You have probably come across the fact that the use of renewable energy is developing at high speed while fossil fuels are slowly diminishing.
According to the Center for Climate and Energy solutions, renewable energy constituted more than 17% of the net electricity production in the United States in 2018.
However, this conversation is not quite clear for many people.
In this article, we have outlined a basic comparison of fossil fuels and renewable energy.
The following are detailed facts about the two energy sources(Fossil Fuels & Renewable Energy).
Fossil Fuels vs. Renewable Energy: What is the Difference?
Actually, the difference between the two sources of energy is not as complicated as people think.
Renewable energy originates from natural resources. These natural resources are replenishable.
On the other hand, fossil fuels take a long time to replenish naturally: this may take thousands or even millions of years. Fossil fuel sources include:
- Natural gas
Although these distinctions may seem obvious, there are some complicated areas.
For instance, natural gas is usually referred to as ‘’clean power’’ since it burns cleaner than coal.
Some people even view natural gas as a sustainable source of energy. However, this is not usually the case since it is a fossil fuel that produces carbon dioxide when burned.
When we look at the case of biomass, it is even more complicated.
Burning wood, the most common biomass production method, sometimes releases more carbon dioxide than burning coal.
Moreover, wood is classified as a renewable source of energy by many scientists since trees are replenishable.
Fossil Fuels Control Energy Production in the United States
It’s evident that fossil fuels dominate the generation of energy in the United States.
Surprisingly, natural gas is responsible for more energy production than coal in the country. Besides, the energy sector requires a lot of natural gas, and it puts a lot of effort into generating it.
Although natural gas dominates the pack due to increased fracking activity, it still faces high competition from other resources.
The following is an analysis of energy generation based on the type of resource in the United States.
- 34 percent natural gas
- 30 percent coal
- 20 percent nuclear
- 15 percent renewables
- 1 percent oil
When you observe the statistics, it may seem like a brutal battle for renewable energy.
So, why is this the case? Coal generation is still close to natural gas, while nuclear power outperforms renewables by approximately five percent.
However, the statistics on the generation and use of renewable energy are not as disappointing as they appear.
Renewable Energies Are Developing Faster than Fossil Fuels
Although natural gas has drastically increased its market share over the previous decade, renewables have developed more rapidly than fossil fuels.
According to the Natural Renewable Energy Laboratory, renewables grew to 15.6% of total electricity production and 18.3% of total installed capacity in the United States, representing a record of 22-gigawatt capacity.
This outperformed fossil fuel growth.
In Texas, wind power is the leading renewable energy resource since it is nearly three times the megawatt capacity of other states.
Besides, it has a cutting-edge grid that backs effective and reliable delivery of electricity generated by wind.
As we can see, if an oil-rich state such as Texas can sustainably develop renewable energy, then we can assume the renewable percentage will keep on outgrowing fossil fuels in the foreseeable future.
Fossil Fuels Can Be More Costly Than Fossil Fuels
The perception that renewable energy is too costly is an excuse since there are no facts about it.
Nowadays, energy generated by renewables is just reasonably priced as fossil fuel energy. Furthermore, renewable energy is even cheaper in some cases.
Some solar panel installations can generate power at approximately half the cost of fossil fuels such as coal.
This can save you a lot. Besides, renewable energy is projected to become cheaper in the future.
Renewable Energy is Cleaner Than Fossil Fuels
Since the Industrial Revolution started, the global temperature has increased at a worrying rate, hence raising water levels.
In addition to heating the globe, fossil fuel generates unhealthy by-products such as air pollution, which can negatively affect your lungs’ condition.
Even for skeptical people about climate change, the effects of fossil fuel combustion around the environment in the form of smog are widely noticeable in various cities and towns.
On the other hand, renewable energy releases less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels.
Besides, renewables such as wind power and solar do not emit any carbon dioxide, apart from during maintenance and construction.
Renewable energy enables people to remain cooler, breathe easier, and develop a more comfortable environment for future generations.
Although fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy sector currently, renewable energy is the future. Using renewable energy facilitates electricity conservation and reduction of fossil fuel products such as gasoline and plastics.
Therefore, as we have seen in this article, when you compare renewable energy to fossil fuels, you should bear in mind that renewable energy production is easier to sustain and cleaner.
Besides, it is also cheaper than fossil fuels.