A switch to sustainable energy is an ideal solution to the energy crisis. Though the environmental benefits would undoubtedly be an improvement, the logistics of switching to such a system have been called into question.
Norman Rogers, the author of the book, “Dumb Energy: A Critique of Solar and Wind Energy,” writes about this problem of implementing renewable energy such as solar power. He mentions that defenders of wind and solar use the points of subsidies provided to renewable energy versus carbon-heavy sources of energy. In the article, he explains how we still have a ways to go with proper funding and implementing solar and wind energy to be more economically sustainable. Companies don’t fund solar and wind farms as much as they do traditional gas and oil markets. Government funding only covers some aspects of solar farming, such as the cost of the panels themselves and installation fees. Subsidies do not, however, cover the cost of transporting the energy, which is not making as much progress for economic efficiency. Rogers goes on to state that renewable energy companies like to say how they are becoming more affordable, despite the advancements in the technology raising the price faster than companies can make them more cost-effective. It’s a battle between efficiency and affordability.
Though the situation may seem like an uphill battle, the breakthroughs we have made in recent years are greater than what was expected.
In an article by Nancy Stauffer titled, “Solar Power Is Becoming More Sustainable,” defends the economical aspect of renewable energy. She states that technological advancements will eventually balance out costs. The main problem with solar and wind energy is that they aren’t reliable year-round. The amount of power they are able to produce is largely affected by weather conditions, which are unpredictable for the long term. Luckily, larger batteries for storing excess power are either in development or being implemented. This allows a more reliable supply of back-up energy for unpredictable weather conditions. The most effective advancement, however, comes in the form of combining other renewable energy sources. Relying on a few methods of generating electricity is not a sustainable solution. Investing all our resources into solar alone will not create a sustainable solution. Distributing the efforts to a diverse range of alternative energy sources (such as hydroelectricity and geothermal energy) will make environmentally friendly solutions more feasible.
The Price of Sustainability by Jayme is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.