If an expert told you that your power rates were going way up, but your energy bills would go down such that you’d end up paying less than before, would you be more interested in renewable energy?
It’s more than an academic question; it’s the story being told in many countries throughout Europe, countries that are making a concerted effort to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by switching to renewables.
Once the king of the energy sector, coal is being rapidly outpaced by renewable energy sources. Expanding investment and development in solar and wind power will not only influence how electricity is generated, but also grant consumers access to cleaner, sustainable energy options. Solar power and wind power, which have been the cornerstones of the renewable energy movement, will account for 50 percent of all generated power by 2040, according to a Bloomberg report.
Renewable sources of energy, like solar and wind power, have seen vast improvements in efficiency, and, perhaps most importantly, the substantial decreases in production costs are giving consumers more options. Innovations in renewables are reshaping the domestic and international energy markets, and are beginning to render coal and natural gas obsolete. These trends also buck President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to “bring back coal,” a key promise which helped deliver him an electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton.
A giant, 248-acre sized panda is now providing power to a grid in northwest China. Yes, while Tokyo has its life-sized Gundam statues guarding Tokyo Bay, China now has a solar farm in the shape of China’s adorable national treasure, and it will be the first of many more.
The island of Kauai will harness the power of the sun (and Tesla’s solar power grid) to provide solar energy and reduce fossil fuel use by approximately 1.6 million gallons per year.
Late last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled a new solar roof product, the culmination of his vision for a merger with SolarCity, the solar energy equipment supplier. The stylish solar panels, Musk projected, would likely cost less than a normal roof to install. The four separate solar roof shingle options were made with glass developed by Tesla's new glass division.