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Renewable Energy

9 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Renewable Energy 

facts about renewable energy

Renewable energy – it’s a term you likely hear a lot these days and are likely to hear a lot more about in the future. But how much do you really know about it? Read on as we explore nine lesser-known facts about renewable energy that may surprise you.

1. Renewable Energy May Be Bigger Than You Think

While renewables may once have been a niche power source, these days, they account for about 30% of the world’s overall power generation, according to the UN. That number is expected to climb to more than a third in the coming years, with the potential for far-faster growth as technology improves.

2. Solar Power Is Particularly Plentiful

It’s hard to truly grasp the amount of potential energy that hits the earth every day as a result of the sun’s rays. Per the Department of Energy, it’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy usage. Just a tiny sliver of this is harnessed by solar panels, meaning there’s nearly limitless room to expand.

3. Solar And Wind Power Are Growing Fast

Those spotting lots of new solar or wind farms aren’t imagining it – these two green, renewable energy sources are the fastest growing in the United States. Earth.org says annual wind power increased by 14% in the most recent data, while solar grew by nearly a quarter. Moreover, both are projected to continue expanding nearly as fast in the future, even as their overall size grows.

4. Hydropower Is Still One Of The Biggest Contributor To Renewables Worldwide

Despite the fast growth of other forms, hydropower is still one of the largest providers of of clean energy. This is thanks to the relatively large number of massive power-generating dams built around the world, many of which have been producing power for decades. With some of the lowest technological requirements, it’s easy to see hydropower maintaining a foothold in the world of renewables, especially in the developing world.

5. Renewables Are Getting Cheaper

As renewable energy technology improves and scale grows, the cost of clean energy is dropping fast. In many cases, the International Renewable Energy Agency says it’s even cheaper than highly polluting fossil fuels. This is partly because renewable energy projects rack up most of their costs to build, while traditional fuel requires constant spending on supply.

6. Renewables Can Even Lower Your Power Bill

If the idea of low energy bills sounds appealing to you, it’s a reality for many with rooftop solar panel systems and other green environmental practices. In the right climates, a correctly sized system can fully power a residential home or even potentially push energy back into the grid, earning you credits. This can result in years of savings in the future.

7. There Are Lots of Alternative Renewables Still In Their Infancy

While the big sources of clean energy like wind, solar, and hydro are well developed, others are still blossoming. For example, marine energy is a variation of hydropower, where the movement of waves and tides is used to create electricity. Biofuel is also an alternative, either in the traditional conversion to ethanol or the harnessing of heat energy from composting or decomposing organic matter.

8. Clean Energy Jobs Are Booming

Another advantage of renewables is the significant employment opportunities in the fast-growing sector. The World Economic Forum estimates over half of employment in the energy sector are clean energy jobs, making its growth compared to fossil fuels even more stark.

9. The Future Of Renewables May Lie In Storage

Renewable sources do have one notable downside, which is that energy generated by these sources can’t easily be controlled in terms of demand. The wind will blow, and the sun will shine regardless of energy demand, and without storing this juice for the future, it’s difficult to rely on them completely. Fortunately, utilities, renewable energy companies, and individuals are all investing in increased battery storage, which preserves energy when needed.

There you have it – nine renewable energy facts that may surprise you or even change the way you think about this innovative and growing field. If you’d like to enroll in a 100% renewable electricity plan with Indra Energy, click here!

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