As Earth Day approaches, everyone should take steps toward saving the planet. This could include moving from oil, coal, and natural gas to wind energy and solar energy. To promote and protect our planet, utilizing renewable energy would be a better idea. In this guide, we will look at renewable energy vs fossil fuels, and renewable energy vs fossil fuels cost, to know whether you are paying the right amount.
Renewable Energy Vs Fossil Fuels: Whose Future Seems Bleak?
When comparing renewable energy vs fossil fuels, you’ll come across the fact that fossil fuels can take millions of years to replenish and seriously harm our environment, while renewable energy is produced from natural sources and is sustainably sourced. Solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass are all examples of renewable energy. On the other side, fossil fuels include things like coal, oil, and natural gas.
The extraction of oil, gas, and coal will likely be the sector of the fossil fuel industry that has the most job losses in the upcoming years. On the other hand, employment in the market for renewable energy is rising quickly. The market is welcoming a wide range of new positions and prospects.
Although the use of green energy is increasing dramatically in accordance with the need for change on a worldwide scale, it still accounts for less than 40% of all energy use. In 2021, about 10% of the world’s energy came from solar and wind energy, while another 28% came from other clean, alternative sources. Still, a lot of people prefer fossil fuels over green energy.
The price of renewable energy has significantly decreased over the last ten years. According to estimates, the cost of solar energy alone has decreased by over 80% in the last ten years, and the cost of wind energy has decreased by between 30 and 40%, depending on whether it is produced onshore or offshore. As fossil fuel is unsustainable, the price tends to increase along with time. Shortage of multiple fossil fuels such as coal, oil, etc. can have a negative impact on the pricing of the same.
Renewable Energy Vs Fossil Fuels Efficiency: Which is Better?
Talking about renewable energy vs fossil fuels, renewable energy typically excels over non-renewable energy in terms of energy efficiency. Without relying on an element that is finite or exhaustible, we can recycle the energy that comes from the sun, wind, and hydroelectric turbines. Non-renewable energy sources such as coal and natural gas produce waste. More energy, as well as environmental mitigation, are needed. As a result, coal, the least efficient energy source, has an energy efficiency of just 29% of its original energy value. The energy output from wind, on the other hand, is a staggering 1,164% of its initial intake.
Looking at solar power can be efficient in certain countries which have intense heat and long daylight hours such as India, certain parts of the US, etc. On the other hand, for countries like Norway, Denmark, etc. solar energy may not be the most efficient as they experience very less sunlight.
On a broader level, to answer the question of renewable energy vs fossil fuels efficiency, it can be said that renewable energy is more efficient than fossil fuels. People now do not have to rely on others to create energy but it depends on which energy source we are talking about.
What is Renewable Energy Vs Fossil Fuels Pros and Cons?
To learn about renewable energy vs fossil fuels, we need to know what is renewable energy vs fossil fuels pros and cons.
- Renewable energy is generated from sun, wind, hydropower, and biomass, which can regenerate themselves and are also sustainable.
- Using renewable energy has several pros, which also include not paying for fuel.
- Renewable energy is considered to be non-polluting. It not only improves air and water quality but also protects wildlife and human life. There are hardly any carbon emissions from renewable energy. Biomass has the potential to be a carbon-neutral energy source.
- Several sources of renewable energy are intermittent. Depending on the weather, one particular type of energy can be used. A mix of renewable energy sources should be added to the system as a solution to this issue.
- The cost of constructing the power plants is the only expense. There is an exception to this, which is, tidal power, which still remains costly.
- Birds and bats can perish in wind turbines. Moreover, the migration of marine life can be hampered by hydroelectric and tidal power dams.
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- Almost every nation in the world uses fossil fuels. This feature provides governments peace of mind in knowing that they won’t run out soon.
- Fossil fuels significantly boost a nation’s prosperity. There is one consistent pattern across the economies of the nations that produce oil and gas, and that is economic success. Government subsidies to oil companies amount to billions of dollars, and the impact on national development is more than evident.
- We will eventually run out of oil in 47 years, natural gas in 52 years, and coal in 133 years, according to Woldometers. So, fossil fuel is a limited resource.
- Fossil fuels are extremely vulnerable to market manipulation and price changes. Few nations in the middle east produce 40% of the world’s oil and have a glut of fossil resources.
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Renewable Energy Vs Fossil Fuels Cost: Which One is Cheaper?
As per the recent analysis done by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2018, the cost of renewable energy has been declining rapidly and, in a few years, it will become a more conventional source of power generation than fossil fuels. It stated that in 2021, renewables would be the cheapest form of power. About two-thirds of the additional renewable energy in 2021 costed less than the least expensive coal-fired choices in G20 nations. According to IRENA, the cost of renewable energy kept decreasing in 2021. In comparison to 2020, the cost of power from onshore wind, offshore wind, and solar PV all decreased by 15%, 13%, and 13% respectively. Whereas fossil fuels might cost as much as $0.18 per kWh, onshore wind and solar can cost as little as $0.04.
Even if the cost of producing electricity from fossil fuels were not higher, there are still a few additional expenses. For the past several years, international events have driven energy prices on an up-and-down roller coaster, including the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The rate of increase in power prices last year was the fastest since 2008. Prices per kWh increased by 4.3% from 2020. Thus, it was predicted that the cost of renewable energy added in 2021 would save the world’s energy sector around USD 55 billion by the year 2022. Hence, the fight for renewable energy vs fossil fuels in the cost category is clearly won by renewable energy.
Is Renewable Energy Better than Fossil Fuels?
Numerous factors are to be considered when learning about renewable energy vs fossil fuels.
1. Most people on earth, around 80%, live in nations that are importers of fossil fuels. In contrast, renewable energy sources are accessible worldwide and have not yet reached their full potential. By 2050, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 90 percent of the world’s power can and ought to come from renewable sources.
2. Nowadays, the cheapest source of energy in the majority of the globe is renewable energy. Renewable energy technologies are rapidly becoming more economical. Between 2010 and 2020, the cost of electricity produced by solar energy decreased by 85%. Onshore and offshore wind energy costs decreased by 56% and 48%, respectively.
3. The combustion of fossil fuels is the primary cause of the dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide. So, switching to renewable energy sources like wind and solar contributes to combating not just climate change but also air pollution and health issues.
Hence, renewable energy is a better source of energy not only because it’s cost-efficient but also because it protects and promotes human welfare.
After gaining knowledge about renewable energy vs fossil fuels and is renewable energy better than fossil fuels? renewable energy will undoubtedly take over the energy industry in the future, even if fossil fuels may still be the primary source of energy in a large portion of the planet. When the grid is populated with all forms of clean energy sources like wind and solar energy, which will become even more affordable to produce as technology advances, there will be fewer households in the future that are powered by fossil fuels.
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