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.

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May 7, 2020 3:47 am

Hi Nico,
I appreciate that you are thinking of alternative issues and trying to raise constructive criticisms, as we all should strive to do. However, I disagree with your claim that wind turbines pose a bigger threat to bird populations than fossil fuels do. I admit that wind turbines do kill birds: there are between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour of electricity produced according to a study from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v37y2009i6p2241-2248.html. What you have overlooked is the fact that fossil fuels too cause bird deaths. The same study found that fossil fuels were responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh, that’s almost 15 times more deaths! That means that wind turbines ‘[kill] approximately seven thousand birds’ a year, while ‘fossil-fuelled power plants [kill] 14.5 million’! That is a huge number that destroys the misconception that wind turbines are particularly harmful to birds and demonstrates perfectly how much safer wind farms are relative to their competitors. Nevertheless, these extremely misleading claims are increasingly being used by conservative politicians to distract us from the real issues of climate change and to fear monger the public away from positive action. Furthermore, the article you referenced concedes that wind companies are making ‘smart blades’ and developing technology to reduce avian mortality. And if bird deaths are something that greatly concern you, maybe you should start with reducing numbers feral cats, rather than wind farms, which alone murder an unbelievable 80,000,000 birds per year (in the USA)! Compare this to the minuscule 7000 killed annually by turbines and you will begin to get a real sense of this issue. For more information on this topic I recommend you read this article by The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/wind-farms-are-hardly-the-bird-slayers-theyre-made-out-to-be-heres-why-79567.
Lastly, you said that these bird deaths were ‘only one con’. Would you please explain another? It would be great to understand more of your concerns around the development of green energy. Thank you.

Reply to  Harper
May 7, 2020 3:55 am

This was meant to be a reply to the post below this.

December 6, 2019 1:35 pm

Hi Jayme, thank you for sharing your thoughts on how we could approach the energy crisis we are facing and are going to face. Energy is very important in our lives and is like a necessity today unlike before. In a matter of around 200 years, we have been able to improve our advancements in energy production. I agree that the price of sustainability will decrease over time because of new inventions and innovations. Solar power and wind power are great energy production processes; but like gas and oil markets, they have their pros and cons. Solar and wind power, as you said, are not as effective and cost-efficient today; these cons can be fixed in the future through new developments. But there are cons that will always be problems to these markets. According to Emma Bryce, “Wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000 to 328,000 birds each year in North America, making it the most threatening form of green energy. And yet, it’s also one of the most rapidly expanding energy industries: more than 49,000 individual wind turbines now exist across 39 states.” While we are trying to make energy safer to the environment, green energy such as wind power hurts the environment differently than oil and gas companies. Though I only presented one con to these green energy methods, there are many more than this. In conclusion, I agree that the energy crisis is very important to the future of the world and that the future holds what is to come.
If you want to research more about bird deaths related to wind turbines, the link is https://www.audubon.org/news/will-wind-turbines-ever-be-safe-birds.

Reply to  Nico
May 7, 2020 3:50 am

I replied to your comment but accidentally sent it as an independent comment. See above.

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