Fossil fuels are powerful and profitable, but they are also wasteful and harmful. As we move into a new era it’s important to start thinking of energy that will push us forward, as opposed to just moving us around and powering the present world. Green energy is the way of the future.
But why move to other energy sources? Solar, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and other types of renewable energy are great alternatives, and that is for many reasons. In this post we will share with you the 8 most important ones. Shall we get started?
Let’s clean up our planet
We will start with the basics. It’s safe to say our current way of living is getting this planet quite dirty. Air, land and water pollution continues to build up, something we should really consider next time we start those brand new Mustangs. I mean, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states about 40% of America’s lakes are too contaminated for fishing, swimming or even aquatic life. And that’s just one type of pollution, in one country.
Alleviating global warming
Global warming is a hot topic these days, and the craziest thing is that we are the protagonists here. The UCSUSA reminds us that the main cause of global warming is human activity. Namely, the use of fossil fuels to move and generate electricity. If you don’t want the poles to melt and flood our cities, it’s important to switch gears to something cleaner.
A healthier world ftw!
When we think of who/what is affected by all of this, we usually picture those poor bears in the north pole, but consequences are much closer to home than we think. Keep in mind humans are just another species in this planet.
The World Health Organization considers pollution one of the biggest threats to everyone, affecting 100 million people. You know, up there with malaria and HIV.
Clean air, water and lands are essential for a healthier life. I say the move is worth it. For us, and for every other species in this planet.
And it’s cheaper
Alternative energy is not the most affordable option all the time, but that is because we live in a system in which fossil fuels have most of the demand. Even solar panels are a bit of a luxury, but prices are dropping quick. In fact, solar panel costs have fallen by 60% since 2011. And because solar energy is unlimited (at least until the sun dies… but when that happens… we’ll have bigger problems to worry about), even with high initial costs you would end up saving money in the long run.
Think of it as a chain reaction. If energy prices lower, this means that costs to run many things will lower. Let’s give you one example. Did you know driving a Tesla vehicle costs somewhere between 3-7 cents per mile? In comparison, Americans spend about 15 cents per mile using regular gas (on average). This means that any business could operate for cheaper, bringing prices down and helping the economy.
Let’s get people off unemployment charts
While using fossil fuel-created energy is much more capitalized and mechanized, green technologies are generally more labor intensive. It takes skill and work to keep these technologies running. The American Wind Energy Association reported that the wind energy industry alone created over 75,000 jobs US jobs in 2011. And it only makes for a small fraction of our total electricity intake. Imagine if it became more popular.
Green energy sources will never run out
Unless the sun dies, winds stop, plants die and rivers stop running, there will always be green energy to be had. Some of these energy sources are completely free and we have them no matter what. Why not take advantage of them?
On the other hand, fossil fuels are limited. Even if we still have plenty, it will eventually become much more rare. I mean… we are burning through about 85 million barrels a day (worldwide).
Energy in remote places
As we mentioned before, green energy is a very important part of ending poverty. But what is poverty? It’s not only about food and money, poverty is about resources and your way of life. A lot of people don’t have access to something as important (and some would say basic) as electricity.
The International Energy Agency reported that in 2013, 1.2 billion people in the world didn’t have access to electricity. That is about 17% of the world’s population.
It’s complicated and expensive to grab power from fossil fuels. On the other hand, a solar panel can work anywhere, as can wind turbines. Hey, you could even pedal a bicycle to grab some juice!
Should we flip the switch?
I say it’s time for a change. Wouldn’t you agree? Not only would we save the world, we would improve it. Hit the comments to let us know if you can think of any other benefits to switching to green energy! Are you doing anything to help the cause?
Remember, there is so much you can do. We know it’s hard for individuals to make a complete switch, but even lowering your carbon footprint helps for now. Simple things like walking to a store once in a while instead of driving can make a difference. For me, I ride my motorcycle instead of driving my car. Others ride bikes, carpool, or a combination of all of these things. If you don’t mind investing a bit more, some of the other changes you can make investing in solar panels and making the switch to cars that use alternative fuel sources like lithium-based batteries.
Why lithium? For one, it’s actually pretty efficient as an energy source, for another, it happens to be a much greener solution. In the Emerging Trend Radar report in 2015, Goldman Sachs spoke highly of lithium, basically calling it “the new gasoline”. There are a number of companies helping drive forward the adoption of lithium, including both chemical giants like Albemarle and emerging players that are more focused on green energy such as Lithium X. To learn more about lithium, be sure to check out our feature on the lithium revolution.
Whether you switch cars or invest in panels, things aren’t going to change overnight, but every step forward will make a difference in the long run. Can you think of any other great ways to help bring change? Know any companies or individuals that are helping bring positive change in the adoption of green energy? Let us know in the comments below!