The planet’s reliance on energy to keep society running is undeniable, and it is no secret that humanity has utilised unhealthy energy sources to keep society running smoothly. While fossil fuels were nearly solely responsible for humanity’s energy consumption in the past, there are healthier, more environmentally-friendly energy sources being developed and implemented that can ensure the planet has a brighter, healthier future. In the relatively little time that renewable energies have been in successful operation, they have made leaps and bounds, surging upward and onward to place them firmly in the lead as prospective sole energy sources of tomorrow. Over the past Summer, for example, renewables generated more electricity than brown coal and produced 40% more than gas, only being surpassed by black coal. While there are still ways to improve renewable energy sources there is no doubt that the generations of the future will likely enjoy the benefits of natural, renewable energy sources rather than the unhealthy fossil fuels that have driven humanity’s progression up until the early 2000s and onwards.
Since 2015, the number of locations that are generating 70% or more of their total electricity supply from renewable energy sources has more than doubled, further cementing renewable energy sources as the leading candidates for the future of energy the world over. The momentum created by renewable energy continues to build, as cities the world over make the pivotal shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Renewable energy has not come about without its barriers though, with one of them being America’s very own President Donald Trump. When President Trump made the decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, it sent the planet (including his own country) into a panic spiral, making people angry and afraid for the consequences that could occur as the result of his decision. Since his decision, the majority of passion and action for climate change has been driven by the global covenant of more than 7,400 leaders that came together in the wake of his decision. As leaders continue to realise the importance of keeping the planet healthy, so do their people.
The economy is built on energy, and up until recently the economy has functioned around the preconceived assumption that said energy will be reliable, accessible, and relatively inexpensive. Had we continued to utilize energy sources that are unhealthy and short-lived in their shelf life, that assumption would have remained a glorified act of ignorance. However, with renewable energy solutions becoming more popular and affordable – particularly solar panels and wind turbines – this assumption holds more truth than ever. While the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy is sure to be a long one, the positive results that will be yielded will be more than worth their weight in gold.
We live in an increasingly carbon-constrained planet and ignoring the facts will only serve to do more harm than good. Reality checks have been served left, right, and centre in the form of climate change and subsequent natural disasters, air pollution rates, and the very health of living beings all around the world. With every dawning wake-up call comes more call for action, more desperation to restore balance to a world that we as a race have single handedly begun to destroy. Whether this damage is reversible is not yet a certainty, but the one thing that rings loud and true is that there are no downfalls to making the change to renewable energy sources, there are only bright positives. Renewable energy is not only changing the world and the lives of people in current and future generations, but it is revolutionising them.
Humanity relies on the sourcing and producing of energy to balance, centre, and drive forward our way of life, but the sad truth is that, up until this point, the methods of which we have extracted energy sources has been all but unhealthy. The good news is that there is a better way, and that way is already being implemented and yielding significant results in the little time that it has been broadly available. Renewable energy such as solar power has been the saving grace of the planet. Unlike the fossil fuels that came before it, it is a sustainable form of energy as well as being the fastest-moving energy source to have burst into fruition. In the time that renewable energy has been introduced and become viable, it has improved the lives and societies of people around the globe, propelling us into a certain future that is lit up by renewable energy and empowered by the good that using such energy sources does for the planet. We may not be able to turn back the clock, but renewable energy can (hopefully) restore balance to Earth – and to future generations to come