The Positive Impact Of Renewable Energy Technologies
With the rapid increase in environmental pollution and the release of greenhouse gases, many people have begun to call on governments to take action to cut carbon emissions. This has also forced corporations to begin exploring earth friendly energy sources that will eventually replace fossil fuel.
The combustion of fossil fuel is the biggest source of greenhouse gases. Therefore, the key to a healthier environment would be a drastic reduction or complete stoppage of fossil fuel use. In line with this, some major players in various high profile industries have come up with technology that makes use of renewable energy in place of fossil fuel.
Companies who deal mainly in the production of renewable energy tech have seen a steady rise in their stock value. One of such is Tesla stock, and this indicates that renewable energy might just be the future.
This article takes a look at the positive impacts of these renewable energy technologies on the environment.
Positive Impacts on the Environment
Statistics show that when renewable energy sources are used for electricity generation, they produce 90-99% fewer greenhouse gases than fossil fuels.
This is also less than emissions from coal-fired plants which stand at 70-90%. The implication of this is that a smaller carbon footprint is recorded and it has a great positive impact on the environment in general.
When fossil fuels combust, they release very significant amounts of greenhouse gases. These gases go on to increase the frequency of weather extremes experienced as well as a rise in global temperatures.
Reduction in Air Pollution
The impacts of greenhouse gases are very gradual and may span a long period of time. However, the problem of air pollution is one that is immediately apparent.
Residents in certain industrial cities no longer have the chance of breathing clean air . Gases such as carbon dioxide as well as oxides of nitrogen which are highly poisonous mix with the oxygen which they breathe.
This leads to the development of various health challenges including breathing problems and asthma. Exploiting renewable energy technology helps to reduce the gases that pollute the air leading to a better environment.
Reduced Destruction of Biological Habitats
In order to undertake any oil exploration, a great deal of changes come to the habitat affected. Entire ecosystems are disrupted with animals displaced and forced to seek new habitats. Similarly, oil spillage in aquatic habitats leads to the death of organisms as well as causing permanent damage to the ecology
Renewable energy has by far reduced negative impacts on biological habitats.
Other Positive Impacts of Renewable Energy Technologies
Apart from guaranteeing a better environment, renewable energy technologies also offer some other benefits. Some of these include:
Water and air pollution due to emissions from coal and natural gas plants are one of the leading causes of some serious health challenges.
These emissions have been linked with heart attacks, breathing problems, cancer, neurological damage and ultimately, premature death. The negative health impacts are eliminated by the use of technologies that do not emit dangerous gases or toxins.
For instance, solar, wind and hydroelectric systems are used for generating electricity but are not linked to any form of air pollutants. While biomass and geothermal systems may emit certain air pollutants, they can in no way be compared to those of coal and fossil fuels. Also, most sources of renewable energy do not require water for operation, thereby leaving the water healthy and consumable.
On the other hand, drilling for fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal can lead to the pollution of local water systems.
Renewable energy projects make use of local labour, raw materials as well as the services of the local work force. This is bound to have a positive economic impact on residents in such geographic locations. Also, fossil fuel costs a great deal due to the entire process of refining that it has to undergo. Renewable energy, on the other hand, comes at a highly reduced cost and is literally inexhaustible.
For electricity generated from renewable sources, consumers reserve the right to decide which of the sources that they would rather go with.
At the end of the day, cash saved on fossil fuel purchase or payment of amenities gotten from the combustion of fossil fuel can be put to good use in other areas.
Projections have shown that there is a possibility of up to 4.5 million jobs being created in the US alone if climate change is taken seriously by the government.
Apart from the renewable energy industry, other industries stand to benefit from the creation of more jobs too. Industries which would be major players in the entire process such as manufacturing, construction, professional services, metal fabrication, as well as trucking and transporting would not be left out.
A report from the University of California showed that given the present energy mix used by the US, up to 86,370 jobs could be created by 2020 alone. If the percentage of energy derived from renewable sources increased by 20%, this figure could go as high as between 188,000 and 240,850.
However, this would be dependent on the actual mix of biomass, wind and solar. Renewable energy projects are typically more labour-intensive, thus the guarantee of job creation.