During the year 2017, wind and solar energy accounted for over 10 percent of the total electricity generation within the USA for the first time ever. In the UK, according to dispatch weekly, government has committed to phasing out coal-burning stations by 2025.
While this 10 percent share may not sound really overwhelming, the figure reflected a major landmark towards achieving renewable energy sources within the country and the world in general. Both wind and solar energy are now competitive enough to be counted along with the likes of natural gas, nuclear power and coal; which is in its own a feat that calls for a celebration.
However, while the implementation of renewable sources is starting to grow, these sources still face major financial and non-financial barriers to implementation. While some of these obstacles can be inherently found within all new forms of technology, others have a lot to do with a lack of infrastructure and a skewed framework. Here we explore some of the barriers towards renewable energy, and how much of a threat do they present going into the future.
The most widely publicized and obvious barrier to the implementation of renewable energy resources is the cost factor. Even though many organizations and industries contemplate about the implementation of renewable energy sources, they are ill-equipped when it comes to bearing the capital costs upfront. The capital cost of building and installing wind and solar farms, based on the current infrastructure, is considerably high and is outside the realms of what many industries can afford. While the upfront costs keep turning businesses down, what these industrial giants fail to account for, is the fact that high costs upfront do not necessarily mean high costs going down the line as well. These costs tend to fall down over a period of time, after which the cost of generating energy through these renewable energy sources is less to none. Thus, if we take costs over the lifetime of the renewable energy source, we will reach the conclusion that they are generally more financially viable for many industries.
Siting and Transmission
Siting in renewable energy is the need to locate pieces of land that will suffice for the generation of solar and wind energy. Siting requires numerous contracts, which most businesses shy away from and eventually avoid. These contracts, negotiations and permits end up killing or delaying the project as a whole.
Transmission refers to the infrastructure that is needed to transfer or move the electricity from its location to where it will be consumed. This is another hassle upfront, and most industries think of it as a hindrance that stops them from investing in the source. However, with the passage of time we can expect better infrastructure and better transmission sources, which will amplify the use of renewable sources.
New Players in the Energy Sector
The energy generation sector within most of the world is dictated by non-renewable sources of energy. Technologies that provide renewable energy resources, thus, face barriers to market entry. In the UK and US, renewable energy startups are getting funded, making noise and raising awareness. Octopus energy, has launched a new tariff that will potentially pay customers to use its electricity when demand is low. Our readers can grab a £50 credit towards their bill by going to Octopus Energy Discount Code website.
Going green doesn’t have to break the bank. Interestingly, green energy is becoming more and more popular and poses a better option than the traditional ones, albeit it’s forecasted that traditional energy prices will continue to rise.
These new startups find it hard to combat the monopoly created by the non-renewable energy providers and they eventually end up succumbing to this pressure.