It’s no secret that the world’s reliance on fossil fuels needs to stop. Without a smart alternative to these non-renewable energy sources, humans’ energy needs will eventually not be able to be met. By implementing renewable energy techniques now we can ensure that energy demand will be able to be met in the future – and that the impact on the environment will be minimal.
As more time and resources are spent on finding renewable energy resources, some positive trends in renewable energy are emerging. Here are some of the findings and other supporting research on renewable energy.
How does renewable energy impact us?
Renewable energy has so many implications that can improve quality of life and protect the planet too. A few of the ways renewable energy benefit everyone include:
- Less depletion of fossil fuels. As more people shift to renewable energy sources, less fossil fuels like coal and oil will be used.
- Smaller carbon footprint. The carbon emissions from renewable energy sources are nearly non-existent.
- Combats climate change/global warming. With less fossil fuels burning, less carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere. This means less of an impact on climate change.
- Offers security when it comes to energy. Eventually nonrenewable energy sources are going to run out. This is not true when it comes to things like water, solar and wind energy.
- Provides jobs. More than 6.5 million people had jobs in renewable energy during 2013.
- Costs less. Though the upfront research and development comes with a hefty price tag, renewable energy has the potential to lower energy costs permanently.
Where does renewable energy stand today?
In 2012, renewable energy was worth $248.7 billion. By 2022, that figure is expected to rise to $426.1 billion. In 2013, renewable energy accounted for 22 percent of the world’s electricity generation. By 2018 that number is expected to rise to 25 percent.
Biofuels are leading the way and will continue to do so in 2022. Wind power will actually grow at a faster rate than solar power during the measured decade, however.
What are the most popular forms of renewable energy?
In 2014, the following renewable sources of energy were the most popular, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:
- Hydroelectric power
- Wood biomass
- Wind energy
- Waste biomass
Where is renewable energy the most popular?
When it comes to wind energy, the top nations for its use (in order) are China, the United States, Germany, Spain and India. China also leads the way for the most hydropower generation. Germany is the leader when it comes to solar electricity production and use. Perhaps the most impressive nation when it comes to renewable energy is Iceland. With 75 percent of its energy needs met by hydropower, other renewable energy makes up the other 25 percent. Iceland has virtually NO reliance on any fossil fuels for energy.
In 2013, hydropower made up the largest share of renewable electric generation.
What are some growing trends in renewable energy?
Wind and solar power are making big strides and are showing no signs of slowing down. In 2012 alone solar industry grew by 76 percent. As demand has gone up, the price has fallen – down 27 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Take a look at a few other trends:
- At the end of 2012, 10 million homes running on wind energy in the U.S. were being added every month. In just two years, the price of wind power went down 21 percent.
- In 2012, renewable energy represented almost half of all new energy installations.
- Investments in solar energy are expected to double from 2012 to 2022.
The outlook for renewable energy is promising. The world is transitioning from the old ways of harvesting and burning energy to a smarter, more efficient way of using power. As renewable energy replaces fossil fuels the tangible and intangible costs of energy consumption will fall, benefiting everyone.