Renewable energy describes a collective of alternative energy sources and technologies used to harness them. The renewable energy industry significantly impacts the OTC market, such as OTCMKTS: CHKAQ stock. The entire world is geared toward substituting natural gas, coal, and oil with renewable energy options, dramatically affecting stocks.
Most people wonder if it is an achievable goal. Can the whole world run on renewable energy? Renewable energy is much kinder to the environment and reverses the current global warming snowball.
Some countries have undoubtedly made more progress towards integrating renewable energy sources into their power grids. Denmark is one of these countries. Denmark is currently producing over 43% of its energy from renewable energy sources. The country has set its sights on achieving over 70% renewable energy sources by the end of the year.
Germany is not far behind, currently producing over 30% renewable energy.
The United States has a little catching up to do, only producing about 15% so far. The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that the solar market in the U.S grew considerably in 2013. Of this energy, most of it is solar power and wind energy.
Let’s look at the disadvantages of using renewable energy and some of the ways these countries are dealing with them.
Disadvantages of Using Renewable Energy
Low Capacity to Sustain Great Demand
As expected, there are a few challenges to the generation of sufficient amounts of renewable energy. Energy demand is at an all-time high, with most of the available energy generated from fossil fuels. The solution for this challenge is to reduce energy consumption or set up more renewable energy production sights. This challenge means that it will be a while before renewable energy can give fossil fuel energy a run for its money.
Renewable Energy Can Be Unreliable
Renewable energy heavily relies on the weather in specific parts of the world. Solar power is generated from sunlight so it cannot be used in parts of northern Canada that lose daylight for several months of the year.
Hydro generators also depend on the amount of rainfall received round the year for dams to fill up with flowing water. Wind turbines, on the other hand, require minimum wind speeds to turn the blades. If renewable energy were to be relied upon solely, this would mean that energy usage would greatly be influenced by the weather, which is not suitable. A good solution would be to improve energy storage technology so large amounts of energy can be stored.
Renewable energy technology is still relatively new to the market, meaning that is still significant room for improvement. There is a much-needed improvement for energy efficiency. Streamlining harness technology goes a long way in making renewable energy-efficient and reliable.
Requires a Vast Upfront Capital Outlay
If you have ever tried installing renewable energy in your home, you are aware of the extremely high price tags on renewable energy technology. Setting up renewable energy generation facilities is equally as costly, requiring a substantial financial outlay. For most countries, installing turbines, solar panels, and hydroelectricity plants are too expensive to execute in one go. Maintaining these plants is also quite expensive. This implements financial restrictions that greatly slow down renewable energy.
It Takes Large Floor Space to Install
To produce about 20 megawatts of energy using solar energy, you would need over 40 hectares of land to fit the panels. In contrast, a nuclear plant of average size can generate 1000 megawatts of energy on 259 hectares. In comparison, solar power output is over 850 megawatts lower than that of a nuclear facility. This can easily be improved by improving renewable energy technology to boost production. It is also important to note that land can be used multipurpose to produce solar power and wind energy.
Expensive Storage Costs
We often overlook the cost of storing renewable energy. Renewable energy has to be stored as it is produced so it is not lost. The power is stored in batteries that need installation and constant maintenance services. The cumulative cost for harnessing and storing energy can be extremely high.
Renewable energy faces many obstacles in getting implemented and effectively executed. However, in keeping an environment that we and future generations can survive in, countries must consider new ways to use renewable energy.