Why use renewable energy?
Did you know that the sunlight that hits the earth in an hour is enough to supply the world energy request for a year? That one windmill can produce enough electricity to provide 300 houses, and biomass represents the 50% of renewable energy use in the United States. The sustainable energy sources have more potential than the nonrenewable sources; however, we still don’t know how to harness it to its full potential. With the increase of pollution in recent years, renewable sources can bring us benefits such as less global warming, better public health and the creation of jobs.
During recent years, human activities have overloaded the atmosphere producing harmful gases. Gases such as CO? and SO? are released when the main energy source of energy, fossil fuel, is burned. CO? and SO? block the heat resulting in extreme weather incidents, glaciers melting, rising temperatures and droughts. On the other hand, renewable energy produces little to none harmful gases; for instance, coal emits between 1.4 and 3.6 CO? equivalent per kilowatt hour while solar energy produces between 0.07 to 0.02 CO? equivalent per kilowatt hour. International institutions have already started to reduce the use of fossil energy sources; for example, the EU wants to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80%-95% by 2050, although this is an ambitious goal, a study from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) revealed that renewable energy can reduce gas emissions by roughly 81%.
In addition to global warming, pollution produced by human activities can cause health problems and even death. It has been proved that pollution increases the risk of diseases, the Air Pollution and Health: a European and North American Approach (APHENA) conducted a study in which they proved that with the increase of pollution, it also increased the number of admission in hospitals due to heart disease. Besides the risk of heart disease, it also increases the risk of death; the approximate number of deaths caused by pollution is 2 million people per year. These health problems are caused by pollution that renewable energy doesn’t produce. Although biomass and geothermal energy emit pollutants, they are much lower than the ones emitted by fossil fuels. In addition, solar, water and wind energy do not produce any air pollution.
Finally, renewable energy sources, unlike fossil fuels, requires more manual jobs. The obtention of fossil fuels energy is often automatized and mechanized; nevertheless, the obtention of renewable energy need from manual work to be done, for example, solar and wind energy need people to assure it’ll work. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reported that more than 3 million people in the US were hired by renewable energy industries and The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported a total of more than 8 millions jobs created in renewable energy. On the other hand, the DOE concluded that 2 million jobs were created in America with fossil fuels and the IRENA concluded that 6 million people were employed by fossil fuel related jobs.
In short, renewable energy sources have to be the alternative to nonrenewable energy sources as fossil fuels will be over in approximately a 100 years. Renewable energy assures us less global warming, better health and the creation of more jobs. The damage we’ve made to the atmosphere can’t be reversed, but it can be stopped, as the Saudi Oil Minister said: “The Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stone, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil.”