The price of renewable energy systems has been debated many times, as has whether or not the return gained is worth the high investment prices.
It could be a domestic solar panel system, an industrial estate run with local wind power or on a more national scale- the price of these has always been contested as to whether or not it’s really ‘worth it’.
Renewable energy technology has come a long way in the past decade; however the prices are still quite high.
Whether or not it’s a domestic venture, these renewable methods are still quite pricey.
Whilst these prices are still high, it seems that a large number of the global population to save money by avoiding these methods, and continuing to exploit the finite non-renewable energy sources.
When looking at solar power, for example, we have to be honest and accept the fact that the UK isn’t the sunniest region of the world, and perhaps the rather costly installation of this technology isn’t worth the somewhat disappointing amount of sunlight. With lacking requirements for the panels to fulfil their potential, many people are disinclined to avoid spending so much on it.
The next issue has been thrown about in debates over green energy costs, and that’s ethical considerations. Whether it’s the ethics for people, or for the environment, there will always be reasons that renewable energy plans cannot move forward.
One example of this is the land use having an effect on the environment. There have been numerous accounts of animal rights organizations claiming that wind turbines are damaging to bird populations, and people have also brought up the situation of the amount of land used for such projects.
Wind turbines are not small structures, and so onshore wind farms require a lot of land, which is often either encroaching on public space or seen to be an eyesore on the landscape.
Another example of green energy production which takes land is corn-based ethanol farms. Not only are there cost implications for the actual building of these, but also the income in money and perhaps crop that an area can miss out on because of this.
Another worry is regarding electric cars. An increasing number of cars are become hybrids and electrically powered, whether partly or totally, and this is seen as a positive thing because it’s decreasing the use of petrol.
Having said that, in the future, the more cars which become electric, we will see a rise in electricity demands, and with these costs currently increasing, this may not be cost effective.
Not only that, but it will mean in order to provide for these demands, more electricity is required, and it’s the way this is produced which may prove an issue.
Aside from the installation costs of green energy providers such as solar, biomass, wind power and tidal power, it’s the huge scale production which is currently using huge amounts of finite resources that cause a problem. The ironic thing is that in order to produce these energy savers, we much use an enormous amount of that energy first.
So, are renewable too expensive? I suppose it depends on who you’re asking, and how long their willing to wait for a return on their investment. Most people would agree that getting ‘green’ is expensive, whether on a small domestic scale or a large industrial scale. Having said that, perhaps in the next decade, after further developments, the cost can be lowered, and the investment of these renewable energy producers will seem more worthwhile.