Renewable Energy Myths: What Not to Believe in
The international support to renewable energy sources has increased drastically over the last decade. Actually, 2017 was a record-breaking year for them once again, with increasing power capacity, reduction in capital and variable costs, along with new technologies that promote the installation of green energy plants.
These developments are directly related to the benefits that can be obtained from using a sustainable source of electricity. The contribution to climate change was and still is the main engine that promotes the use of these alternatives sources, however, today, they have become much more.
For customers, renewables have become an option that saves money on electricity every year for the average American household and business, improving the value of their properties, but also providing stability, confidence and increasing their cash flow on medium and even short term. And for enterprises, they have become sources of employment, business, and development on every scale.
However, every now and then, those who are against a clean and sustainable world argument false statements based on biased information. Here we will discuss some of these myths and tell you the truth behind them with renewable energy facts!
Myth # 1: Renewable Energy is very expensive
Such asseveration might have been true 10 years ago, but today, it could not be more distant from the truth.
The best and most accurate way to measure the affordability of an energy source is through the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE).
Recent studies on the topic have demonstrated that when considering utility-scale projects, some renewable energy sources are already competing against fossil fuels.
For instance, solar PV (using crystalline and thin film technologies) has an average LCOE of 50$/MWh, geothermal energy is close to 100 $/MWh, biomass reaches the 85$/MWh and onshore wind energy, as the most competitive source of energy among renewables, has been reduced to an average of 45$/MWh (and even 30$/MWh). All of these average LCOE costs are estimated without subsidies from the US government
When comparing average LCOE to conventional fossil fuels like IGCC (165 $/MWh), coal (105$/MWh) or gas combined cycle (60 $/MWh), you can see how renewable energy sources are already competitive!
Moreover, costs of wind and especially solar energy are estimated to keep reducing over time, making them even more attractive options for developers according to the Global Status Report 2018 from REN21. Based on these market trends, the IRENA 2018 report has estimated that by 2020, the electricity coming from ALL renewables will be consistently cheaper than conventional sources of energy
Myth # 2: It is difficult to switch to a renewable energy source
Truly a renewable energy myth!
The power grid requires stability to work properly. Such stability can always be provided by the most controllable renewable energy sources like hydropower, biomass and geothermal, acting as the base load of the system.
On the other hand, variable renewable energy sources like solar and wind have the preference to be used as the peak load suppliers of electricity, using energy storage if needed for excess energy. Bottom line, counting on a balanced and wide renewable energy mix is the solution to switch to a reliable and clean power grid.
You can find proof of that here on American ground! Cities like San Jose (California), Grand Rapids (Michigan) and East Hampton (New York) are aiming to achieve their total electricity consumption based on 100% alternative energy by 2022 and other cities like Georgetown (Texas) and Burlington (Vermont) are leading the way as completely sustainable cities.
Myth # 3: Renewable energy can’t supply electricity 24/7
When you think about the concept behind hydropower, biomass and geothermal, they are all reliable and controllable sources of energy that can produce electricity 24/7.
other battery storage companies, all the produced energy from wind and solar can be stored for later use when electricity rates are higher during the night.
Moreover, by choosing an enthusiast green electricity provider, you can rest assured knowing that you can always get supplied by clean electricity across the day and night at accessible costs.
Myth # 4: It is difficult to switch to a renewable energy source in big cities
The most easily distributable energy source in the world is solar energy, as simple as placing a set of solar panels on the roof and you instantly get alternative energy. However, in big cities with huge buildings you may not be able to place solar panels on the roof. So, is it true that renewable energy can't be access in big cities?
The answer can be easily found on the power grid. Like any other generation plant, large-scale renewable energy sources interact with conventional sources on the electricity markets of the US. By understanding the fluctuations in the electricity wholesale and spot markets, you can purchase the electricity coming from the green energy source and reduce your carbon footprint on this world. Renewable energy electricity suppliers understand these complex concepts and help you achieve the best solutions to maximize your savings and consume clean electricity
Myth # 5: Renewable energy is bad for nature
This is the biggest renewable energy myth, based on asseverations related to transports, assembling of wind turbines, land use and water consumption that are supposedly similar in their impact to the environment to conventional sources of energy.
The truth behind this myth is that renewables produce 14 to 134 times less CO2/kWh than fossil fuels. Actually, solar and wind do not even emit Greenhouse Gas (GHG) or pollutants like SO2, ashes, or black carbon.
Myth # 6: Small businesses do better with non-renewable energy sources
As we discussed before, renewable energy prices on utility and commercial scale are already competitive with conventional sources of energy, even without subsidies. When you consider the extra benefit of subsidy and the possibility to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) on the market, then the advantage becomes even more clear.
Considering that the consume of a commercial business will be higher than residential households, then your chances of achieving greater savings are higher. Choosing electricity from a wind source, for instance, will ensure your energy bill will be reduced and your business will be able to promote itself as a conservative energy company, helping big cities like New York to achieve the 50% renewable energy goal by 2030.
The Renewable Energy Fact
Clean energy sources have several great advantages over conventional fossil fuels, and these advantages will become even bigger over time. Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be possible thanks to renewable energy and at lower electricity costs than what fossil fuels could offer, governments from all around the world know that.
With considerably lower variable operational and maintenance costs, renewables offer sustainability and stability for the electricity markets over time, avoiding drastic price strikes and unpleasant increases on energy bills due to oil’s instability.