Written by Seth Legan, ESLLC 2017-2018
Renewable energy is the future. Humans have been obsessed with the use of coal, petroleum, and natural gas for far too long. We need a renewable energy revival. When we make a concentrated effort to reduce our CO2 emissions, and increase the efficiency of our available renewable energy, we commit to flipping the script and reversing the harmful effects of our obsession with coal, petroleum and natural gas.
Lets dive into this topic a bit: in 2016 the United States energy consumption included 10% renewable energy sources. This is an encouraging start, but at the same time, it’s a relatively small number given the technology and resources available today. We are willingly choosing non-renewable sources of energy because they are cheaper and easier to utilize, but the more we ignore the fact that we are harming the atmosphere with our actions, the worse things will get for us.
Renewable energy sources are not as efficient as other means of energy creation, for example, Solar panels only convert about 20% of their received sunlight into usable energy. We receive around 84 terawatts of solar radiation every day(7 times the global energy consumption), but don’t even get close to utilizing all of that. Wind energy and hydroelectric energy are currently the most used sources of energy. Wind energy, although it is efficient, isn’t a dependable source of energy. Hydroelectric energy is the most efficient source of energy by far, but hydroelectric dam creation is
But just making renewable energy sources more efficient and widespread will not replace the fact that we are still adding more and more C02 into the atmosphere everyday. And our problems will continue to worsen until we find a way to cut our CO2 emissions. There are easy ways to do this in your own home like switching your incandescent lightbulbs to energy efficient led bulbs, and by carpooling, riding your bike, or walking to places you need to go, if possible.
The thing we all need to realize is that reversing the harmful effects of CO2 is not big scale problem that only large corporations and individuals with power can tackle. If each one of us works to reduce our carbon footprint, we can make a difference, and every little bit helps. If we commit to changing the outcome, we can be the generation that reverses climate change.