Advantage Of Renewable Energy

While the advantage of renewable energy over conventional energy generated from fossil fuels can be understood by all, there are several practical constraints limiting it to become the major source of electricity.

  1. Power plants require large areas of land and there are several claimants for land use every where.

    Solar power plants are no exception. They have been set up in deserts in the initial stages of their development due to the availability of bright and plenty of sun light and the necessity of having a large land area.

    But due to a clash of interest between those in favor of solar power plants and environmentalists, the California desert area around US Highway 66 has become a bone of contention.

    Senator Feinstein wants to work out the areas which can be earmarked for preserving monuments and others which can be permitted for green power projects. Even though she is in favor of renewable energy she also wants to preserve national monuments.

  2. Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was on a tour of US during mid March, 2009 in an effort to induce the US government to remove the import tariff on its ethanol fuel.

    Brazil has made great progress in biofuels and being the world's largest exporter of ethanol enjoying the advantage of renewable energy, is on a mission to spread the idea to other countries but it is meeting with little success in its efforts.

  3. The US has its own priorities as far as ethanol is concerned, since it offers subsidies to the corn farmers who are part of the US ethanol industry. In other words protection for locals outweighs the need for new technologies for clean fuels.

Are the political leaders wrong in their dealings in finding a solution to renewable energy?

Not at all.

They have to find the best option among various conflicting possibilities by weighing the pros and cons of each item. But such exercises are bound to create tension among the various stakeholders.

Depending on how they work on their priorities they will be able to get the best advantage of renewable energy programs.

Solar, wind, geothermal, ocean tides, biomass and other sources are available for the generation of clean and green energy. These sources are available at all times and replenishable unlike fossil fuels, which will be available for a few more decades only.

From the times of industrial revolution mankind has learned several important factors by :

  • Searching for and locating new raw materials and other factors of production,

  • Capital formation and funding for projects,

  • Creating and managing assets, among others.
  • Over the period of several decades fossil fuels such as coal and oil became cheap fuels for power generation.

    Technologies were evolved to put up plants with these cheap fossil fuels as the feed even if they had to be imported from different countries.

    Such being the case there was no need for thinking about other raw materials for power generation especially renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, ocean tides etc.

    But from the time of the oil shocks of the seventies the oil price kept shooting up every now and then till the later half of the year 2008 when it was at an amazingly high level.

    But now it has dropped down to a low level due to the current economic slowdown witnessed in the US and the world over.

    But the oil price may soon go up in the event of the economy picking up and becoming robust again.

    Also till recently there was no concern about ecological degradation by using such "dirty" fuels or alarming concerns about greenhouse gases, global warming and climate change.

    No wonder scientists, politicians and administrators have been looking for clean and green energy sources for the past few years due to the advantage of renewable energy.

    While the search for clean energy sources have made progress and several solar, wind and geothermal plants have come up in different parts of the world a lot more needs to be done especially in finding solutions to funding of the projects which have a long gestation period.


    A successful Indian Solar Loan Program was run from 2003 to 2007 by UNEP for helping 100,000 people finance solar power systems in India.

    This program was run in partnership with the UNEP Risoe Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development (URC) as also with two leading Indian banks for financing the purchases of the solar lamps for :

  • Small business persons and
  • Low income earning people like :
    • Silk farmers
    • Migrant workers and
    • Street vendors
    for running their shops or for working at night using solar lamps, instead of kerosine lamps at a lower cost and convenience.

    Success of this solar program in India highlights the advantage of renewable energy plants over that of conventional energy plants using fossil fuels and has led to similar projects being undertaken in other parts of the developing world like Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia and Mexico.

    Click the link below to have a look at the program: (Opens a new window):
    Indian Solar Lamp Programme

    Renewable Energy India
    Renewable Energy India schemes look to the future with a mission to secure energy security by generating power mainly from renewable energy sources

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