Renewable Energy in New York or How to Save in a Big City
Environmental degradation is becoming a major global problem. As intellectual creatures, human beings are morally responsible for dealing with environmental issues because all living organisms are a part of the environment and have the same right to peacefully coexist. The primary focus towards making a change must be on the energy, and the way we use it. Renewable energy is the future of any big city that wants its inhabitants to live in a healthy environment, especially a city as big and progressive as New York.
First and foremost, let’s understand what exactly renewable energy is and how it can help not only to support the environment but also to save a lot of money. Renewable energy is generated from sources that are naturally replenished, such as wind, sun, water, biological processes or heat flows.
How Renewable Energy Works
First, let’s consider how exactly renewable energy works on the examples of wind and sun, before getting into how it will help you save on utility costs.
- Solar Energy - the sun is a natural nuclear reactor that releases small energy packets called photons. These tiny energy particles travel 93 million miles from the sun to the Earth in less than 9 minutes. Every hour, theoretically, there is enough number of photons impacting our planet that generates solar energy, which can satisfy global energy needs. Solar panels absorb the sunlight with these photovoltaic cells and generate direct current (DC) energy. The DC energy is then converted into usable alternative current (AC) energy through inverter technologies. This AC energy flows and spreads along your home’s electrical panel. As for now, the photovoltaic power holds only five-tenth percent of the energy used in US.
- Wind Energy - it is generated with the help of wind turbines. Any movement in general is kinetic energy, and since wind is no other thing than the horizontal movement of air, it is also an example of kinetic energy. The turbine blades are designed similar to plane wings, which capture the kinetic energy from the wind. So when the blades capture this energy and start spinning, the turbine generator transforms the wind energy into electricity. Generating wind electricity basically means transferring energy from one energy agent to another.
Renewable Energy Saves Money
When you live in a huge metropolitan city like New York, you constantly struggle with your bills and try to save money whenever possible. Renewable energy can help you save money. According to studies, the renewable energy industry can save billions of dollars a year to US consumers over the current electric power options. Current power plants are expensive to operate because of the fossil fuel expenses, so renewable energy sources will help save on these costs. By adding 8 GW of wind energy capacity, New York would save $1.3 billion in power plant operations per year, which is about $65 per person.
As of now, the contribution of wind power to the US economy is huge: $20 billion per year, and this amount will increase to $24 billion by 2020. The solar energy industry has contributed $154 billion to the economy in 2016 only. These contributions by energy sources like wind turbines or solar panels to the US economy are astonishingly huge, and New Yorkers definitely profit from this contributions as well. Adopting renewable energy sources requires infrastructure update and the retiring of existing fossil fuel plants. Although this process can be expensive to implement, the financial and environmental benefits of the renewable energy sources outweigh the associated costs.
The Benefits of Switching to Renewable Energy in New York
There’s a good reason why renewable energy in New York is currently getting a lot of attention. Renewable energy has many benefits, especially in a city as big as New York. Currently, the government officials in New York are investing in building renewable energy sources. At the beginning of 2018, New York has invested $1.4 billion to different renewable energy projects. People who live in New York City are extremely lucky because they can take advantage of all the renewable energy sources.
By adopting wind and solar energy sources in NYC, you can invest your own effort into decreasing environmental degradation and create a positive change. Renewable energy sources are eco-friendly because they have no CO2 emissions. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which is mainly responsible for today’s global warming and heavy air pollution.
Also, besides becoming a positive environmental impact-maker, you will use the most reliable energy sources. There is almost 0% chance that solar and wind energy will ever run out, so they are inexhaustible and reliable energy sources.
How Renewable Energy Can Help Create a Better Future
Here is how renewable energy can impact the future:
- Employment - renewable energy industry requires labor, unlike the fossil fuel plants that are capital intensive and mechanized. Solar panels are installed by humans, while wind energy farms require technicians for the maintenance. Currently, there are thousands of jobs in the renewable energy, but the number continuously grows as more people switch to solar panels in New York.
- Health & Education - the condition with the environment is indeed alarming, and the fault is mainly ours. The younger generation must be educated on how to be less harmful to the environment, avoid pollution and create a healthier generation. Education about renewable energy and its benefits is an important part of this process.
- Efficient monetary investments - as already mentioned, the amount of money earned from the renewable energy industry is huge. This money contributes to the economy because it will be reinvested in many developmental projects for the improvement of the country.