A Deep Dive into Renewable Energy That Empowers Tomorrow


More than ever, it’s clear that sustainable energy sources are essential to improving the environment and decreasing the adverse effects of climate change. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States fulfilled 80% of its energy needs using fossil fuels (coal, gas, and oil) in 2022, and worldwide, fossil fuels for energy held steady at 82% (per KPMG) in 2022 as well. With those numbers, carbon emissions continue to increase. According to the EPA, CO2 emissions have grown globally by nearly 90% since 1970.

Unfortunately, we are paying the price of fossil fuel use with the destruction of forests and wildlife habitats, water pollution, toxic air pollution, and global warming. To mitigate these impacts, it’s time to create a better tomorrow through renewable energy today.


What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy comes from natural sources and renews itself, meaning it never runs out; it continuously replenishes. Furthermore, unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy produces far fewer toxic emissions, such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide. Since it is readily available worldwide, renewable energy is the answer to reducing these climate-threatening emissions. According to the United Nations, once in place, renewable energy costs less to utilise and can provide three times as many jobs as fossil fuels.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of energy produced from renewable sources is comparable to that of fossil fuels. In 2022, the global weighted average levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from newly commissioned utility-scale solar photovoltaics, onshore wind, and other renewable sources fell despite rising materials and equipment costs. For example, the LCOE of new onshore wind projects added in 2022 fell by 5% between 2021 and 2022, from USD 0.035/kWh to USD 0.033/kWh, whilst for utility-scale solar PV projects, it decreased by 3% year-on-year in 2022 to USD 0.049/kWh.

The United Nations reported that the renewable energy sector has been growing rapidly, with worldwide employment in the sector reaching 12.7 million in 2021, a jump of 700,000 new jobs in just 12 months.  In 2021, solar energy was found to be the fastest-growing sector, providing 4.3 million jobs.


Common Sources of Renewable Energy

There are several natural resources used to create renewable energy, and they are as follows:

  • Solar energy uses energy from the sun.
  • Wind energy uses the kinetic energy of moving air.
  • Geothermal energy comes from the heat inside the earth.
  • Hydropower harnesses the power of moving water.
  • Ocean energy is created by ocean waves and currents.
  • Bioenergy is produced using organic materials, such as wood and charcoal.

Challenges in implementing renewable energy

Renewable energy isn’t without its own set of problems. The most significant challenges are variability, cost, grid integration, policy support, and public acceptance.


The High Cost of Renewable Energy

Although there are cost savings in the long run with renewable energies, the initial capital investment remains high. As advancements are made, however, and renewable energy sources become more commonplace, costs are coming down.  We saw this from 2010 to 2022 as solar and wind power sources, with no financial support, created a cost competition with fossil fuels, according to IRENA. In the same way, electrical costs powered by solar PV decreased by 89% globally. That’s 1/3 less than the lowest cost of fossil fuels worldwide.


Natural resources rely on the weather for production. With renewable energy, there are times when production levels are low, which means excess energy must be stored when production is high. The following are energy storage technologies:

  • Lithium-ion batteries are currently the most common form of renewable energy storage. Although you will often hear of lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars and mobile phones, this lightweight storage solution also serves to supply renewable energy to large-scale electrical grids.
  • Pumped hydro storage uses two reservoirs, one at a high elevation and the other lower. Power is generated as the water moves from one elevation to another. Currently, 93% of utility-scale energy is stored using PHS in the United States (via the Hydropower Market Report).
  • Compressed air is a form of energy storage where electricity is used to compress air and store it underground until it is needed for power.
  • Pumped thermal storage is a newer technology that converts electricity into heat, stores it, and then converts it back to electricity when needed.

Both compressed air technology and pumped thermal storage are excellent for long-term storage but are not as efficient as other storage techniques.

Grid Integration and Infrastructure

To transition effectively from fossil fuels to renewable energy, the existing grid system must be updated for smooth integration, and renewable energy storage requires increased infrastructure.  The struggle to make the integration smooth stems from the fact that fossil fuels are used on demand for energy. Renewable energy, however, has many variables. Weather and other conditions affect how much wind or sunshine is available. The grid and infrastructure must have a unique design that works to manage these variables and unpredictability.

Policy Support and Public Acceptance

In a perfect world, everyone would accept the idea of renewable energy, but that isn’t the case. There are battles to be fought, as there are opposing sides to the energy crisis and climate change. The challenge of getting others to accept new power plants and transmission lines in areas where communities aren’t accustomed to seeing them creates conflict. Structures designed to harness the wind’s energy are sometimes as tall as a 35-foot building and take up a lot of land area, which is disconcerting to many. For instance, in the United States and also various European countries, organised opposition groups have used lawsuits, political campaigns, and appeals to stop renewable energy projects.  And, with conflicting government policies, it will take time to see the necessary changes.



It’s really important to start using more renewable energy to fight climate change and reduce the harm caused by fossil fuels. Even though there are challenges like high costs and making everything work together, the good news is that renewable energy is getting cheaper, and things are improving. We have to use these cleaner energy sources to make our future cleaner and stronger. It might be a bit tough, but we need to work together on using better technology, making good policies, and getting everyone involved in the community. Switching to renewable energy isn’t just a choice – it’s a crucial step to make our future greener and better.

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