Renewable energy sources will not be exhausted, at least not for many millions of years. They provide a viable alternative to non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels. Many are also environmentally friendly and do not produce CO2.
All types of renewable energy technology have advantages and disadvantages, frequently relating to supply, which means the best solution is often to combine different types.
The following offers an overview of the main advantages and disadvantages of renewable resources.
Alternative Energy Benefits
Renewable energy provides a number of advantages, including readily available energy sources.
As the industry has advanced, there has also been a surge in job creation, to install and develop the state-of-the-art renewable energy technology of the future. Renewables also offer improved access to energy on a global scale and may also reduce the cost of utility bills.
One of renewable energy’s major advantages is that it is mostly clean and green - especially solar and wind power.
The effectiveness of renewables depends on the energy resource used. Some renewable sources are more readily available and effective while others, such as geothermal, are only accessible in certain locations.
In general, renewable energy has the potential to reduce electricity sector emissions by around 80%.
Renewable Energy Disadvantages
Renewable energy sources can't be relied upon. Solar power can't be generated at night or on cloudy days, and on still days, there is insufficient wind to generate power. This is one of the reasons why fossil fuels like natural gas are still used in many countries.
Another option is to combine multiple renewable technologies, creating a more robust and flexible supply system, which can counteract production shortfalls for a single source.
Some renewable resources, such as biomass and hydropower, don't have these problems. However, both have their own issues in terms of environmental impact.
In addition, some renewable energy sources, like solar and wind farms, are not popular with local residents who don't want them installed near their homes.