In the UK, it is obvious that solar energy is becoming an increasingly important source to generate electricity and heat water.
Solar energy is the most accessible renewable energy source, as solar panels can be placed on the roofs of many building types, meaning that both businesses and households can take advantage of this clean source. Harnessing is also a lot cheaper for the user, in the long run. Although, there can be a significant initial cost, the amount of money saved on electricity bills over time is a huge benefit, when compared to the unpredictable prices of electricity generated through fossil fuels, which are oil, coal, and natural gas.
Under the Paris Agreement 2015, all participating countries have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which includes carbon emissions. Moving towards decreasing the use of fossil fuels and increasing the use of renewable energy sources will help these countries achieve their targets.
Solar Energy is not enough
However, solar energy alone won’t be enough to completely replace fossil fuels. The world will need to increase its use of a range of clean and renewable energy sources, including wind, hydro, and geothermal.
Both wind power and tidal power are other renewable sources that can significantly lower our reliance on fossil fuels. Like solar, both sources can produce infinite power, unlike fossil fuels that are finite and will eventually run out.
Renewable energy, including solar energy, will allow the world to mitigate against climate change, decrease energy bills, reduce air pollution, and create green jobs, allowing the world to become both heathier and more sustainable, whilst reducing the effects of climate change and protecting the environments around us.
The use of renewable energy sources to generate both electricity and heat can be used throughout our day-to-day home lives, such as through powering our homes or heating up water for showers, baths, or heating systems. These sources are equally important for businesses within a range of sectors, from agriculture to manufacturing, as this renewable energy produced can power operations, offices, and machinery, for example.
Researchers have claimed that the amount of electricity produced by both solar and wind energy could meet the demand for electricity worldwide around 100 times. Whilst also saving the world’s governments roughly £12 trillion.
Professor Doyne Farmer, from the University of Oxford claims that turning to renewable energy sources will help to save money for governments, businesses, and individuals. He states:
“Renewable costs have been trending down for decades and are already cheaper than fossil fuels in many situations. Our research shows they will become cheaper than fossil fuels across almost all applications in the years to come and if we accelerate the transition, they will become cheaper faster… Completely replacing fossil fuels with clean energy by 2050 will save us trillions.”
One of the main problems regarding moving towards a renewable future and moving away from fossil fuels, is that we have built the infrastructure around us to run of fossil fuels. For renewable energy to become increasingly used and efficient, new infrastructure must be constructed and existing infrastructure must be updated to accommodate for these renewable changes, which could take both time and money.
However, renewable technology is advancing, making it easier to construct these new infrastructures and to replace and update those that already exist. As the technology, including solar panels, becomes much more affordable and accessible, it will become easier for us to become dependent on renewable energy, especially solar energy.
Overall, the most important way to reduce the use of fossil fuels is to move towards a more sustainable future. To do this the world needs to increase its use of renewable energy sources, including solar energy, wind power, and hydropower.