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Sep 16, 2020

22 Facts About Renewable Energy

Words by First Mile

The world is waking up to renewable energy. It’s harmless, totally natural and often cheaper than non-renewable resources such as crude oil, coal and gases.

By harnessing green power, we will help reduce our carbon footprint, combat air pollution and lessen the threat to our oceans. In the midst of the current climate crisis, renewable energy should be number one on our priority lists. It generates jobs, creates positive impacts on our ecosystems and leads to healthier lives.

The source of green power comes from the wind, the sun, the sea and the earth itself. We would be fools to ignore nature’s power.

So, here are 22 facts proving why renewable energy is so awesome and why we need to embrace it.

  1. ‘Renewable’ energy is exactly what it says on the tin. This means the source of green power will never deplete unlike fossil fuels which need to be drilled, burned and mined from the earth – something that can never be replaced.
  2. Renewable energy can take many forms including hydropower, solar power, wind energy and anaerobic digesters (energy from food and bacteria). We can even generate energy from our own rubbish. That’s right, waste that is non-recyclable can be broken down and burned to create power. Find out more about each green energy source here.
  3. In the UK, wind power is the most harnessed source of green energy. In 2017, around 15% of the country’s electricity was created using wind turbines. To put that into context: that’s enough to power 12.7 million homes!
  4. The UK is particularly suited for wind turbines because it’s so windy. Its northwestern position means that there’s a constant gust to keep the turbines moving, with Scotland sitting in the breeziest position.
  5. Renewable energy sources do not emit greenhouse gases, the world’s top culprit for global warming.
  6. As the green energy sector grows, not only does it create a positive impact on the environment, but it generates more jobs. In fact, it generates between 3 — 5 times more jobs than non-renewable sectors. Who could say no to a healthy planet and a healthy economy?
  7. The global renewable energy market is expected to be worth a mind-boggling $1,512.3 billion by 2025!
  8. The use of renewable energy in Europe can be traced back to 2000 years ago with the invention of the waterwheel. This was a basic design that eventually evolved into the hydropower plants we see today!
  9. Over 100 cities in the world rely on renewable energy to generate around 70% of their power. Hydropower sits at the number one spot, followed by wind and solar energy.
  10. Think about it: the sun has been producing energy for millions of years. It literally brings life to the wildlife on our earth. Without it, we would not be here. That’s why solar power is one of the most obvious choices for renewable energy.
  11. Solar panels are often placed on top of buildings or in open fields as a way of capturing the energy from the sun. They contain photovoltaic cells which cause a reaction between the photons and electrons. When the electrons are excited and catapulted loose, they are captured and funnelled into usable energy. Simple, right?
  12. The more sun exposure, the more electricity is produced. However, you can still produce solar energy on a cloudy day.
  13. Solar panels in the South of England generate 65% of the power they would in Central Spain.
  14. After paying the initial cost and installation of solar panels or tiles, homeowners don’t need to pay for the electricity generated. After all, the sun’s energy is free!
  15. The US, Russia, China, Canada and Brazil are the five top hydropower producers.
  16. In Iceland, there are a whopping 18 hydropower stations that, alongside geothermal sources, produce 99% of the country’s electricity. They certainly have their green energy agendas sorted!
  17. Believe it or not, it is possible to power a plane solely using solar energy. In 2016, the Solar Impulse 2 airplane flew around the world in 25 days over the course of 5 months. It used a combination of the sun’s energy and two massive wings to help it glide through the air. Pretty impressive considering it had no engine!
  18. During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Great Britain’s carbon emissions produced from electricity plunged due to an increase in renewable energy usage. A combination of wind turbines, solar farms, hydropower technologies and biomass generation meant that the UK also experienced a record coal-free period.
  19. Geothermal energy is produced using the magma that can be found at the earth’s core.
  20. Air pollution is the biggest environmental risk to human health. By using resources such as solar power and hydropower, we’ll be able to cut down on air pollution that is produced by fossil fuels. Green energy resources will help us prevent lung and heart diseases developed through air pollution.
  21. We don’t like to talk about politics – but it’s got to be mentioned. Fossil fuels receive the biggest subsidies from governments compared to renewable energy resources. The US is the biggest contributor, propping up dirty energy industries at over $100 billion a year.
  22. Green energy contributes to a more reliable National Grid. With one source of electricity, we are prone to power cuts due to unpredictable weather and an increase in demand at certain times (like popular tv ad breaks for making a cuppa!). Having multiple sources of green energy is a sure-fire way to keep a constant stream of electricity feeding into every household.

As you can see, when it comes to renewable energy it really is a no-brainer. It’s better for our health, our economy and, most importantly, our planet. Though fossil fuels were once an easy and cheap source of energy, with a slow depletion in resources and an increasingly warm planet, this really is the time to switch to green energy.

By First Mile

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