Renewable energy is a hot-button topic these days, with everyone from politicians to elementary school students demanding something be done to reverse climate change.
Everyone is talking about why the planet needs renewable energy, but no one ever details why the energy sector needs to make that change. Here are three environmental impacts of renewable energy that benefit the Earth as a whole.
1. Fewer Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Perhaps the most significant positive impact of green energy adoption comes in the form of fewer greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In 2017, the United States alone created 6,457 million metric tons of CO2, and transportation accounts for 28% of that.
While green energy alternatives are growing in popularity, the majority of the country’s power comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.
Over time, converting to renewable energy could help slow or even reverse the impact of the climate changes that are happening because of excessive CO2 in the atmosphere.
The planet has roughly 11 years before the damage will be irreversible, so the sooner the power industry makes the shift to green energy alternatives, the better. It won’t be something that happens overnight, but the planet is running out of time, so it needs to happen soon.
2. Less Air Pollution
Solar, wind and hydroelectric energy produce little to no air pollution while still powering homes and businesses. This is a huge change from the power industry’s history of pumping CO2 and other harmful contaminants into the air while burning fossil fuels. Add that to the emissions created by the millions of cars on the road today, and that’s a recipe for disaster.
Air pollution isn’t just obscuring the view out of an apartment — it’s quite literally destroying human health. More than one-third of the deaths from lung cancer — a disease normally attributed to smoking — are caused by breathing polluted air.
Switching to green energy could cut the amount of air pollution in half or more — especially if automotive manufacturers also start adopting green energy to power passenger cars and trucks.
3. Reduced Water Scarcity
Water scarcity is a growing problem around the globe. Right now, 2 billion people live in countries that are experiencing water stress, where shortages are growing more frequent. A lack of potable water could displace more than 700 million people in the next three years.
A recent study found that renewable energy could help to reduce water scarcity. Currently, 98% of the world’s energy is created through the use of hydropower and thermoelectric power, both of which require massive amounts of water every year to function.
Switching to green energy eliminates the need for water in the power production process, and could help bolster the planet’s drinkable stores and reduce global scarcity.
The Future of Green Energy
The foundation for green energy is there, whenever consumers and power companies decide to make the switch. The planet is running out of time to make that decision, though. The clock is ticking, and humanity must make changes to reverse climate change before the damage becomes permanent.
Any kind of renewable energy isn’t just good for power bills or the economy — through both of those will benefit as well. It’s also the best choice for the environment. The human race is the source of much of this damage, and it’s up to us to make the changes necessary to preserve the only planet we have.
Implementing green options isn’t the only step that the human race can take to preserve their home, but it is one of the easiest in the long term. The environmental impacts of renewable energy can’t be overstated.