Global warming is on the rise. Climate change is rapidly becoming an accepted reality. There is a desperate urgency to reduce the carbon footprint. In short, it is imperative that humankind takes sensible steps to save the planet Earth. One such step would be to switch from non-renewable sources of energy to renewable ones. Yet, barely a quarter of the global populace cares about making the change.
Social media has served to spread awareness about plenty of issues, but not about the adoption of ‘clean energy’! As a result, the majority fails to appreciate the benefits of using renewable sources of energy. Similarly, governments are keen to offer subsidies and assistance in taking out loans to industries favoring clean energy. However, they fail to initiate campaigns to educate citizens about their benefits. Therefore, people do not comprehend that they should contribute towards enhancing the quality of the air that they breathe in and subsequently, improve the quality of their lives too.
A further obstacle to their education is the propaganda that opponents of renewable energy spread. They highlight the idea that fossil fuels are available on-demand and can offer continuous power, unlike renewable sources of energy.
Fossil fuels have always been an integral part of humankind’s activities for ages. As a result, the oil, coal, and natural gas industries are booming. They provide jobs to millions across the globe. Therefore, it is not possible to discard them completely and immediately. However, despite the fact that they are causing large-scale pollution, these industries rarely undergo punishment. They have political backing, for they bring in huge revenues and enhance a nation’s economy. Thus, the existing policies, infrastructure, and expertise, all work in their favor. It follows, therefore, that new energy start-ups face fierce competition in the marketplace. They must prove that they are as good as the fossil fuel industry in providing energy 24 x 7, for investors to trust them.
True; the sun, wind, water, and other sources of renewable energy are free. It is easy to set up and operate the installations. Even the costs that the users incur on the maintenance of the installations are minimal. The snag is the initial expense. Investors balk at the idea of spending large sums of money on creating solar and wind farms or setting up other sources of renewable energy. They have to spend on land, administrative procedures, and technologies. Of course, the total expenditure may differ from one geographical location to another. Nevertheless, it is a hefty sum. Above all, investors cannot be sure of recovering their investment or gaining profits, since not all governments offer incentives.
As for enlightened individual residences, they are well aware that they will save tremendously on electricity bills. Yet, they hesitate to spend on solar installations.
Not every geographical location is suitable for setting up clean energy installations. Certain hindrances prevent them from functioning to the optimum.
The fossil fuel industry is a centralized source of power. Just a few power plants come into play for providing a high output of energy. However, the renewable power industry is a decentralized source of energy. Here, a number of small, power-generating stations are scattered across a large region. They all come together to create energy.
Two barriers – sitting and transmission – can destroy the perfect set-up.
Sitting refers to locating installations on diverse pieces of land. Investors have to spend time on negotiations, setting up contracts, and acquiring permits. Wherever they purchase land, they must establish good relations with the nearby communities. All these require plenty of time, effort, and money.
Transmission is another word for infrastructure and power lines, which aid in sending electricity from the area of generation to the area of consumption. It must be optimal in its operations.