The Top Advantages of Renewable Energy
One of the worst aspects of our environment and climate change is the carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere. Global warming is directly related to the emissions of carbon dioxide, and that’s why reducing these emissions is so important. Renewable energy is the best way to cut down or eliminate CO2 pollution.
As the United States continues its progress towards decarbonization of the energy sector, traditional fuel based heating loads will be met by renewable sources including solar water heating.
- It is safe, abundant, and clean to use when compared to fossil fuels.
Even clean-burning natural gas is at a disadvantage to what renewable energy sources can provide. Enough sunlight comes down on our planet every day that if we could harvest it with solar panels and other forms of collection, we could power everything for an entire year. Because wind is created by the warmth of the sun, it is also virtually limitless. Fossil fuels, in theory, are a finite resource because of how they are created.
SunEarth Solar Fact: After space heating and cooling, water heating tends to be one of areas where people use the most energy. The Department of Energy estimates range from around 15% to up to 40% of energy usage, with the high end coming from old, inefficient gasheaters. With solar water heating, you use heat from the sun to heat your water.
- Multiple forms of renewable energy exist.
Diversification within the renewable energy sector has exploded since the 1970s. From dams that provide hydropower to solar strips that are strong enough to handle the weight of a vehicle and can be turned into roads, we have numerous methods of creating power through the collection of renewable energy. There is greater diversity in this sector when compared to fossil fuel resources.
SunEarth Solar Fact: According to the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the combustion of fossil fuels releases more than 6 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year. The United States alone is responsible for 23 percent of these emissions.
- It provides the foundation for energy independence.
Many nations rely on fossil fuels for their society to function under the “modern” definition. These fuels come from a handful of countries that work to control pricing and availability. By developing renewable energy resources, countries can work toward energy independence with a diversified portfolio of energy to access. Although these resources take time to develop, it should be remembered that the current fossil fuel infrastructure has more than a century of development behind it.
SunEarth Solar Fact: Solar thermal collectors are less space-intensive than photovoltaic panels. Fewer are required to heat water than in an array used to produce sufficient power for a home. Thus, offering a higher efficiency than PV panels.
- Renewable energy is stable.
When renewables are creating energy, the power produced is stable and usable, just like any other form of “traditional” power. It is a dependable resource when an infrastructure is available to support it. Jobs are created within the sector as well, creating stability within local economic sectors at the same time.
SunEarth Solar Fact: Solar is the Latin word for sun—a powerful source of energy that can be used to heat, cool, and light our homes and businesses. A variety of technologies convert sunlight to usable energy for buildings. According to the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the most commonly used solar technologies for homes and businesses are solar water heating, passive solar design for space heating and cooling, and solar photovoltaics for electricity.
- It is a technology instead of a fuel.
Coal must be mined and refined to make it useful. Natural gas must be released and transported. A fossil fuel is created from natural resources, whereas renewable energies are created thanks to the use of technology. For this reason, the pricing of renewable energies will continue to go down as improvements in technology occur. Fossil fuels can see price reductions through mining and refining efficiency improvements, but there will always be an underlying labor cost that will affect pricing and availability.
SunEarth Solar Fact: Solar Water Heating as a technology has existed since the 1800’s. Perlin, J. (2013) Let It Shine. California, New World Library. “In the fall of 1882 many newspapers and magazine carried the news about Samuel Pierpont Langley using a solar hot box to heat water while climbing through the snow to America’s highest peak, Mount Whitney, in extremely cold weather.” Indeed, a discovery that would lead to the Climax Solar-Water Heater.