossil fuels have most of the demand. Even solar panels are a bit of a luxury, but prices are dropping quick. In fact, solar panel costs have fallen by 60% since 2011. And because solar energy is unlimited (at least until the sun dies… but when that happens… we’ll have bigger problems to worry about), even with high initial costs you would end up saving money in the long run.
Think of it as a chain reaction. If energy prices lower, this means that costs to run many things will lower. Let’s give you one example. Did you know driving a Tesla vehicle costs somewhere between 3-7 cents per mile? In comparison, Americans spend about 15 cents per mile using regular gas (on average). This means that any business could operate for cheaper, bringing prices down and helping the economy.
Let’s get people off unemployment charts
While using fossil fuel-created energy is much more capitalized and mechanized, green technologies are generally more labor intensive. It takes skill and work to keep these technologies running. The American Wind Energy Association reported that the wind energy industry alone created over 75,000 jobs US jobs in 2011. And it only makes for a small fraction of our total electricity intake. Imagine if it became more popular.
Green energy sources will never run out. Unless the sun dies, winds stop, plants die and rivers stop running, there will always be green energy to be had. Some of these energy sources are completely free and we have them no matter what. Why not take advantage of them?
On the other hand, fossil fuels are limited. Even if we still have plenty, it will eventually become much more rare. I mean… we are burning through about 85 million barrels a day (worldwide).
Energy in remote places
As we mentioned before, green energy is a very important part of ending poverty. But what is poverty? It’s not only about food and money, poverty is about resources and your way of life. A lot of people don’t have access to something as important (and some would say basic) as electricity.
The International Energy Agency reported that in 2013, 1.2 billion people in the world didn’t have access to electricity. That is about 17% of the world’s population.
It’s complicated and expensive to grab power from fossil fuels. On the other hand, a solar panel can work anywhere, as can wind turbines. Hey, you could even pedal a bicycle to grab some juice!