It’s safe to say that man and energy are like two peas in a pod. One goes nowhere without the other and energy makes man’s journey on planet Earth easier.
Right from the invention of the light bulb by Thomas Edison and electricity by Michael Faraday, man has been on a quest to improve the supply and distribution of energy sources to meet its need.
This journey continued with the invention of coal steam engines by Thomas Edison and hydroelectric power stations by William Lord Armstrong.
In recent times, the surge in climate change occurrences made scientists go into extensive research to look for alternative means of power generation.
Renewable energy refers to any source of naturally energy that can be replenished without any harm to the environment. It is also known as clean energy. Examples of renewable energy sources include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, tidal, and hydro energy.
The International Energy Agency sees energy security as the continuous provision of energy at all times and at affordable rates. Apart from the conventional sources of power generation, man must look for other ways to generate and transmit energy. To achieve energy security, the following must be done:
- Conduct research and development into potential renewable energy sources.
- Increase the energy mix which gives countries more options for power generation.
- Create the right investment policies and regulations to attract investors into the energy sector.
- Prioritise energy security across all countries of the globe.
- Each country should have vast suppliers in the energy sector to curtail emergencies that might arise.
This is where renewable energy steps in.
Why Renewable Energy Is Best Suited for Energy Security
No emission of greenhouse gases
Energy security can’t be discussed without its effect on the environment. To achieve this, energy sources utilised have to be friendly to the environment. Most traditional forms of energy make use of fossil fuels like coal to generate power. This adds greenhouse gases like Carbon IV oxide and methane to the atmosphere. Furthermore, this should be one important factor to consider as the future of our planet depends on it.
Security of energy supply
Renewable energy brings a measure of security to the energy supply. Countries no longer have to rely on specific industries to get power but have a wide range of options to choose from. This provides the necessary energy security as governments of countries are not left jumping from pillar to post to manage the energy crisis.
In economics, when the demand is high, the prices of goods shoot through the roof. This is noticed when the prices of oil and gas increases due to high demand which has affects the prices of energy worldwide. When renewable energy is brought into the picture, total dependence on specific energy sources reduces. This in turn reduces the number of individuals in the energy mix that rely on traditional sources of power generation leading to a reduction in price.
Renewable energy sources can easily be replenished without the direct involvement of man. For instance, man has no control over the amount of sunlight that the solar panel absorbs for power generation. This reduces manpower when compared to other conventional means of power generation. Also, the earth has an abundant supply of sunlight, wind, tidal energy, hydro energy, and biomass.
Cost is a major factor to be considered in achieving energy security and renewable energy changes the mode of the game here. Though the initial cost of installing renewable energy is high, its cost in subsequent years reduces due to low maintenance and limited use of fossil fuels.
With the continuous research and development being done in this industry, the cost of generating power through renewable energy sources is sure to reduce in the foreseeable future.
World leaders and the energy sector are constantly looking for ways to push for the use of renewable energy because of its numerous contributions to energy security.
The private sector and individuals are not left out as viable investments have to pop into this sector as all hands must be on deck to achieve our dream of a future free from fossil fuels.
As Young Kim said: “Energy security is national security.”