The support and momentum for renewable energy is stronger than ever before. A study by the Pew Research Center found that the majority of Americans would like to see the United States prioritize the development of clean energy and renewable energy sources for the country to become carbon neutral by 2050. This makes a lot of sense since many people have woken up to the fact that burning fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas, and coal, has led to rapid climate change and other environmental impacts.
Let’s take a look at why renewable energy is so important for the future of our planet and the top four benefits of renewable energy.
Advantages of Renewable Energy
#1 Renewable energy does not release carbon emissions during electricity generation.
The environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels—from the climate-damaging greenhouse gasses to the air pollution that causes human health issues—are a problem that will only go away if we strive toward carbon neutrality.
While switching to 100% renewable energy does not necessarily mean zero carbon will be used in energy production (all renewable technologies have a small amount of carbon dioxide associated with their output due to the emissions during manufacturing and transportation), the emissions during the life cycle of most renewable energy technologies are far less than that of burning fossil fuels.
#2 Relying on renewable energy lowers your carbon footprint.
Building off of the previous point, by relying on green energy sources for power generation, you are minimizing the number of negative impacts you have on the health of the planet. Almost every decision we make has an impact on the environment, whether we are aware of it or not. Every time you switch on a light in your home or start up your car, you are having an impact on the environment through what’s known as your carbon footprint.
When using electricity in your home results in fewer carbon emissions, you are treading more lightly on the planet!
#3 Renewable energy has economic benefits.
Renewable energy creates jobs, which is good for the local community and the economy. When the renewable energy infrastructure is decentralized, it is more resilient to weather events and climate change impacts, which is good for businesses that are relying on that power for their production demands.
As the price of renewable energy technology drops, so too does the cost of producing electricity with that technology and infrastructure. As these prices drop, the demand for clean energy continues to rise, and investments in technologies such as wind, solar, solar power, and hydropower are increasing.
#4 Relying on a diverse array of renewable natural resources reduces America’s dependence on foreign fossil fuel supplies.
Fossil fuels—oil, natural gas, and coal—currently make up 60% of America’s energy mix. Not only is burning fossil fuels harming the environment, our health, and speeding up climate change, but it also makes us more dependent on other countries to fuel our power grids. In 2021, the United States imported 8.47 million barrels per day of petroleum from other countries—the top five from Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Columbia, respectively. This creates the potential for more international conflicts and can lead to shortages and increased prices during times of war.
Realizing a carbon neutral future for our planet is becoming more and more of a reality every single day. As consumers and businesses change their habits by opting into solar energy programs such as Community Solar, they collectively motivate positive change. If you’re ready to join the movement, check out this blog to learn more about solar subscriptions.