Over the course of the last century, the industrial age has seen many revolutions, with energy sources changing just as often. These revolutions, and subsequent sources of energy required, have had both positive and negative effects on our environment, as well as economy on a world-wide basis.
Some would argue that global warming was given birth by our multiple, environmentally detrimental sources and methods. Our current main source of energy, petroleum, seems to have met its match. Enter: clean, renewable energy. Solar energy.
Every year, we as a population drain more resources from the earth than it could naturally replace during said year. “Earth Overshoot Day” is what this specific day of the year has been dubbed. If this doesn’t scare everyone, it should. August 1st, 2018, was the last day we used this year’s resources. This calculates into using 1.7 earths. This obviously cannot go unchecked, and we need to come together to bring on the next Age: The Solar Age.
Regardless if this were an opinion piece or not, it is plain fact that we have gone too long relying on fossil fuels as our main source of energy. The next 30 years are already impacted heavily by the last 2 centuries of our consumption. Honestly, it seems as though the implementation of solar energy will merely serve as a way to curb the consequences of unsustainable use, until it’s a worldwide shift. The problem with this is that many underdeveloped countries cannot afford clean energy and the multitude of changes in its infrastructure needing to take place.
The good news for these third world countries is that the cost of energy is declining at a solid rate. According to Bloomberg, in 2015, the cost of generating solar energy had seen a decrease to 1/6th of 2005’s average cost. This is heartening, considering how far behind these third world countries are in terms of energy technology. Cleaner energy for not only the United States and other top countries, but every country, is the only way the next 30 years can see a true impact from green energy.
Another wonderful addition to having clean, renewable energy, is the ability to share this energy. For instance, if a household produces more electricity than it needs, it can opt to share the excess with surrounding neighbors and businesses. This doesn’t sit well with capitalists, of course, but, the word “sharing” rarely does. This is game changing. Could you imagine families, in the dead of winter, having fully heated homes thanks to method?
Picture this: The year is this 2048. It’s the middle of January, a chilly 40 degrees. Sunday football is on the television powered for absolutely free. You rejoice, as the thought occurs to you that the heating system runs for free, as well. Your electric car in the garage is fully charged, ready for the road trip to warmer places. Third world countries have the same access as well, helping the earth’s environment recover on a worldwide scale. Fossil fuels no longer rule the machine world. CO2 emissions are low, as things such as vehicles are ran completely off of electricity.
In conclusion, the next 30 years are perhaps the most important 30 year stretch of our lives. The rate at which we’re expanding and, in turn, increasing overall consumption, is extremely dangerous for this planet. Our planet. Clean energy may not be the answer to all of the world’s problems, no. However, the earth has its own natural issues that we have created for it. This is our children’s future and their children’s future at stake here, not ours. As technologically advanced as the world is today, there is no reason green energy should be unavailable to every person on the planet. One thing is for certain: Our world is not an infinite thing.