Renewables on the Rise

In the past one of the biggest barriers for the advancement of renewable energy was its high cost. Solar energy is particularly more expensive when in comparison to the low cost for fossil fuel energy. However, in recent years the cost for generating energy through solar panels has decreased by 61%, making them much more affordable now than in 2008. Although solar energy has had the most drastic cost change, other renewable sources have also become more economic. An article by the New York Time’s noted how ever since the price drop, the use of solar energy has increased, especially in countries such as India. The article even predicted that if India continued in partaking in solar energy, then by the year 2020 electricity generated by solar energy could be 10% cheaper than that generated by burning coal. Like India, many other countries have also become more involved in the use of renewable energy. Scientists predict that in the future the use of renewable sources will continue to be on the rise.

The upward trend towards renewable energy sources is much needed and desired. A higher use of renewables will help decrease coal burning and thus could have great health benefits in countries such as China and India, where particulate matter found in the air can be the cause of more serious and life threatening health risks rather than just breathing problems. However, the knowledge of these pollutant produced health risks have been known for quite some time now, which makes it a bit alarming that barely now that renewable energy costs have began to lower has the partaking in them increased. Just as how the health risks from pollutant are known, so are the environmental and health benefits known, which simply makes one wonder, just when will the positive benefits outweigh the cost.

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2 thoughts on “Renewables on the Rise

  1. You raise a good point — soon renewables will be able to generate electricity as cheaply as fossil fuels, but why don’t we factor in the health costs and the climate costs of all fuel types now, and actually use the fuels NOW that are best in light of this full cost-benefit analysis?

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