A freelance article by Gemma BannerYou may have thought about fueling your home with green energy but are put off by expensive pricing or perhaps you think that green fuel isn’t feasible considering fossil fuels are fairly cheap but there are lots of reasons why green energy is the most financially sensible choice.
The Boom and Bust Oil Market
Customers often complain about the rising price of their fuel, but the price of West Texas fuel dropped to less than $80 a barrel, the lowest it has been in five years and 25% lower than the fuel prices of summer 2014. Although this is good news for the consumer pocket, collapsing prices reduce the profit of oil companies and lead to a slowdown in the production of oil which could cause oil shortages. Less oil means more expensive prices and uncertainty for consumers.
The Green Energy Market is Less Volatile
Green energy, on the other hand, isn’t volatile. The fluctuations in oil prices have little impact on solar power or any other types of renewable energy so during the times that fossil fuels prices are high, power sources like solar and wind are absolutely free for the companies harnessing its energy. This means that solar and wind power plants can now compete with coal, gas and nuclear power. The long term cost of large scale solar energy for communities has fallen by 80% in the last five years. For wind energy, this cost has dropped by 60%, allowing companies who invest in green energy to make more profit and making ethical fuel more accessible to the general population.
Consumers May be Able to Get Free Installation
In some countries, consumers may be able to get solar panels installed for free. For instance, in the UK home owners can apply for free solar panels and free electricity to slash their energy bills. This is because governments can subsidize green energy plans to address environmental concerns by investing in alternative fuel. Although critics say that government subsidies aren’t self-sustainable, The US Department of Energy says it aims to get the cost of solar power down to $1 per watt by the year 2020, making it cheaper than coal and gas fired energy.
Green Energy Helps the Economy
The alternative fuel industry is helping to create a prosperous economy by providing new careers and job opportunities to citizens. There are more people employed in the solar power industry than those employed mining coal so by supporting alternative fuel you are helping keep families in work.
Fossil Fuels are a Cost Not Counted
When factoring in the cost of green energy vs. fossil fuels, the health impact isn’t taken into consideration. Physicians for Social Responsibility released a report saying that coal pollution contributes to four out of five of the top five causes of death in the U.S.
Alan Lockwood, MD, a professor of Neurology at the University of Buffalo said
“The findings of this report are clear: while the U.S. relies heavily on coal for its energy needs, the consequences of that reliance for our health are grave.”
Coal combustion releases mercury, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and other toxic substances into the atmosphere to be breathed in. These pollutants can adversely affect all the major body organ systems. Coal combustion can cause respiratory problems including asthma, lung disease and lung cancer, heart disease, nervous system defects and even a loss of intelligence. More than 630,000 children are born in the U.S each year with blood levels of mercury that are high enough to cause a lifelong loss of intelligence.
In addition, coal combustion releases carbon dioxide, the major contributor of global warming and with it brings crop failure and problems with the food supply, water shortages, starvation and many other social difficulties for communities. Can we afford to ignore all these costs?
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Coal’s Assault on Human Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.psr.org/resources/coals-assault-on-human-health.html
Citigroup: Solar Modules Could Fall To 25 Cents/Watt By 2020, Clean Technica, accessed November 29, 2014, http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/02/citigroup-solar-modules-could-fall-to-25-centswatt-by-2020/
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