13 Dec What is the Future of Renewable Energy?
The looming climate crisis, fed by fossil fuel emissions, threatens our way of life. From extreme weather events and natural disasters to the gradual warming of the globe, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels, the consequences of climate change are evident and inescapable. That is, unless we make changes in our lives and our energy sources.
Renewable energy is the future, but it remains out of reach for many Americans.
The Growth of Renewable Energy
Despite most Americans relying on traditional energy sources to power their homes, with renewables accounting for only 26% of the world’s electricity, there has been considerable growth in the sector since 2019. According to the IEA, electricity sourced from renewables will grow to 1,200 Giga Watts (GW) by 2024, which is equivalent to the United States’ total electricity capacity.
Additionally, due to falling costs, solar is expected to double installs in the US to four million by 2023. Solar is getting so economical that Carbon Tracker, a London-based not-for-profit Think Tank, predicts that the majority of coal power will become unprofitable globally. Beyond the imperative to ditch coal to protect our planet, using coal will actually be more expensive, and in fact, many coal companies are likely already losing money to high operating costs and environmental regulations.
Solar Energy: The Face of Renewables
Unlike wind power and hydropower, which require particular weather or geographic features, solar is far more dynamic. You don’t need to live in the South, Southwest, or in California to enjoy the benefits of solar. In fact, New Jersey is a national leader in solar installs and initiatives. Therefore, solar energy is predicted to become a ubiquitous energy source.
Solar energy is also falling in price and has been consistently since 2018. The PV cells in solar panels, which absorb sunlight and convert it to electricity, are no longer cost-prohibitive. Now, middle-class homeowners are leading the solar revolution. These cells are also becoming more advanced and efficient; people need fewer panels to generate enough electricity for their home than before. The capacity of residential solar is projected to increase from 58 GW in 2018 to 142 GW in 2024.
What’s more, President Biden’s impending infrastructure bill could skyrocket solar growth in the US. The collection of proposed policies would push the US to generate 40% of its electricity with solar. The bill would also aid in making solar more accessible for Americans with tax credits and integrating renewables into local power grids.
Renewable energy is growing and, hopefully, will become our primary source of energy. You can do your part to mitigate the effects of climate change by going solar. The abundant, sustainable energy source is clean and will decrease your reliance on fossil fuels powering your local energy grid. Contact Longhorn Solar today for more information on how you can save by going solar.