Pros and Cons of Renewable Energy

There are many benefits of using renewable energy; it comes from a source that continuously restores itself, meaning that the availability to utilise that energy source is infinite. However, there are arguments against renewable energy to consider; it can be expensive to install and sustain, as well as being completely weather dependant.

Here, we explore both the pros and cons of renewable energy sources and outline the UK Governments vision for renewable energy and how low-carbon gas power is likely to work alongside this in the near future.

Benefits of using renewable energy

1. Potential infinite energy supply

The use of renewable energy ensures that you will have a continuous supply of energy for years into the future. It’s no secret that fossil fuels aren’t sustainable in the long term, as they come from finite sources which will eventually run out one day.

2. Reduce your carbon footprint

When fossil fuels are burnt, this contributes to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. These gases are then trapped within the atmosphere, which can lead to negative effects of global warming and climate change. Renewable energy sources reduce your overall carbon footprint as the levels of greenhouses gases emitted are lower compared to fossil fuels.

3. Renewable energy isn’t subject to price fluctuations

The price of renewable energy isn’t influenced by what’s happening in the wider market; giving you a level of control of your energy costs. The Carbon Trust reports that compared to ten years ago, the price of offshore wind in the UK is less than a third of what it used to be. However, there are additional costs to consider, including the initial installation, upkeep of renewable energy technology and the immediate effect on the nature around the site.

4. Saving money and reducing costs

As well as potentially reducing your annual energy bills, installing renewable energy sources in your home means you can claim up to £5000 from installation costs through the Governments Green Home Grant.

Arguments against renewable energy

1. Renewable energy is weather dependent

It’s no secret that renewable energy is reliant upon the elements. The weather can only be predicted, never guaranteed. The change of each season can also impact the level of power generated. For instance, it’s most likely that winter months won’t generate as much solar power compared to the summer months, as solar power is reliant on the sun’s rays to generate sufficient power.

Dependent on which country you live in, the weather will impact the amount of renewable energy generated. For instance, wind-powered renewable energy is reliant on wind strength to turn wind turbines to generate power.

2. Expense and development

When it comes to renewable energy sites, it requires a large sum of initial investment to cover the cost of setting up the renewable energy generators and the labour involved. Renewable energy sites can’t be developed in any random location; you need to ensure that there’s an area of land large enough to set up the site. Wherever these sites are set up, it will take away from natures environment.

3. Visually unappealing

Renewable energy sources are often met with criticism from those in the local area for being visually unappealing. The vast depth of solar fields and the height of wind turbines, for instance, are often known as an eyesore and take away from the existing view.

4. Noise levels

Hydropower and wind turbine sites can generate substantial levels of noise. If these sources are close to a populated area, this could disturb and upset the residents and lead to a whole host of problems between you and the local community.

What is the UK Governments promise to renewable energy?

By 2050, the UK Government are working towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This follows an amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008 in July 2020, which entails working towards a green industrial revolution to bring the UK’s current emission levels down by 100% to an emission level similar to that seen in 1990.

Gas power is likely to become the dominant fossil fuel power used, as gas has less of a negative impact on the environment compared to the impact of carbon. Non-renewable energy sources, like domestic heating oil, will continue to be used alongside renewable energy sources as the best way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

If you have any questions about how you could potentially lower your carbon footprint by switching to using domestic heating oil in your home, please get in touch with your local Rix customer service team. We will be more than happy to answer any questions or queries that you may have.