Renewable energy is often pedalled as the best way to safeguard and power our planet in the future.
But like every other environmental argument, it has its critics; critics who have continued to argue against the environmentally friendly method of sourcing power, stirring up common place myths about its potential to help our planet.
To clear the mist and help everyone better understand renewable energy, Trackway Solutions have uncovered the five biggest myths surrounding renewable energy.
Let’s jump in…
Myth #1: Environmental Impact
Renewable energy critics often argue that wind farms can have a negative impact on the environment around them. They say that the turbines kill birds and bats; that they are noisy; and that solar farms can prevent land being used for agriculture.
All of these arguments, however, have been debunked.
Birds and bats can be saved by implementing environmental assessments prior to construction. The assessments can look at local wildlife populations and at the migratory patterns to help ensure that the turbines don’t interfere.
In regards to the noise complaints, one study found that the community, more often than not, didn’t actually have any issue with noise but with the aesthetics of the farms. These complaints often dropped off when the benefits to the local economy that the wind farms brought were released too.
As for issues with agriculture, the land around solar and wind farms is still safe for grazing, having no adverse effect to cattle.
Myth #2: Renewable isn’t an attractive prospect
In 2014, a solar energy system was installed every two and a half minutes. To say that renewable energy isn’t gathering steam and becoming a more popular energy solution for businesses and consumers just isn’t true.
Of course, there’s still a long way for renewable energy to go, but as big businesses start to invest and the technology becomes more affordable we’re sure to see an increase in the use of renewable power.
In recent years we have also seen an increase in the production of relatively cheap and clean natural gas production. An increase which has caused many to predict an end to the popularity of renewable energy.
The truth of the matter, however, is quite different.
One study discovered that the most viable way to power our planet would be to harmonize the two. With one supporting the other, we can create a much more balanced and environmentally friendly electricity production project.
Myth #3: Cost
One persistent argument against renewable energy is that of cost. Many argue that it’s just far too expensive to create and maintain but as the technology becomes wider spread we will start to see a reduction in price.
In fact, since 2009 it is believed that the cost of operating a wind farm has dropped by almost 60 percent. Renewable energy is also a much more cost effective option than coal or nuclear.
And for home owners?
They can enjoy leases and loans to help make their home a more environmentally friendly place and even lower monthly utility bills.
Myth #4: Reliability
Many often question the reliability of renewable energy. One area can’t always expect wind and sunshine, meaning that the ability to regularly supply power to a community could be compromised. The argument isn’t so straightforward though. It’s fair to say that wind and solar could complement each other. In many areas around the country, the wind kicks up speed during the night, allowing the turbines to create more energy and in the day, solar energy production can take its place.
Energy storage equipment has made a vast improvement in recent years too, making it possible to store unused energy for those days that our weather doesn’t quite want to play ball.
Other types of renewable energy, like hydropower and biomass are also able to produce power around the clock, guaranteeing a regular source of electricity.
Myth #5: House Prices
Another argument against the introduction of wind farms to a community is that they have a negative impact on house prices. This argument has in recent years, garnered heavy press attention, pushing the myth out to more and more people.
A study in 2014, however, found that “wind farms yielded no evidence that prices had been affected by either the announcement, construction, or competition of the wind farms for six out of seven sites”.
The study actually discovered that on average, the house prices in the vicinity of wind farm sites grew faster between the start of construction to completion.
As for the one site that did see a noticeable downturn, the local house price growth returned to a country-wide norm once the farm was completed.
Renewable energy is by no means perfect. But it is a significantly better way to power our planet, outstripping fossil fuels in both cost and environmental impact. It remains to be seen just how widespread the technology will be come in the next 10-20 years, but it’s important.
Important enough to invest in today to help secure our planets future.