A big job requires the right tools and for the very big job of protecting the U.S. from relying on foreign oil while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the most important tools are clean energy technologies. Non-polluting, renewable energy sources, such as sun, wind and water, not only help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but they also add a much-needed flexibility to our energy resource mix.
Renewable energy technologies are vital in countering the harmful impacts imposed by climate change. According to the World Health Organization, climate change is responsible for the unpredictable and extreme weather patterns that contribute to about 150,000 deaths per year. As renewable energy technology advances and becomes more accessible to consumers, we can begin to decrease the planet-warming effects of fossil fuels. The EIA‘s latest data ranked renewable energy as the second most-prevalent U.S. electricity source in 2020. That same year, renewable energy sources accounted for about 12.6% of total U.S. energy consumption and about 19.8% of electricity generation.
Energy Independence & Shrinking Resources
Achieving energy independence in the U.S. is attainable by accelerating renewable energy technologies. By diversifying our energy sources and increasing the use of green energy, we can help to free ourselves from the implications of habitual reliance on foreign oil. Looking ahead, experts estimate that the U.S. only has enough natural gas reserves to last about 98 years, making our dependence on fossil fuels unsustainable. Luckily, the same experts have predicted renewable energy to collectively surpass natural gas to be the predominant source of generation in the United States by 2030.
Consumer Access to Renewable Energy
Not all renewable energy suppliers offer the same pricing and benefits to their customers. In states with monopoly utilities consumers are obliged to the rates provided to them if they chose to use green energy products to power their homes. Meanwhile, consumers in states with retail choice may benefit from the competing prices and benefits of an energy plan derived from renewable energy.
The answer is clear; national and global expansion of clean, sustainable and renewable energy portfolios is the key to resolving issues pertinent to climate change, waning resources and U.S. energy independence. The good news is that we’re on our way.