Reasons to love renewables
Reason #1 - jobs
According to the 2019 IRENA Annual Review “Renewable Energy and Jobs”, almost 9 million people worldwide earned a living working in the renewable energy sector in 2018, plus another two million were employed at large hydropower plants.
That means a total of 11 million workers professionally contributed to 24 hours of sun last year. Or to put it in real terms, that’s equivalent to the populations of Denmark and Ireland combined. Those are some impressive figures, don’t you think?
The job market in the renewable energy sector grew at a much stronger rate than the rest of the energy sector in 2018. The trend for the future is also looking very promising.
REASON #2 – COSTS
Did you know that using renewable energy protects both the environment and your pocket?
According to a report by The European Technologyand Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV), solar power is now one of the most affordable forms of energy. That’s because the cost of photovoltaic modules has fallen by 80% since 2009.
Current estimates predict that PV systems will become even more affordable by 2020, and electricity produced by these systems will be consistently cheaper than fossil fuels, falling below their optimum cost.
The trend towards 24 hours of sun continues to make progress in many countries outside of Europe, including India, China, Nigeria and Mexico. For example, the cost of electricity produced by solar PV in India is now cheaper than electricity from the mains.
Electricity from solar PV is also now much more affordable in Germany, despite the country’s comparatively fewer solar hours. Many experts predict that the price of electricity generated by large PV systems will be 6 euro cents per kWh in 2020.
Reason #3 - Quality of life
It’s undeniable that electricity plays a major role in our standard of living and is an indispensable part of daily life in most parts of the world . But it’s also true that there are still huge numbers of people who don’t have access to a public power grid. More specifically, almost 850 million people in all are without access.
It is often impossible to connect to a public power grid in remote areas, such as in parts of Africa, India and China. As a result, many residents in these areas rely on fossil fuels such as petrol or diesel to generate electricity.
Fossil fuels are both damaging to the environment and human health. According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO)…
- …nine out of ten people worldwide breathe air that contains an exceedingly high concentration of pollutants.
- …around seven million people die every year from the effects of air pollution (to put that in context: Hong Kong has a population of 7.5 million people).
Burning fossil fuels emits harmful emissions which can exacerbate the greenhouse effect in addition to other damaging effects. In contrast, switching to renewable energies has considerable health benefits and is potentially lifesaving.