Benefits of Renewable Energy: Why Is It Important?

Renewable energy is the energy derived from natural resources that replenish themselves in a relatively short period of time without depleting the Earth’s resources. Solar, wind, hydropower, and even geothermal are the examples of renewable energy. 

This type of energy has the benefit of being abundant, virtually inexhaustible, easily found everywhere, and the most important thing is, they barely cause environmental damage. In contrast, fossil fuels, namely oil, coal, and natural gas are available in finite quantities only and take a severe toll towards our environment. 

Why Renewable Energy? 

Until today, the world is still heavily dependent on fossil fuel when in fact, it may cause the climate-damaging greenhouse gases and the pollution that endanger human beings. The carbon emissions produced when we burned oil, coal, and gas will trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to climate change. 

In the United States, the burning of fossil fuels for power and transportation give for about three-quarters of earth’s carbon emissions. Not only carbon dioxide, fossil fuel used for transportation sectors are the main contributors of poisonous carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide which potentially triggers respiratory illness. 

The good news is, since 2011, renewable energy is growing faster compared to the other energy forms. As reported by Ren21, in 2019, renewable energy had another record-breaking as it’s installed power capacity grew more than 200 gigawatts (GW) compared to data in 2018 that shows the capacity of renewable energy reached about 180 Gigawatts (GW). 

Benefits of Renewable Energy

All kinds of energy resources have impacts on our environment. Renewable energy is no exception to this rule. Below are several benefits of the renewable energy: 

  1. Emits low greenhouse gases
    The use of fossil fuels results in a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming. According to resource solutions.org, 38% of the nation’s carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced from fossil-fueled electricity generation and has a major contribution to climate change.

On the other hand, the majority of renewable energy produces little to now emissions at all. 

  1. Cost-effective
    As it is often produced locally, renewable energy is less affected by geopolitical crisis, soaring prices, or sudden disruptions in the supply chain. Renewable energy also provides affordable electricity across the nation right now, hence this will help stabilize the energy prices in the future.

In contrast, fossil fuel prices may vary significantly and are vulnerable to substansial price fluctuation.  By shifting our use to renewable energy, we could help protect consumers when fossil fuels prices spike. 

  1. Creates jobs
    Compared with fossil fuels which are mechanized, the use of renewable energy is currently more labor intensive. Solar panels need humans to install and wind farms need technicians to maintain are two examples of jobs in renewable energy.

By this case, more green jobs are possibly created related to renewable energy sectors compared to the fossil fuels industry. As an example, in 2016, the wind energy industry in the United States employed over 100,000 employees, more than 500 factories manufactured parts of wind turbines and represented $13.0 billion in investments

Solar cell technician. Source: need.org
  1. Resilient and reliable
    The use of renewable energy tends to make urban energy infrastructure independent from far sources. This  type of resilience is important to prevent power shortages.

Due to the heavy dependence of fossil fuels on water as a cooling agent, water scarcity is another risk for non-renewable power plants. Hence, renewable energy tends to be more reliable.

  1. Accessible to all
    Due to its low-cost source of energy, renewable energy becomes accessible  for all. Especially in the developing country, this can be considered as a way to expand energy access to those living in informal settlements and in suburban areas.
Wind power as part of renewable energy. Source: unsplash
  1. Improve Public Health

According to ucsusa.org, the pollution caused by the use of fossil fuel is linked with health issues such as breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attack and premature death as well. 

The use of wind and solar to generate electricity produced zero air pollutants. Furthermore, wind and solar energy require no water to operate, thus it has zero potential to pollute the water sources. 

Supporting the development of renewable energy, Waste4Change as a company that provides responsible waste management solutions will help companies/organizations to be sustainable and environmentally friendly through Solid Waste Management Research.  We are supporting the research of renewable energy as an alternative way for our clients. For more information please visit w4c.id/SWMR

References: 

https://resource-solutions.org/why-renewable-energy/

https://www.ren21.net/why-is-renewable-energy-important/

https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/benefits-renewable-energy-use

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/fossil-fuels-dirty-facts

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