Renewable energy is a hot topic these days. Many people assert that widespread adoption of it is crucial for avoiding a climate crisis.
Here are five benefits of renewable energy that people should keep in mind as they ponder the topic.
1. It Effectively Reduces Carbon Emissions
Scientists often mention how humans have to figure out practical ways to cut carbon emissions to have a beneficial impact on the planet. One of the methods used is carbon capture and storage (CCS).
It involves collecting the energy made during electricity generation and industrial processes before it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Then, the power is transferred to a storage facility and held there.
However, a recent study suggests that using renewable energy in conjunction with a similar storage arrangement is even more effective than CCS at reducing carbon emissions.
Renewables like wind and solar could pave a faster path to meet climate goals compared to traditional methods of CCS. That’s due, in part, to how renewables are less dependent on finite resources.
2. Helping Schools Save Money
Schools must balance a broad-spanning list of priorities, ranging from higher wages for teachers to smaller class sizes.
However, research about renewable energy used in educational settings indicates those institutions should work harder to implement renewable energy and ensure it doesn’t fall too far down the priority list.
Renewables could help K-12 schools save $4 billion annually. The scientists who came to these conclusions said that such substantial savings would then allow higher percentages of schools’ budgets to go toward things other than electricity.
As of now, electricity is the top expense for school districts. The researchers noted that making a switch to renewables would trigger significant payoffs.
The researchers also found that 90 percent of institutions in California, Texas and Florida have roof space for solar panels. Moreover, states in the Midwest would likely see exceptional declines in air pollution levels after transitioning to renewables.
3. It’s Becoming a More Accessible Option
People often want to know how much renewable energy the world can currently access. Statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) took an in-depth look at how different regions of the world use it.
In short, it found that almost two-thirds of all new power generation capacity added in 2018 came from renewables.
Additionally, the data from IRENA showed renewables account for about one-third of global power generation.
Solar and wind energy showed the most growth within the five categories people typically refer to when discussing renewables — geothermal, bioenergy, wind power, solar power and hydropower.
The growing level of access is a notable advantage, since it enables more places to investigate using renewable energy and learn how to do so in practical ways.
4. Renewables Bring Measurable Health Benefits
Most people understand that renewable energy has a direct connection to improved health of the planet, but scientists have also found a link between it and enhanced public health.
Researchers at Harvard University developed a tool that assessed the public health and climate-related benefits of renewable installations in the Mid-Atlantic and Lower Great Lakes regions of the United States.
The calculator found the total cost benefits varied depending on the precise locations, but that the range was between $5.7 and $210 million annually.
The variation depended on the amount of dispersal from coal-fired power plants, and how many people live downwind of one. A different study from the U.S. federal government pinpointed the connection between solar power adoption and better health.
The data revealed that the resultant decreased air pollution achieved by using solar could save $167 billion in environmental and health costs.
Plus, it said the reduced air pollution could save 25,000 lives and cut down on unnecessary health costs.
5. Renewable Energy Is a Job Creator
Societies are understandably interested in creating jobs for residents, and findings show that solar and wind energy offer jobs at a quicker rate than other industries.
According to the research, positions associated with solar and wind energy grew at a rate of approximately 20% annually, and those two industries create jobs 12 times faster than others.
Another study from Joblift showed that wind turbine technician roles are particularly in demand and that the job postings for those people have a 43% average monthly increase.
Certain regions of the U.S., such as the Midwest, see exceptional benefits from the rise of renewable energy.
It’s impossible to cover all the benefits of renewable energy here, but this overview shows why people are getting more interested in its potential.
As researchers continue to investigate it, more advantages will likely become apparent.