Most people are aware of the terms “global warming” and “greenhouse gases”. They are in the news often and in fact, this generation has been brought up very aware of recycling campaigns, waste reduction and, of course, renewable energy. Renewable energy is becoming a buzz word and many global companies are adopting renewable technologies. This benefits them financially as well as promoting their reputation as being green. Google, Facebook and Apple are companies which have gone down this route.
Having large corporates adopt renewable technologies is a good thing. As a society we benefit from more and more people switching to renewable energy.
• Generating our own energy means that we, as a society, are less reliant on importing energy from abroad. This reduces our exposure to fuel wars, energy fluctuations and price rises. We do not need to be beholden to one country for our fuel.
• Reduced levels of poverty may also result from generating our own energy. Families will spend less on energy and have more disposable income. Heating our homes will become cheaper and will help older people to feel less worried about winter heating bills.
• Switching to renewable energy means that we are reducing our carbon footprint. The amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere will be significantly reduced. Burning fossil fuels releases huge amounts of stored carbon. Carbon dioxide is one of the primary greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere which causes global warming.
• Reducing pollution from fossil fuels will have enormous benefits for our health. Pollution in our cities is real. The UK government, for example, has been warned recently by the EU to reduce city pollution. This may mean banning some heavy duty vehicles. Switching to electric vehicles would make more sense. This may have a knock on effect on our health system. There may be less pressure on acute health services dealing with breathing ailments.
• Using our natural resources may result in a boost to the local communities. For example, biomass heating relies on wood as a source of energy. This may be sourced and processed locally resulting in an increase in jobs and wealth in the community.
Most people recognise these benefits. There isn’t much that can be said against moving to renewable energy when you look at the economic, environmental and health benefits to society. Yes there are drawbacks too. There are complaints around the blight on the landscape caused by wind farms, or that arable land is being used for solar farms. However, these are bumps along the road to what is hopefully a freeway to a cleaner, greener and healthier society.
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