Renewable energy sector is booming, and it is producing both, believers and doubters on its way to fame. While the ideas behind the new technology seem genuinely encouraging, people still want to make sure that they are not being just sold to another vision.
Due to the rising uncertainty, here are a few myths explained and busted, trying to take a stand on why Renewable energy is going to be the next big thing.
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Myth 1: Renewable Energy cannot replace Fossil Fuels
Indeed, it’s one thing to supplement energy production with renewable sources, quite another to replace fossil fuels entirely. In India, the present centralized model of power generation, transmission and distribution is growing more and more costly to maintain and, at the same time, restricts the flexibility required to meet growing energy demands. India needs to encourage a decentralized business model in order to more readily take advantage of abundantly available renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, biogas, geothermal and hydrogen energy, and fuel cells. India is blessed with an abundance of these resources, yet it spends millions of rupees to import oil, coal, and natural gas.
The Indian subcontinent is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources. Even if a tenth of its potential was utilized, it could mark the end of India’s power problems. Using the country’s deserts and farm land, India could easily install around 1,000 GW of solar capacity — equivalent to around four times the current peak power demand. To move forward into this direction, India is already planning major solar power plant installations like the one at Neemuch and Rewa districts of Madhya Pradesh.
As for wind, according to the environmental group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), while India has no estimates of its offshore wind potential, up to 170 GW could be installed by 2050 along the 7,500 km of coastline. Hydropower could generate an estimated 148 GW, geothermal around 10.7 GW and tidal power about 15 GW.
Excess energy could be stored in various forms such as molten or liquid salt (a mixture of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate); compressed air; pumped hydro; hydrogen, battery storage, etc. This stored energy could then be used during times of peak demand.
But just as it would be unreasonable to think renewable sources could take the reins now, it’s equally unreasonable to think they can’t eventually facilitate an end to fossil fuel dependency. There’s only so much oil and coal in the Earth, after all, and global warming concerns only punctuate the need for a new direction.
Myth 2: Renewable Energy is too Expensive
Massive costs like costs of human health impacts, water pollution, climate change and carbon footprints are not taken into consideration in the prices which we pay for coal and other fossil fuels. At this moment, renewable energy is already cheaper than coal and nuclear power at every step. Also, add to this the fact that renewable energy sources like wind and solar do not really have any input cost either.
One of the major plus points about this revolution would be the generation of thousands of jobs across the world in this industry!
Myth 3: Renewable Energy is not going to be self-sufficient
PV power may not be in a position to solve all our energy problems right now, but its potential for the future is great. Remember, we’re talking about leaching energy from a titanic star — one that steers an entire system of planets, our atmosphere and life as we know it.
The key to getting a constant supply of electricity from renewable energy is to have a mix of sources: solar and wind power, natural gas, and anaerobic digestion plants. By having a mix of sources which are spread over a wide area, we ensure there will always be a supply of energy.
As the sun goes down, so wind production generally increases, and as the winds drop in one region they pick up in another. During peak times, biogas and natural gas can bolster our energy supply, and can also be used to meet sudden peaks in electricity demand.