Tuesday, February 3, 2015

3 Claims About Renewable Energy That Don't Hold Water

Green energy solutions take criticisms on both practical and ideological fronts, and it’s important that environmental advocates be able to engage critics in discussion so that the country as a whole can hasten its development of sustainable energy practices. Here are three myths about renewable energy:

1.     Renewable Energy Is Too Expensive to Be Realistic
The prices of renewable energy production methods are falling and will soon be competitive -- some people also forget to take into account the hidden price tag of non-renewable sources. Air and water pollution, along with their environmental effects can have a cost, even if that cost isn't easily tallied.
2.    Renewable Power Sources Aren’t Reliable
The problem with green energy companies, some doubters say, is that they’ll never be able to consistently meet demand; wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine. It’s true that consistency has long been a concern for renewables. But engineers  are tackling  these problems and coming up with better ways to either transmit power across distances in cost-effective ways (to account for regional discrepancies in renewable resources) or store unused power more efficiently for later use.
3.    We Have No Choice Except to Generate More Power
Some people think that our increased use of devices that require power will lead, inevitably, to a model in which we’re constantly consuming more energy and thus needing to generate more power. But this is a model that negates the power of energy efficiency, or using less energy to accomplish the same purpose. The average refrigerator, for example, now uses 75% less energy than the average fridge sold in 1975, despite being 20% larger and costing 60% less.
Good engineering can do more than give us cleaner, green ways of generating our power; it can also help to increase our quality of life while decreasing the amount of energy we consume. You can do your part by figuring out how you use the most energy and then trying to find a more efficient option. Water heating is typically one of the largest energy users in a home, accounting for 14% to 18% of utility bills. So installing tankless water heaters or other efficient appliances could help the planet and your pocketbook simultaneously.
Do you have any thoughts regarding power generation and the future of energy in America? Join the discussion in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment