The answer certainly isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.” There are many factors to take into account when one is considering how realistic it would be for the world to rely solely on renewable energy. One of the main considerations is intermittency. Though solar are wind energy are excellent substitutions for fossil fuels, the sun isn’t always shining and the wind isn’t always blowing.
Because the average world citizen gets 90 percent of his/her energy from traditional fossil fuels and about 10 percent from renewable sources, the transition to full renewable generation is a daunting task. Of course, it’s become very clear that fossil fuels are not sustainable for many reasons, predominately because of the climate-altering effects of carbon emissions. In addition, as fossil fuels become more scarce, the methods used to extract them become more intensive and environmentally devastating, so it’s important to find ways to source our energy in a way that works for the long-term.
The truth is, energy investments and build-outs are measured in decades, not years and efficiency is the most effective “clean energy source” available to us today. You might have noticed a good bit of change in the automotive industry lately, with more hybrids and electric vehicles being put on the market. The auto industry is one of the leading examples of a race towards more efficient technologies leading to a decrease in emissions.
So, how can we expand the idea of putting more renewable energy resources in place beyond simply using dirty sources more efficiently, and is it even worth it?
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