Many big renewable players such as the US, China and Australia have impressive plans for renewable energy growth by 2020 and 2050. Germany plans to generate 100% renewable energy by 2050, which judging by its current state, is not an unrealistic target.
So, what are the pros and cons of renewable energy? I wanted to look into this because, to me, it all adds up nicely. Much like everything else, there are indeed constraints the renewable energy community must counteract if the world can plan for a 100% renewable future.
According to critics, due to the dependency on the weather and the peaks and dips of energy production, renewable energy is not something that whole economies can rely on for the supply of power. The renewable sector is often attacked for its intermittent nature and the constant fear that a wind or solar farm is going to land on your doorstep. Many local residents protest against the construction of these plants going ahead.
Upon first thought, I failed to establish why these farms could be disruptive enough to try and shut down. I appreciate the issues local residents have with airports, noise pollution can have a huge impact on your everyday life, when you wake up, if you can go back to sleep... But the last time I checked, solar panels and wind turbines aren’t that troublesome.
According to my research, many locals enjoy the natural scenery surrounding their countryside homes and a lot of the time, wind and solar farms disturb this. Wind turbines in particular, usually have to be situated in coastal and windy areas. (Crazy, right?) They’re also quite noisy and usually pretty tall in size. The blades are constantly moving, which immediately attracts an onlooker’s attention from a great distance. There are also the cons of solar, which are the initial costs of installations being considerably high, with little instant ROI and the fact you can only rely on extracting this energy during the day, when there is sunlight.
Whatever the critics’ reasons are for their constant objections, renewable energy will allow us to achieve a sustainable future. It enables us to power remote areas, provide a clean energy source that doesn't produce contamination and is readily available to most parts of the world. It’s a little frustrating that the UK is not following in Germany’s footsteps and is actually minimizing the opportunity for renewable growth by dismantling major clean energy schemes… Or did you not hear about Britain’s energy crisis?
Looking for a new role in the renewable energy sector? Search our latest renewables jobs today!