Nobody wants to see a disastrous oil spill. But when there’s a large solar energy spill, we just call it a nice day. 😀
Investing in green energy has been a tough sell in the past because it wasn’t economically viable. But we have reached an inflection point where the a risk vs reward for renewable energy has become an attractive option for investors looking for relatively safe, and long term returns. 🙂 Renewable energy comes from a source that is not depleted when used. There are many forms of renewable energy such as solar, wind, and hydro.
People have harnessed the power of the wind for thousands of years, using sail boats propelled by wind energy for transportation. For centuries we’ve also used wind mills on farm to pump water for irrigating crops. And now it’s time for wind power to go mainstream and become a bigger part of our society. 🙂
European countries are the leaders in the space of renewables. Last year UK wind power smashed annual records generating 28 terawatt-hours of electricity, which is enough to supply the needs of more than 6.7 million UK households. Renewables also provide Germany with a lot of clean energy. According to Berlin-based think tank, Agora Energiewende, nearly 26% of Germany’s power generation comes from clean sources like wind. 😀 Electricity output from renewables has grown 700% in that country since 1990. As Europe’s largest economy, it’s a pretty big deal to see Germany’s government and its people invest so much into green technology. Then there’s Denmark, getting 40% of it’s overall electricity from renewable energy sources. The latest figures put the country well on track to meet its 2020 goal of getting 50% of its power from clean sources. Denmark has long been a pioneer in wind power, having installed its first turbines in the mid-1970s, and has even more ambitious aims in sight, including a 100% renewable country by 2050. Now that’s ambitious! But it’s totally possible. Last year, onshore wind was also declared the cheapest form of energy in Denmark.
Wind energy is growing in more than 90 countries around the world at an average annual rate of more than 25% because governments, citizens and electricity system operators alike have all decided to support a reliable, clean, and safe form of energy, especially now since the cost of producing wind power is not has prohibitive as it once was.
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaic (PV) cells aligned into a solar panel, or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP).
Solar power is the mother of all energy on earth. Every other type of renewable and non-renewable resource we use today from oil and gas to wind and lumber exist all thanks to the sun’s energy. 🙂 Explaining Tesla’s strategy of using solar power, Elon Musk said: “We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky, called the sun. You don’t have to do anything; it just works.“
Hydro electricity is generated by the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy, accounting for 16% of global electricity generation – 3,500 terawatt-hours of electricity production a year, and is expected to increase about 3% each year for the next 25 years.
Presently, 65% of electricity generated in Canada comes from renewable sources, according to Statistics Canada. Most of this source comes from hydro electricity. Most Canadians are already familiar with names such as Ontario Hydro, Hydro Quebec, and BC Hydro. 😉 All of them provide clean and affordable electricity to the grid. Canada is the 6th largest consumer of electricity in the world. We are making great use of hydro power, but we can do a lot better when it comes to wind and solar.
Canada’s long coastlines and vast land mass give us some of the best wind and solar resources. We should take advantage of our geography by expanding our usage of solar and wind technology. Luckily the government is providing incentives for us to do this. 🙂 Next post I’ll write about the investment opportunities in the clean energy space.
Random Useless Fact