Updated: Mar 11
Due to increased awareness of the negative environmental effects of fossil fuels, renewable energy sources have recently attracted more attention. Energy that is produced from renewable natural resources, such as wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and biomass, can be replenished. When compared to conventional fossil fuels, these energy sources offer several advantages, such as lower costs, increased energy security, and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
Comparing renewable energy to conventional fossil fuels, there are many advantages. The first benefit of renewable energy is a decrease in the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas results in the production of carbon dioxide and other dangerous pollutants that contribute to acid rain, global warming, and air pollution.
According to experts, renewable energy is more affordable than conventional fossil fuels. Renewable energy is now more affordable and competitive with fossil fuels thanks to recent cost reductions. Since 2009, the cost of solar and wind energy has decreased by 90% and 70%, respectively, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Since most renewable energy sources are fuel-free, they also have a lower risk of price volatility.
One could argue that more secure energy comes from renewable sources. Utilising renewable energy sources lessens reliance on imports of foreign gas and oil, which may be impacted by geopolitical unrest and changes in price levels. Because they are distributed and can be produced locally, renewable energy sources are also more resistant to disruptions like natural disasters and power outages.
The switch to renewable energy has a significant effect on employment, resulting in the emergence of new industries and jobs. Over 11 million people were employed globally in the renewable energy sector in 2018, and the sector has the potential to add millions more jobs in the upcoming years, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Jobs in manufacturing, installation, and maintenance have been made possible by the expansion of the renewable energy sectors. For instance, in 2019, the solar sector in the US employed over 240,000 people, the majority of whom worked in project development and installation. Over 120,000 people were employed by the wind industry in the US in 2019, working in manufacturing, installation, and operations.
Because new technologies and innovations are needed to increase the effectiveness and dependability of renewable energy sources, renewable energy also generates jobs in research and development. Other industries, like energy storage and electric vehicles, are boosted by the expansion of the renewable energy sector.
Workers in the fossil fuel industry may find new opportunities because of the switch to renewable energy. Workers in the coal industry, for instance, may be retrained for positions installing and maintaining solar and wind energy equipment.
Economic growth is significantly impacted by the switch to renewable energy, which also opens new industries and investment opportunities. The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that $282.2 billion was invested in the renewable energy sector in 2019 with the potential for even more investment in the years to come.
Other economic sectors are impacted by the expansion of the renewable energy sector. For instance, the expansion of the solar industry increases demand for goods and services like engineering and construction as well as for raw materials like steel and glass. The expansion of the wind industry increases demand for goods and services like transportation and logistics as well as for building materials like steel and concrete.
Renewable energy has many advantages, but there are also difficulties the sector must overcome. The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources is one of the major problems. Renewable energy sources, unlike conventional fossil fuels, are reliant on weather patterns and natural resources, which can cause fluctuations in the energy supply. By creating energy storage technologies like batteries and pumped hydro storage, this problem can be solved.
The absence of regulatory frameworks and infrastructure is another issue that the renewable energy sector must deal with. Infrastructure upgrades, such as those for electric vehicle charging stations, transmission lines, and storage facilities, are necessary to make the switch to renewable energy. The development of renewable energy must be supported by regulatory frameworks that guarantee a level playing field for all energy sources.
The fossil fuel industry, which has a well-established infrastructure and regulatory framework, competes with the renewable energy sector. To level the playing field, governments must remove subsidies for fossil fuels and offer incentives for the switch to renewable energy.
In comparison to conventional fossil fuels, renewable energy has a number of advantages, including a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, lower costs, and greater energy security. The switch to renewable energy has a significant effect on employment, resulting in the emergence of new industries and jobs. The expansion of the renewable energy sector has a sizable impact on economic growth, spawning new businesses and investment opportunities. The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources, a lack of infrastructure and regulatory frameworks, and competition from the fossil fuel sector are some of the difficulties the industry faces. To encourage the development of renewable energy and ensure a sustainable future for future generations, governments must remove subsidies for fossil fuels and offer incentives for renewable energy.