If you were asked to explain the benefits of renewable energy production, chances are you would first say the obvious thing – it is renewable! Aside from the many other benefits, it is the fact that you have an inexhaustible supply that makes renewable energy such an attractive proposition, and in the coming years, this is one benefit that will become much more relevant to the energy-hungry world.
The world is quickly running out of oil. Oil is harder to find and extract with each passing day, and new oil field discoveries are an increasingly rare occurrence. It is estimated that there is enough oil in the ground to last 40 years, and that by 2040 production levels will only be 20% of what we consume today. This problem is compounded by the fact that the global energy demand is likely to rise by 35% by 2040.
Renewable energy is the best answer we have to the world’s burgeoning energy needs. Gas, which is a significantly cleaner alternative to oil, would last a while but not forever. Nuclear power is cleaner still, and despite the fact it is safer than ever before, it is controversial and opposed by many. With the potential to deliver all the energy we need, and without the serious problems of pollution, contamination and greenhouse emissions, the only real long-term solution is renewable energy.
For many developed and newly developed nations, the renewable solution is already being put into practice, and the solution is taking two forms. The first form is small-scale, at-home renewable systems for reducing personal reliance on grid energy, such as ground-source heat pumps and solar panels. The second form is government investment in new renewable technologies such as onshore/offshore wind, hydroelectric, air-source/ground-source heat pumps, biomass, geothermal, solar and tidal.
Renewable energy is the only full proof, long-term solution to meeting the world’s growing energy needs, but how long will we have to wait until renewable become dominant. The problem is that, as long as profits can be made from non-renewables, the world will continue to consume every last ounce of it regardless of the consequences.