Energy efficiency not only helps save the environment, but it also helps save money.
We all like to save money, right? So, what is energy efficiency, and how does this relate to renewable energy? According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, “Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to perform the same task – that is, eliminating energy waste.
Energy efficiency brings a variety of benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing demand for energy imports, and lowering our costs on a household and economy-wide level.”
This relates to renewable energy and shows that renewable energy is the most efficient form of energy because it meets these criteria.
Renewable energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the demand for energy imports, and with the right technology and implementation, will begin to reduce our costs on a household and economic level, too!
Is renewable energy efficient?
It is universally known that renewable energy is more efficient than nonrenewable energy.
This is because the energy we receive from renewable sources such as the sun or wind can be reused repeatedly without the problem of finite resources.
Nonrenewable resources run into the problem of waste because nonrenewable resources such as coal or natural gas are used up and do not naturally appear again.
When researching energy efficiency in all realms, something to remember is that energy efficiency is not the same as energy conservation.
However, that being said, do not forget they have a common goal, which is to reduce energy use.
So what is the difference between energy efficiency and energy conservation?
- Energy conservation – This is the idea that people take it upon themselves to cut back on their daily activities that consume energy.
- Energy efficiency – This is using different technologies and innovative practices that help reduce or even cut out energy waste. This is vital to our everyday lives because you can still do everything you want or need without feeling bad about your actions.
We must use less energy in our day-to-day lives.
We know the detrimental effects of our actions, such as driving our cars constantly and washing our clothes every day.
These actions emit fossil fuels into the air that kill our environment and our health slowly yet surely.
It is only getting worse day-to-day, and that is why we need to be implementing renewable resources into our lives and advocating for their use in our governments.
Renewable energy efficiency statistics?
Determining energy efficiency can be tricky because renewable energy is affected by so many factors – many of which are out of human control.
When I think about the efficiency of something, I like to think of it like I am keeping score.
Just like in a competition, many factors will contribute to how high, or low someone’s score is.
Not only that, but a score also helps you differentiate it from other competitors.
As I stated earlier in this article, renewable energy sources far outdo nonrenewable energy sources when eliminating energy waste throughout their process of creating energy.
This is because renewable resources do not burn fuel and do not release greenhouse gases, making them more effective at converting energy into electricity for us to use.
Renewable energy sources also keep waste to a minimum in comparison, thus saving money, too!
Even within the renewable energy industry, different sources have much higher scores than others currently.
Solar power and wind power far outdo the other renewable energy sources. They are the two most commonly used, too.
- Solar power – According to EnergySage, “Most solar panels are between 15% and 20% efficient, with outliers on either side of the range. High-quality solar panels can exceed 22% efficiency in some cases (and almost reach 23%!), but the majority of photovoltaic panels available are not above 20% efficiency.”
Overall, solar panels are one of the best balances of efficiency and environmentally friendly on the market. They do not produce any waste, and they are not incredibly damaging to yield.
- Wind power efficiency is harder to track, but it outdoes solar power efficiency. Wind turbines have an average efficiency rate in the mid 30% range and can even peak around 50%! One thing to consider about wind turbines is that they have a natural cap because wind turbines can only hold a certain amount of wind without being forced to stop. If there is too much wind stored in a wind turbine, the turbine will stop, which does not do anyone any good.
One thing to consider is that not everyone has room for a giant wind turbine in their backyard, which lowers their score compared to solar panels. Not only that, wind turbines cost an exponential amount more than solar panels, too.
Renewable energy, no matter which you choose, is the better choice when compared to nonrenewable energy sources. It is better for the environment and more efficient across the board.
How can we use renewable energy efficiently?
- Power your residence with solar panels – Choose to install solar panels on your roof at home or even at your business!
- Drive an electric car – We need to accelerate the removal of fuel-driven vehicles to stop the ridiculous amount of fossil fuels from entering the air and contaminating it.
- Do not use a tumble dryer – Although tumble dryers are becoming a lot more energy-efficient, try air-drying your clothes. Yes, it does take longer, but a couple more hours of each person’s life to air dry clothes could make an exponential difference in our air quality and the state of our environment.
- Choose alternative ways to heat your home – The most sustainable source of heating would be to use electric heating and only turn on the heat when it is absolutely necessary!
- Use kinetic pavements – this is a new and innovative idea I found. Pavegen is a company that is developing these novel walkways. According to their website, “Each step on one of our tiles generates small amounts of off-grid, clean electricity. Most often used for low-power lighting sources such as LEDs or a monitor that can display anything from the amount of clean electricity being generated to important messages that need to get through. As people use the tile, it captivates their imaginations and inspires them to think and act differently. We ask a simple question: if one of my footsteps can do this, what else can I do?” Not going to lie, I “needed” out while researching their website. Go check it out!
Renewable energy is the future.
Governments, businesses, and citizens know this to be the truth, so we must start to act on it.
Yes, it will initially cost to implement the new technologies needed, but it will be worth it when we notice its difference on the environment and our health.
Renewable energy is much more efficient and better for us, so what are we waiting for?