Is renewable energy the future? Let’s think about it – how much longer do you expect the human civilization to exist? 500 years? 1000 years? 2000 years? Well, if humans are going to be around for so long, we better find an alternative to fossil fuels, because none of the fuels made from non-renewable sources of energy are going to last for too long. They will eventually be exhausted, and people will sooner or later have to depend entirely on alternative sources of energy.
Don’t trust policymakers, technocrats, or large corporations who act as though fossil fuels are going to last forever. They are not, and don’t get fooled by the current fall in oil prices. There may be an oil glut today, which has driven oil prices down, but how long will this last? We will soon be back to the days of oil costing $100 or even $200/ barrel.
And what about the implications of releasing CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? Global warming is a real and present danger and it cannot be wished away. Unless the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are brought down significantly over the next decade, there is nothing to stop a 2°C rise in the global mean temperature.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report recently where it showed how any rise in the global mean temperature that is over 2°C can have catastrophic consequences for the human civilization.
The question is not “if” we should be switching to renewable sources of energy but “when”. Well, the way things have been developing recently, we cannot really wait any longer.
If governments and large corporations fail to take active measures to save the planet and make the move to adopting renewable sources of energy – we the citizens should express our displeasure through the ballot boxes.
Vote out any politician or government that fails to comprehend the seriousness of the challenges faced by us, the citizens of the world. After all, it is our future and that of our children and grandchildren at stake.
Switching to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy can save lives. It can save the planet. What’s more – because of rapid advances in technology, there have been dramatic decreases in wind and solar prices over the last 5 years.
Apart from solar or wind energy, renewable energy sources include biomass, geothermal energy, hydrothermal (water) energy and more. No, renewable energy still cannot replace fossil fuels and the technology is not there for wind or solar energy to become primary sources of energy. But a gradual switch has to be made.
Scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk must be encouraged and supported in every way possible to come with new technologies and innovations that would lead to the mass adoption of renewable energy sources.
For example, efforts must be made so that electric cars such as those made by Musk’s Tesla Motors replace gasoline-powered cars on the road. As of now, this is not possible as there simply isn’t the infrastructure to support electric cars, such as the one for gasoline cars.
As more investment is made in companies that develop solutions based on renewable energy, we expect more jobs to be created, which would give a substantial boost to the economy. There are millions of people around the world who work in the renewable energy industry already. China has recognized the potential of “green technology” and has become the leading producer of green products and solutions.
Also, many of the oil producers are unstable countries run by autocratic leaderships that have been fuelling radicalism and religious extremism around the world. By switching to renewable energy sources, we could dramatically reduce our dependence on Saudi Arabian, Iranian or Russian oil, which would do wonders for our energy security and energy independence.
Sure, there are many naysayers who insist that renewable energy can never replace fossil fuels. Surely they would have known that countries such as Brazil, Norway and New Zealand already have a close to 100 percent renewable electricity? Denmark and Sweden are expected to achieve the same in just a few years.
There is no question that renewable energy is the future, and we are certainly moving in that direction. The change will be gradual rather than radical, but it is already happening.