Clean Energy: Myths vs. Facts

While more and more people accept that clean energy is the way to save the environment, some people believe it is not practical or workable. However, many of these beliefs are based on myths and misinformation.

This article will look at the most popular myths about renewable energy and present the facts.

Myth 1. Renewable Energy Is Cost-Prohibitive

Some people contend that we are not ready yet for renewable energy because it is more expensive than sourcing from fossil fuel. This might have been true in the past, but it is no longer the case.

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The cost of renewable energy has dropped over the years and are competitive with burning coal, oil, or other hydrocarbon fuel. In some cases, clean energy is even cheaper, especially in the long run.

According to Lazard, combined cycle gas turbines, for example, cost $0.005 per kWh while coal costs $0.009 per kWh. However, solar electricity costs $0.07 per kWh, while onshore wind turbine costs $0.05 per kWh.

Myth 2. Wind Turbines Do Not Help The Environment Because They Produce Less Energy Than It Takes To Manufacture Them

This particular myth is interesting because its origin can be traced. It came from a viral Facebook post that contains a statement attributed to scientist David Hughes.

The scientist wrote, “The question is: how long must a windmill generate energy before it creates more energy than it took to build it? At a good wind site, the energy payback day could be in three years or less; in a poor location, energy payback maybe never. That is, a windmill could spin until it falls apart and never generate as much energy as was invested in building it.”

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The fact is Hughes’ statement was concerning why project planners should use the best sites for wind energy projects, not a condemnation of wind turbines.

Myth 3. Clean Energy Is Not Feasible For The Whole World Yet

This is not even up for debate because it is a fact. It is true that not every country can run on renewable energy 100 percent yet. However, that point will come eventually.

There is nothing technically stopping the world from using clean energy 100 percent. In fact, some countries are already on the path to 100 percent renewable energy. The first country might reach that milestone in the next 30 years.

More importantly, not being able to power the whole world on renewable energy at the moment should not stop us from trying.

Myth 4. Solar Panels Are Only Affordable To The Very Wealthy

Solar panels are at the cheapest cost ever, and the prices are in free fall. More households are installing PV panels, which may come in at about $11,000 per 3.5 kW.

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But that is before accounting for a 30 percent discount provided by the US Federal Investment Tax Credit. Homeowners in other countries may even get higher discounts.

While that may still be a considerable investment for some households, some installation companies offer staggered payment plans, making it easier to bear the costs.

On the bright side, adding solar panels to your home increases the value. On average, each kilowatt of solar panel installed enhances your property by $6,000, which helps when flipping.

Myth 5. Offshore Wind Turbines Are Not Practical

This is far from the truth. Offshore usually offer higher wind speeds, which are ideal for wind farms.

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Even small increments in wind speed can significantly increase the energy produced. Other advantages of offshore wind include being situated near densely populated areas.

In addition, offshore winds are more consistent, meaning more dependable electricity. Also, putting windfarms offshore frees up valuable land for other purposes.

Myth 6. Going Energy Efficient Is Too Stressful

Creating time within the busy lives we lead may indeed make it difficult to pursue things like energy-efficient home implements. However, things have gone digital, and we can monitor our homes even remotely through our smartphones or the internet.

Home automation technologies can also help by integrating smart devices to track and adjust their power consumption with minimal human intervention.

In addition, modern home equipment is generally more energy-efficient, which means simply swapping out your older appliance can increase your home energy efficiency.

Conclusion

There are many myths regarding renewable energy, which may cause confusion. However, the facts show that clean energy is practical and affordable.

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