CAN RENEWABLE ENERGY SAVE US FROM OURSELVES?
The fate of the planet is at stake. Renewable energy has the potential to be our proverbial super hero. According to studies, last year was the hottest by a huge margin and effectively put an end to the claims of climate deniers who are hell bent on denying global warming. As we a going in 2016 it doesn’t look like the situation is getting any better. NASA has released data showing that February was the warmest month in Earth’s recorded history (2 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for 20th century), surpassing even the previous global record set in December. Most of the land surfaces experienced warm temperatures for a relatively short month, with North America, the Arctic and Asia experiencing the hottest temperatures. The truth remains that the eminent affects of climate change continue to get scarier and scarier. There is no denying that climate change is one of the most important issue troubling the world today.
PLUMMETING COSTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
Fortunately, we are close to renewable energy revolution. Thankfully, setting it in motion would not require a corresponding political revolution, thanks to the technological progress in the industry. According to recent reports, the cost of generating electricity from wind fell by 61 percent and the cost of solar energy fell by a whopping 82 percent. These numbers are in line with the kind of progress we usually expect from information technology. These cost decreases put the investment costs for adoption of renewable energy sources into a range that is competitive with with the price of fossil fuels.
PASSE OPPOSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY
Consumers who resist renewable energy use seem to have complaints that are outdated. For instance, some say that they want power when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow. But this is of diminishing significance due to the improvements to energy storage technology such as battery backup Advanced Energy Storage (AES). The proliferation of storage technology is in part inspired from the realization that paying customers to cut down on their energy usage in peak periods can reduce surge use problem significantly.
INCENTIVES AND LARGE SCALE ACTION
So what else will it take to bring about a large-scale shift to renewable energy, a paradigm shift to wind and sun instead of coal and fire? For starters, financial incentives, which do not even have to be huge to make an impact. The current administration’s stimulus plan offers tax credits to incentivize the use of renewable energy. The Federal tax credit was recently extended through 2019 to keep the momentum in adoption of solar energy. Many other California incentives exist to help promote renewable energy adoption as well. This has already done a lot to speed up the energy revolution. The EPA’s plan for clean power, if implemented, will create a powerful incentive to move away from coal. The best part is that none of this requires a new legislation.
The kind of progress that is happening in the renewable energy sector, from increasingly efficient panels to mobile solar technology to better batteries and storage, has created a tipping point in the right direction. Once the rise of renewable energy is proved to be an obvious success and a strong interest group has developed, the current skepticism of global warming and pro-profit anti-environmentalism will slowly lose its political grip. Moreover, it would let America take the lead globally.
Salvation from the looming threat of a climate catastrophe is something that we can all make possible by acting locally in an effort for global change. The big energy concerns, fossil fuel companies and financial institutions have seriously underestimated the pace at which the clean power sector would grow. Do your part by conserving water, energy, and reusing and recycling. Share this post if you feel as strongly we do!