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Renewable Energy to Surpass Fossil-Fuels

Wind_turbines

Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wind_turbines.jpg

By 2016 renewable energy shall outsource natural gas, lagging only behind coal as the U.S.’s leading electricity source. Within this time frame, according to the International Energy Agency, power generation rates from wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy will more than double those of nuclear energy.

In 2018, it is predicted, that renewable energy sector will increase another 40 percent worldwide and account for 25 percent of all electricity production. This is an increase of 20 percent from just two years previous.

As it is, renewable energy sources are currently the fastest growing sector in power-generation; allowing for a diverse means of harvesting energy, which enables regions to source electricity by utilizing their natural strengths, with arid climates better suited to harness an abundance of solar power, and areas such as Texas and California ideal locations for wind energy generation. And, with wind alternatives like the Downdraft Tower, stresses of heightened avian mortality rates can now be alleviated.

Additionally, the cost of renewable energy sources is steadily decreasing, making them a more feasible option in the short-term than the generation of new fossil-fuels, in addition to providing an option that is ecologically more sound in the long run.

As with all seemingly great news, there are drawbacks, though they are certainly not enough to discredit the move towards renewable energy nonetheless, especially when comparing any ill effects to those of natural gas. At present, hydroelectricity dominates the renewable energy sector, making up 80 percent of all renewable energy generated. This presents problems due to the practice of damming rivers that is implemented to harness it. Wind energy is on the rise, competing alongside fossil-fuels in New Zealand, Turkey, and Brazil. However, with the growth of hydro-electricity in developing countries, such as China, the International Energy Agency doesn’t expect hydro powered electricity to descend from its high ranking anytime in the foreseeable future.

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