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Renewables on the Rise: A Bright Future for Sustainable Energy

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Renewables on the Rise: A Bright Future for Sustainable Energy

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# Renewables on the Rise: A Bright Future for Sustainable Energy

With the world’s population projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, we’ve been presented with a huge challenge to meet the ever-increasing demand for energy. At present, around 85% of the world’s energy still comes from non-renewable sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which are all finite and have harmful effects on our planet. Luckily, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal are on the rise, providing us with a bright future for sustainable energy.

## Solar Energy – The Fastest Growing Renewable Energy Source

Solar energy has quickly become the fastest growing renewable energy source due to its environmental benefits in reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. An abundant and free source of energy, solar panels and solar shingles are rapidly becoming more affordable and accessible to individual households. In addition, utility-scale solar farms and power purchase agreements (PPAs) have become attractive investments for big corporations and institutional investors alike.

### Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy not only lowers carbon emissions, but it also improves energy security, creates local jobs, and saves money on electricity bills. Furthermore, studies show that the use of solar energy to power residences reduces the need for grid capacity by more than 55%, thus reducing the need for the building of new power plants and transmission lines.

## Wind Energy: A Key Player in Renewable Energy

Wind energy is another key player in renewable energy, second only to solar energy in terms of the fastest-growing renewable energy source. Wind turbines have been around for decades, but advances in technology have allowed for more efficient wind turbines able to produce more electricity. Offshore wind farms and onshore wind turbines have become increasingly popular and have become more economical to install and operate.

### Benefits of Wind Energy

Wind energy provides low-cost electricity, has no fuel costs, and is a reliable source of energy, helping to reduce carbon footprints and provide energy security. In addition, unlike oil and coal, wind has minimal water usage, thus reducing water depletion and wastage.

## Hydropower: An Oldie but Goldie Renewable Energy Source

Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy globally, and its benefits are adaptable to almost every country. Hydropower plants use falling water from dams to turn turbine blades, thereby generating electricity.

### Benefits of Hydropower

Hydropower is cost-effective as it eliminates the cost of fuel and replaces it with flowing water. Additionally, dams are known to help control floods and provide water reserves crucial for irrigation and human consumption.

## Geothermal Energy: The Deep Heat Awakening

Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy that harnesses the Earth’s natural heat, allowing for the production of electricity. By tapping into underground reservoirs of steam and hot water, geothermal power plants convert this resource into electricity.

### Benefits of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy has become increasingly cost-competitive, emitting no greenhouse gases and leaving a small carbon footprint. It’s relatively predictable, meaning it can generate a steady stream of income for investors, making it a promising investment for renewable energy enthusiasts.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, renewable energy is on the rise, and the benefits are evident. With increasing public awareness, technological advances, and political will, a sustainable future is becoming a reality. As the prices of renewable energy continue to fall, and the demand continues to rise, we can look forward to better energy access, cleaner air, and a healthier planet.

## FAQs

### Q. Are renewable energy sources economically feasible?

Yes, renewable energy sources are increasingly economically feasible. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 80% of new global power capacity comes from renewable energy, reducing the cost of electricity while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

### Q. Do renewable energy sources provide energy security?

Yes, renewable energy sources provide energy security since they reduce reliance on fossil fuels, which are finite and costly. Renewable energy sources give countries more control over their energy production and consumption, reducing geopolitical tensions that arise from dependency on fossil fuel imports.

### Q. Are renewable energy sources enough to meet our energy needs?

Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly efficient and cost-competitive, but a transition to 100% renewable energy may take time, depending on the country’s available resources, infrastructure, and political will. However, transitioning to renewable energy sources is an important step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring a sustainable future.

### Q. Do renewable energy sources provide job opportunities?

The renewable energy industry has become one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global economy and provides numerous job opportunities, especially in the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of energy systems.

### Q. Do renewable energy sources require a lot of land?

Renewable energy systems use more land than conventional power plants, but the necessary land is usually cheaper and can be multi-purpose. For example, wind turbines can be erected on grazing land and provide revenue for the farmer. Solar farms, similarly, can be installed on agricultural land and provide stable income for landowners.

### Q. Can renewable energy sources reduce carbon emissions?

Yes, renewable energy sources emit minimal greenhouse gases compared to non-renewable sources, and they play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions and solving the climate crisis.

### Q. Are renewable energy sources accessible to individuals?

Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly accessible to individuals, especially solar energy, which can be installed at the household level. Governments are also providing incentives such as rebates, tax credits, and net-metering that make renewable energy more accessible for individuals.

## References

1. https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-global-renewable-electricity-capacity-continues-to-grow

2. https://www.irena.org/Statistics/ Capacity -Statistics

3. https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/2019/10/15/new-renewable-energy-investment-slowdown

4. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/54424.pdf

5. https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/how-does-hydropower-work

6. https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/benefits-renewable-energy-use

7. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/geothermal-energy/
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