8 fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about renewable energy
1. Renewables create more jobs than fossil fuels
The argument politicians often make against adopting more renewable energy resources is that we need to protect jobs in the fossil fuels industry. The truth, however, is that renewables create around three times more jobs than fossil fuels (over 10 million worldwide as of 2017).
2. Renewable energy improves power grid stability and reliability
It is suggested that 100% renewable energy would not be reliable or stable. Different types of renewable energy solutions such as solar and wind, however, are less likely to fail due to severe weather, since they’re spread out over a larger area and made up of multiple units of equipment.
3. You can store solar energy in salt
One solar farm using this technique is SolarReserve in California, it uses concentrated sunlight to heat molten salt to 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit. The salt is then stored in a giant insulated tank that can be tapped to make steam to run a turbine, creating a battery of sorts.
4. Solar energy is almost 200 years old
Solar energy was discovered by Alexandre Edmond Becquerel in 1839 when he found the ‘photovoltaic effect’ of electricity generation from direct sunlight. It wasn’t until 1941, however, that the solar cell was invented by Russell Ohl.
NASA was the first to adopt solar technology in the 1950s, using it aboard the satellite Vanguard (the oldest satellite in orbit).
5. Renewable energy is helping people around the world to get access to electricity
Over one billion people worldwide don’t have access to electricity. Renewable energy is cheaper than extending the electric grid to under-populated areas and it’s more affordable than diesel and kerosene systems, making it ideal for smaller and poorer communities.
6. The renewable energy industry is predicted to be worth $426 billion by 2022
In their report, Clean Energy Trends 2013, research firm Clean Edge found that by 2022 the renewable energy industry would be worth nearly half a trillion dollars.
7. A 100% renewable future is possible, and it’s already happening
Iceland currently gets all of their power from thermal and hydro and are one of the most eco-friendly nations on the planet. Whilst larger nations will be faced with greater challenges, Iceland’s success sets a good precedent and many countries are following suit.
8. China is adopting renewable energy at a record speed
After years of ignoring it, China has become the leading country for deployment and manufacture of renewable energy within two years. According to the International Energy Agency, they are currently erecting wind turbines at an amazing rate of two per hour.