As people living in the 21st century, we should consider ourselves lucky to be alive during this period in time. It is a time where technology exists vastly in almost every part of this world and where connectivity and communication is possible even in the most rural of areas. As we transition between two worlds – a time where people relied fully on fossil fuels such as coal and oil and the future which focuses largely on sustainable and renewable energy sources. However, there is still uncertainty surrounding these sustainable energy sources like how well they actually will be in conserving energy, or how long will these energy sources will last, and other myths about sustainable energy which will be explored further within this article with 10 myths about sustainable energy.
Clean Coal is the Answer
If you were not already aware, coal is extremely polluted and dirty, and this poses a concern on the effect it has on the environment. It can be challenging to say no to coal-burning when there are very few alternatives. Clean coal, a type of energy source, is used to ease coal pollution until it can cease to exist. But it is not the end-game solution. That is because coal mining itself is also considered to be another threat to the environment, adding onto the list of reasons why clean coal is not always the most viable solution.
Solar Energy does not Provide Enough Energy
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that the solar energy resource in a 100-square mile area of Nevada is capable of supplying the whole of the United States with its required electricity, without leaving out a single state. This highly suggests that solar energy is certainly capable of providing countries with the sufficient energy they require.
Wind Turbines are Pricey, Noisy and Kill Birds
Besides sustainable energy, wind power has taken a fair share of critics suggesting that they are too noisy and use a significant amount of energy. In regards to birds, it is true that wind turbines kill birds, but in the same way that vehicles, pollution, and skyscrapers do, and these factors have to be considered fairly. In addition, newer wind turbines operate in almost silence and are very cost-efficient in the long run.
Sustainable Energy is Useless without Government Stimulus
Many people believe that sustainable energy is only beneficial to them with support from the government such as incentives or a stimulus. To a certain extent, this is true. However, it is important to focus on the longevity of investing in sustainable energy for future generations.
Sustainable Sources Cannot Replace Fossil Fuels
It is undoubtedly challenging to make the change entirely and replace fossil fuels; however, incorporating sustainable energy resources is the best way to start. Fossil fuels will continue to exist, but that does not mean that sustainable energy resources should decrease.
Electric Cars are Slow and Unappealing
When you think about electric cars, it is not surprising to think of the more negative aspects such as limited range, average acceleration, and lower aesthetic appeal when compared to normal cars. However, with the leading state of the art technology, companies are working closely to develop electric cars with the same power as normal petrol-consuming vehicles. Tesla, which costs an upward of $100,000 is an example of a sports car that uses sustainable energy methods as well as batteries and not to mention is equipped with the best acceleration gear. Countries like Denmark and Israel are devoted to advancing and supporting the use of electric cars. Cars in Denmark will use power from the spare electricity generated from wind power, while Israel will obtain solar power from the deserts.
Solar Power is More Expensive than Efficient
With the help of new technology methods, the future of solar panels seems to be aligned with slimmer panels to allow for more sunlight and energy. There are hopes for solar panels to generate enough for the same cost as bigger power stations. The focus on solar panels surrounds capturing more sunlight by using parabolic mirrors and tubes, which use heat and generate more electricity.
Marine Energy has No Future
Marine energy is something less talked about, compared to other sustainable energy methods. Constructing and building machines that are capable of withstanding the harsh sea conditions is an extremely tough process that has seen more failure than anything else. An example of this would be the installation of the very first tidal turbine, connected to the United Kingdom grid in Northern Ireland and large-scale wave power generators off Portugal’s coast. More and more countries are looking for support for wind power and the same can be said for marine energy as well as tidal power.
Renewables are Just as Harmful As Current Electricity
It is certainly a myth that renewable and sustainable energy is just as harmful to the environment compared to current electricity methods. It may be important to point out that greenhouses gases and carbon emission generated while manufacturing, transporting, and mobilizing sustainable energy is still significantly less than current electricity methods like the burning of fossil fuels, which the World Health Organization estimates is the cause of the deaths of 1.3 million people annually. Sustainable energy generates less hazardous waste and is less toxic to the environment.
Sustainable Energy is Infinite
The final myth of sustainable energy is that it will never run out, and this is untrue. Certainly, it costs nothing to use the sun and wind to generate energy; however, the hardware used to utilize this energy is limited. These include rare metals and high-density batteries, which can one day run out hence putting even higher importance on the efficiency of sustainable resources, as sustainable energy continues to grow in the years to come.
That sums up the list of 10 myths about sustainable energy and why there may be certain stigmas that exist around renewable technology. It is vital that we take the first step in discovering the uses and benefits of sustainable energy, as the future seems to be leaning in its direction.