Sources of renewable energy include, among others, wind energy, solar energy, and hydroelectric energy. With different groups fighting to maintain or increase their relevance on the world energy stage, many myths about these energy sources pervade our understanding of how, and how well, they work. Five myths in particular emerge consistently, and should be overcome for you to better understand how the world is powered.
- Renewable Energy Is Expensive
Many forms of renewable energy require up-front investments, whether for individual consumers, companies, or governmental organizations. But those investments tend to pay off quickly in energy cost savings. Further, as competition increases for providers of equipment and services in this industry, those up-front costs are diminishing steadily.
- It Is Still New
Renewable energy use actually predates our reliance on fossil fuels. For centuries people have harnessed wind, sun, and water to provide energy, going back as far as medieval windmills in the Netherlands. Modern technological solutions include the Hoover Dam, which has been providing electricity since the 1940s; and commercial solar plants have existed since the 1980s.
- It Is Unreliable
The wind does not always blow, and the sun does not always shine. Still, technology has improved and continues to improve constantly. For example, we are now able to store enough solar energy on a sunny day to continue to produce at night, and harness enough wind to continue to power over time.
- It Doesn’t Create Much Power
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about 21% of the world’s in western countries that have adopted renewable energy policies, (Germany for example). Renewable sources cannot yet completely replace fossil fuels or nuclear energy, but this provides a significant portion of the world’s energy. These sources allow smaller companies and nations to emerge with a greater role in the global market.
- It Is Inefficient
Technological developments allow energy to be stored, backed up, and distributed over time. And once the initial apparatus is set up, you can produce steady levels of energy over time without having to add in resources in the way non-renewable sources require. Over time, renewable sources become much more efficient than other sources of energy.