As global warming concerns seeming to increase with each passing year, never before has the pressure been so intense as right now to transition from fossil fuels to wind and solar energy. The problem is, people think going green is much too expensive to be worth it. But when you factor in the damage fossil fuels does to our health and our environment, how can we not make the investment for cleaner air and water?
Those are questions that were discussed between members of the European Commission, where they put together a report, citing the total costs of creating energy from renewable and nonrenewable sources. What they found out is quite shocking. The best bargain for their buck is converting energy from wind and water sources.
Dry land turbines cost about $115 per megawatt hour, and the cost of solar panels clocking in at $125/Mwh. Fossil fuels cost over $160/Mwh, with the most expensive source being coal at $200/Mwh. Going with fossil fuels, the cost is over $160 and coal is the most expensive at $200. Although dry land turbines and solar panels are not ideal for either location, it is safe to say both are far more cost-effective than fossil fuels, in addition to being better for the environment.
Solar energy may be cheaper than you think, but did you know hydropwer is one of the lowest costing alternative fuel sources? Hydropower costs a mere $50/Mwh, making it 75% cheaper than coal. Even though large dams are no longer a desired method to create electricity, they can generate what is needed to power a city with minimal damage to nature if proper precautions are taken.
When you take the time to study climate change, it’s obvious to see that that the way we currently generate energy is not a good, sustainable method. It’s creating a warming pattern, throwing particulate matter in the air, and making the problem worse. It’s a pattern that we need to break. So when we have sources saying that going green helps our environment and is cheaper than all other ways of generating energy, there are no more excuses left.
This all seems like it’s a major WIN for those advocating clean energy, but it leaves companies asking how someone can convert money saved by how much each step will help keep the environment clean. How do we understand and put a price on nature? But it’s really a matter of getting the word out there. If every company knew and took the right steps to go green, we can begin to heal the damage we’ve done and reduce our carbon footprint. Every little bit matters.