Renewable Energy: A Smart Investment?

By : Matt Smith

renewable energy

Renewable energy plays a key role towards the goal of a low-carbon economy. A low carbon economy, or a decarbonized economy, is one where the consumption of fossil fuels is decreased significantly or, ideally, completely abolished. With that, the main goal is to cut the greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible to help our climate recover and to try to stop global warming.

When it comes to the environment and the climate, renewable energy sources are a very smart investment and have more than a few beneficial effects. But what about some other aspects? Here are a few considerations to keep in mind about renewable energy.

 

Renewable Energy is not as expensive as considered

 

Many assume that transitioning to renewable energy is an expensive undertaking. Some may think that the equipment is expensive when they see the solar panels for example, or the wind turbines, which have also gained a lot of popularity. Some may not believe that it could provide them with enough energy, or that it could completely cover all their energy needs and consumption. There are those who think it will not pay off in the future and that their bills will not be any smaller.

According to research, the wind and solar power (roof solar panels) have become significantly less expensive now than they were in their beginnings. For example, solar panels are now sold for less than a quarter of what they cost in 2008. And their prices keep falling. For the first-time home buyer this could certainly be an excellent investment. There are also many subsidies available for purchasing these renewable systems, but soon they might not even be necessary.

Solar panels and wind turbines can be installed on the roofs of residential houses, as well as form solar or wind plants where they can power certain areas or factories.

 

Obstacles and uncertainties on the way to renewable energy

 

As with many things, there are always certain complications and unclear regulations and policies. The debates about the renewable energy options have become very politicized, and the general lack of conclusiveness and transparency are making things harder for investors. There are many politicians still lobbying against the growth of and the transition to renewables due to different personal vested interests.

The main issues include the still ongoing possibilities for fossil fuel subsidies, skewed tax reliefs as well as the opportunities for retroactive changes to renewable incentives.

 

Examples prove that renewables are a good investment

 

Countries such as Germany, Denmark, and South Africa are on a good path to making renewables their basic energy sources. They are the proof that with joint efforts of the government, corporations, and individuals, turning to renewable sources doesn’t have to be hard or complicated.

The German government, for example, has set and offers significant and stable incentives which are straightforward, without the unnecessary complications so that people can rely on them. With these kinds of incentives, investors feel more comfortable and optimistic, and they are more intent on investing. Germany has more than 800 renewable energy co-operatives and Denmark has a growing base of wind turbine programs and has made possible and easier for people to invest and make a profit from them.

In South Africa, the government has made efforts to emphasize the importance of renewable energy and make them more available and affordable. They are buying renewable energy from the lowest bidder in this case, from those who sell at lowest prices, urging the producers and sellers to make the prices more affordable to everyone. Apart from that, they are also trying to create more job opportunities in the renewable energy industry.

 

Public opinion

 

The idea of renewables and solar energy facts have already found their way into the people’s minds. The benefits of solar or wind systems have become known, and many are advocating the change to renewable sources in general. The trend of sustainable living is a growing one, but it is also a necessary one. It is important that the governments hear the voices of the individuals when it comes to this matter, and try to resolve the issues and restrictions connected to it.

 

Considerations

 

While it is smart and desirable to invest in renewable sources, it is not as simple and straightforward. There are still some issues that need to be resolved and regulations that need to be clearly set. Renewable energy is an attractive and affordable investment, but mostly on the level if individuals for now. Steps are being made in the right direction but there is still some way to go.

Matt Smith

Matthew Smith is a full-time content editor and a writer for contractors in the construction and housing industry, mostly working for roofing contractors. Topics he writes and edits address sustainability and use of smart technology.

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