Is Renewable Energy Criticism Valid? A Comprehensive Analysis
Updated: Sep 30
Achieving a green system has become the world's biggest challenge and concern due to the growing and tangible effects of climate change that have led people to query and debate about the most equitable and cost-effective solution for this phenomenon. Principally, the sphere’s main problem is the source and energy usage. Statistically, according to Tony Pyke of Development Education, 93% of the world’s energy consumption is gathered from fossil fuels, and 7% is provided by renewable sources.
Now, for the main question, is Renewable Energy Criticism Valid? Yes, we must impart to the public the truth about renewable energy and the risks we must take that are reasonable and supported by evidence to provide the ultimate solution. Here are the truths about the Renewable Energies:
1. Intermittency means insufficiency
The first major concern about renewable energy is its intermittent nature. Public rants include: What if there is no sunlight? What if there is insufficient wind? What if the water flows slowly? These are a few trumpets from the critics, denoting how this solution can sustain us.
Those are excellent questions! According to Energy Intelligence, intermittency is no longer a significant barrier because existing tools, such as gas turbines, do not require natural gas to provide flexible power and heat. It can transform a variety of renewable and low-carbon gases, such as biogas or hydrogen, and effectively replace natural gas when sufficient quantities are available.
Additionally, using wind or solar energy that is prone to interruptions can use batteries to store energy, as those are becoming more competitive for long-term operation.
The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is difficult, particularly given the costs. The cost of developing renewable energy, from raw materials to expensive equipment and down to labor, is a valid criticism.
3. Land use
Land use for renewable energy is heavily criticized, especially when the source is near homes or areas that are not accustomed to industrial development, which may cause opposition. Wind and solar installations, according to Samantha Gross of Brookings, require at least ten times the land use per unit of power compared to coal or natural gas-fired power plants.
4. Environmental impact of manufacturing
Renewable energy benefits by producing fewer greenhouse gases than fossil fuels, which cause substantial amounts of pollution. However, there is a boon and a bane curse in installing and creating renewable energies because the materials that are commonly used, such as neodymium, dysprosium, cadmium, and more, are limited, and there are no existing recycling systems that can facilitate and circulate these materials.
The risk for a net-zero future
In essence, the debate between positive and negative criticism about renewable energy is a must because this drives continuous improvement, innovation, and responsible development. The world must agree to have shared targets for achieving sustainable goals. While studies also suggest that the creation of renewable energy has negative consequences, it is in our hands to take the risk and chance to bridge the gap between our energy and irreversible climate change concerns.