Renewable energy is the future of cheap universal power delivery and as the effects of global warming become ever more apparent it is the only choice.
The age of fossil fuels is coming to an end. Gone are the days when humanity could endlessly plunder the limited resources of the Earth without thought or care of the consequences. The coal and oil that has fueled civilization from the industrial age onwards are finite resources. Not only this but it is now beyond doubt that our use of these fuels to power our ambitious march forward is causing immense damage to the planet in the form of anthropogenic climate change. Damage that, if not rectified soon, will significantly impair our ability to continue functioning on Earth.
All is not lost however, for there are greater sources of energy than the carbon rich remnants of life long past. We can harness the wind and the waves, geothermal vents and the very sun that has sustained life on Earth for many millions of years.
Renewable energy sources are abundant and all around us, they do not have a finite supply and the environmental impact of utilizing them to power our cities is minuscule. Photovoltaic solar cells convert light from the sun into electrical energy. Wind farms use grand windmills to harness the wind in turning a turbine that produces kinetic energy and then convert this to electricity. Wave generators make similar use of the movement of the waves, converting the kinetic energy into usable electricity.
Geothermal power stations harness heat released from deep within the earth. Solar thermal plants use an array of mirrors to concentrate light from the sun on a single point, heating a mass of salt to a molten state. As this salt cools in the night it continues to produce energy even in the absence of the sun. Further in the future, we may fit satellites with solar arrays and transfer the energy harnessed in this way back to a receiving point on earth via a microwave beam.
Change is never an easy process, and a great deal of change is required in this world if we want to stave off the environmentally catastrophic global warming to come. Renewable energy provides a change in the right direction, a means to continue our technological development without continuing to pollute and destroy the planet.
Energy from the sun, the wind, the waves and the heat of the Earth can provide cheap reliable power to all, its implementation in impoverished nations can help to catapult the living standards of the globe’s poor into the modern era. With the provision of cheap energy, impoverished people can have access to education, food and modern medical care. There is no reason to oppose renewable energy implementation that stands up to scrutiny. A world powered by renewable energy is one that has avoided the worst dangers of climate change and very simply a better place to live.