2017 has left many fearful for the future of the energy industry. Current domestic policy seems to place heavy emphasis on fossil fuels like coal and oil. However, green energy is still winning victories and positioning itself as the future of our power.
Renewable energy is growing at remarkable rates, to the point where the implementation of the systems is limiting growth more than market demand.
Electricity generation by renewable energy is already creeping up on that of natural gas in countries all over the world, the United States included.
Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal already make up 15% of United States energy generation as of 2016. If you include nuclear, “green” energy produced 35% of the power in the United States. This beats out both coal, at 30.4%, and natural gas, at 33.8%. While this means that fossil fuels still nearly double the production of green energy, neither fossil fuel industry standing alone produces more energy in the US than green energy.
This trend is mirrored across the globe.
As of 2014, green energy still accounted for 35% of worldwide energy production, but took the backseat to coal at 39%. There are many reasons for this shift. Governments and companies across the world are seeing the implications of keeping fossil fuels around. 97% of climate scientists agree that the climate is changing as a result of human action, including the release of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere via the burning of fossil fuels. While there are movements across the world that deny this for various, often politically motivated reasons, the market has recognized it and demand for alternative energy sources has skyrocketed. Car companies are releasing more and more models of hybrid cars ad many major cities are putting stricter regulations on pollution. As a result, clean energy has had a chance to shine.
The future of energy is in this clean energy, for many reasons. Many governments are already implementing policy favoring renewable energy and joining the Paris Climate Accords. Also Power Utility Safety for renewable energy gets better every year while the safety of those working in the fossil fuel industry do not enjoy that privilege. Projections for 2022 see renewable energy far surpassing natural gas on a global level and inching ever closer to coal. In fact, last year was the first year that the renewable energy industry grew at a faster rate than the coal industry. This should come as no surprise considering that hugely populated countries including China and India are completely embracing the renewable energy boom.
Solar energy in particular seems to be a point of focus in the renewable energy industry. China in particular is heavily taking advantage of solar energy. In fact, in the last year China added 360 gigawatts of solar energy to their energy generation. This accounted for approximately 40% of all growth in their power industries. China is an incredibly important country to look to when regarding these trends. China both a major player in the global landscape and a clear example of a country ravaged by pollution. In many cities, citizens wear masks to cover their faces to protect them from the very air that they breathe. Clean energy will in time provide an answer to that.
China and India both are showing massive shifts towards clean energy. While China’s clean energy industry puts that of India to shame, India is expected to pass the EU in renewable energy generation in the next few years. This would place them at third place globally behind only China and the United States. Also it is worth noting that there are well over 2 billion people living in China and India, so wins for green energy in those countries are important themselves and not only as indicators for the future of the world.
The future of energy generation lies in renewable energy, especially solar. There are many arguments in favor of the green energy takeover, and global trends are already signifying a shift there. Although only time may tell, projections offer very valuable insight.