Renewable energy: what to consider if the environment is important to you

Australia is becoming a global leader in renewable energy and is already three times faster than the second-fastest country (Germany) in growing the offering of renewable energy. It is clear that there are brilliant steps being made in the right direction, all the way back to 1997 when GreenPower was launched by the Australian government.

There have also been predictions into Australia’s success with renewable energy, with researchers predicting that by 2050, Australia could produce 200% of its energy needs from renewable energy. That is an impressive statistic and is a testament to Australians both citizens and leaders who are ensuring that their carbon footprint is being continuously reduced.

In this article, we are going to highlight the good and bad (yes, bad!) of renewable energy so you can be clued up on the future, especially if you are an advocate of the environment.

Pros:

  • Better for the environment: Renewable energy is by far better for the environment rather than burning fossil fuels to create electricity, for example. It means that some areas or countries that heavily rely on fossil fuels to power them, can turn to other methods such as renewable which is much better in the long run.
  • Efficient: Renewable energy is extremely stable. Take solar panels, for example, these are powered by the sun and the sun is present every day. There will rarely be a day where there is little to no sunlight where this would affect solar energy.
  • Clean: For the most part, renewable energy is extremely clean. Solar panels and wind turbines are technologies that feed off natural air and sunlight to convert it into energy, making it a much cleaner source of power.
  • Unlimited amounts (in some cases): With most renewable energy, in particular solar, there is an abundance of sunlight that could power a city for a year. It just needs to be harvested in the correct way!
  • Multiple forms exist: Wind turbines, solar and biofuel are just some of the forms of renewable energy that exist. Since the 1970s there has been an explosion in technology in the renewable energy sector that allows for multiple forms like this to exist.
  • Technology, not fuel!: Renewable energy is based on technology rather than fuels being produced or remade, making it a part of a better future.

Cons:

  • Price: Renewable energy, due to it still being ‘new’ in the world, is more expensive than its fossil fuel brothers and sisters. This means that not everybody is going to be able to afford the spike in price to contribute to a better environment.
  • Commercial availability: Rural areas struggle to have access to such technology, due to the installation costs and supply and demand in the area. This means commercially it is less accessible to those that either have lower incomes or live in an area that is not developed enough to have a system like this in place.
  • Pollution: Unfortunately, renewable energy still produces pollution. For example, biomass still burns waste products that produce greenhouse gases. Other pollution that needs to be taken into consideration is that of transport and labour to get these renewable hubs up and running.
  • Space: Think of how big a wind turbine is, or the fact that solar needs 360 square miles to produce the same energy as one nuclear power plant. Space is an issue that is yet to be combatted by the renewable energy sector.

The truth is if you are concerned about the environment the pros highly outweigh the cons, and with the progressive nature of technology, there are going to be better ways of producing renewable energy in years to come!

Author: Bec Wilkinson
Bec Wilkinson is an ElectricityComparison.com.au News Contributor from Melbourne, Australia. Bec is a founding member of the Electricity Comparison news team.