Did you know that in many parts of the world, wind and solar energy sources are less expensive than the risky and dangerous energy source of fossil fuels? And those renewable energy sources are going to keep getting cheaper. A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that on a global level, onshore wind currently costs on average $83 per megawatt-hour of energy ($2 less than it was earlier in 2015) and solar energy costs $122 per megawatt-hour ($7 less than it was earlier this year). This is an exciting element of progress in the world's journey to move away from fossil fuels, which are highly polluting and increasingly more expensive in many parts of the world.
However, wind and solar energy sources are still not cheaper in ALL parts of the world. In the US, for example, these renewable energy sources are still more expensive than their coal-based counterparts, a disappointing fact, whereas in Europe, wind and solar energy sources are cheaper.
Nonetheless, as we watch solar and wind energy sources become more affordable than fossil fuel sources worldwide, it gives us hope that we are all moving in the right direction. The winds are changing (pardon the pun) and as renewable resources become more available online, they can start undermining fossil fuels as a source of energy for the public.
People are very motivated by their pocket books and as renewables become cheaper, more people will opt for them...and that is when we will truly see change. According to Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, "Clean energy solutions like wind and solar are getting more affordable and more accessible by the day, meaning they are increasingly the smartest long-term investments for utilities and other electric producers across America.
The transition to a clean energy economy is going full speed ahead and pushing dangerous, dirty fossil fuels to the back of the line." Hopefully we will continue to see more positive change in this area in our own cities and neighborhoods, whether it's solar panels on the tops of houses or people purchasing electric cars or wind turbines on the tops of buildings.
As always, reduce, reuse, recycle. Small, everyday changes can make a big difference!