In an age of rapid technology development and a growing global concern for climate change, renewable energy sources are becoming more and more viable. Whether it’s solar or wind, these types of energy are proving to be more cost-effective and efficient than conventional fossil fuels.
One of the most compelling reasons to adopt renewables is the ability to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Additional warming could lead to extreme weather, droughts, wildfires, and sea level rise. These effects are already being felt in some regions.
Cheap electricity from renewable sources can massively cut carbon emissions. Combined with the right incentives, these sources have the potential to decarbonize 90 percent of the power sector by 2050. Compared to coal and oil, these sources have far lower carbon footprints.
However, it will take time to replace fossil-fuel infrastructure with environmentally sustainable alternatives. This will require the support of state mandates and strong consumer demand. Thankfully, there are many countries that have already begun to make headway on this front.
For example, the IEA estimates that every dollar of investment in renewables creates three times as many jobs as the fossil-fuel industry. Moreover, solar and wind projects have been able to survive Hurricane Sandy with minimal damage.
In addition to these factors, 165 countries have set targets for increasing their usage of renewable energy. By 2024, more than 30% of the world’s electricity supply will be powered by green energy.
While more and more countries are beginning to include renewable energy in their climate plans, there are still a number of issues to address. Specifically, policymakers need to combat legislative gridlock. They also need to implement effective regulations and incentive schemes.