Renewable Energy Benefits

The different renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric provides different benefits to our climate, health and economy. Here we mention several benefits:

1 – No global warming emissions

Electricity production accounts for more than one-third of U.S. global warming emissions, with the majority generated by coal-fired power plants, which produce approximately 25 percent of total U.S. global warming emissions; natural gas-fired power plants produce 6 percent of total emissions. In contrast, most renewable energy sources produce little to no global warming emissions.

2 – Improved health and environmental quality
The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants is linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. Wind, solar, and hydroelectric systems generate electricity with no associated air pollution emissions.

In addition, wind and solar energy require essentially no water to operate and thus do not pollute water resources or strain supply by competing with agriculture, drinking water systems, or other important water needs.

3 – A vast and inexhaustible energy supply

Throughout the United States, strong winds, sunny skies, plant residues, heat from earth and fast-moving water can each provide a vast and constantly replenished energy resource supply. These diverse sources of renewable energy have the technical potential to provide all the electricity the nation needs many times over.

4 – Jobs Impact and other economic benefits

The renewable energy industry is more labor-intensive. This means that, on average, more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels.

In 2011, the wind energy industry directly employed 75,000 full-time-equivalent employees in a variety of capacities, including manufacturing, project development, construction and turbine installation among other sectors.

Other renewable energy technologies employ even more workers. And the increase of renewable energy has the potential to create more jobs.

5 – Stable energy prices

Renewable energy is providing affordable electricity across the country right now, and can help stabilize energy prices in the future.

The costs of renewable energy technologies have declined steadily, and are projected to drop even more. For example, the average price of a solar panel has dropped almost 60 percent since 2011. The cost of generating electricity from wind dropped more than 20 percent between 2010 and 2012 and more than 80 percent since 1980.

While renewable facilities require upfront investments to build, once built they operate at very low cost and, for most technologies, the fuel is free.

6 – A more reliable and resilient energy system

Wind and solar technology are less prone to large-scale failure because they are distributed and modular. Distributed systems are spread out over a large geographical area, so a severe weather event in one location will not cut off power to an entire region.

Source – www.ucsusa.org