The world as we know it runs on fossil fuels. Carbon emissions choke our atmosphere as we continue to burn coal, oil and natural gas. Unfortunately, this is reality, but our future can be altered with a strong but little-known superhero: renewable energy.
Renewable energy comes from natural sources that replenish themselves within a human lifetime. These include power sources like sunlight, wind, water, biomass and geothermal heat. Because renewable energy is derived from natural processes and is virtually inexhaustible, it’s far more sustainable than its fossil-fuel counterparts.
Fossil fuels are available only in finite quantities. The more humans extract these fossil fuels from the Earth, the faster they run out — they can’t replenish themselves as quickly as humans use them. What’s more, burning fossil fuels produces massive amounts of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change and posing hazards to human health. Renewable energy, on the other hand, emits little to zero emissions: a win for both planet and people.
It seems almost obvious, then, that the path toward a cleaner, greener future is paved with renewable energy. While there’s still a long way to go before renewable energy hits the mainstream, the world has started to wake up to its possibilities.
Governments, private entities and individuals worldwide are increasingly harnessing the power of renewable energy. In 2019, the globe’s installed power capacity of renewable energy increased by over 200 gigawatts — its largest increase ever. And despite fossil fuels still dominating American energy markets, demand and affordable prices for renewable energy continues to grow.
Over the last ten years, renewable energy costs have rapidly declined worldwide, thanks to the development of advanced solar and wind technologies. From 2009-2019, the cost of energy generation via solar panels plummeted 82%, while costs of onshore wind dropped by 39%. Now, in about two-thirds of the world, renewable energy sources are more affordable than energy from fossil fuels.
Despite the growing enthusiasm for renewables and their clear economic upside, they still lag behind fossil fuels in terms of worldwide adoption. In 2017, global energy consumption in buildings was composed of only 13.6% renewables; like we mentioned, we haven’t quite reached our clean and green future quite yet. But we can all play a part in getting one step closer to that future.
Though the world may be slow to adopt renewable energy sources, individuals can make a difference. That’s why Gawdhess is partnering with APG&E to offer residents in certain East Coast states renewable wind and solar energy at no extra cost. APG&E services residences, small businesses and commercial buildings to provide them with the tools for finding the lowest energy costs possible. They currently operate in Texas, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Fossil fuels is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.
Consider switching the energy source at your home and follow your impact. Register here.