The politics of renewable energyMay 10, 2014
Politics is playing a major role in the future of clean energy
For years, renewable energy has been considered an environmental issue. Embracing clean power, such as solar and wind energy, has become a priority for those that wish to fight climate change and other environmental issues. As clean power began to gain more traction in more parts of the world, politics began to play a bigger role in the matter. Now, politics and renewable energy go hand-in-hand, and politics may direct the course of clean energy progress for the foreseeable future.
Climate change has become a heavily politicized issue all around the world. Those wishing to stop climate change have adopted a platform of offense against fossil-fuels and energy inefficiency. These advocates of clean power often note that climate change is heavily influenced by human behavior. Opponents of this notion argue that it is arrogant to believe that climate change has been caused by humans and argue that fossil-fuels are not as damaging to the environment as some would believe. As with most issues, the truth of the matter lies somewhere in between: Climate change is a natural process that has happened for millennia, but this process has also been accelerated by the industrialization of much of the world, which was powered by human innovation.
Clean energy is becoming an economic issue
Politicians in many parts of the world are using renewable energy to garner favor among voters and the general population. In some cases, politicians are using exaggerated information to attract this support, while others are using equal amount of hyperbole to combat the notion that climate change is a serious problem. More than anything, however, politicians are highlighting the economic aspects of clean energy, promoting the idea that renewable power could be the answer to some of the world’s financial problems and not just its environmental ones.
Renewable energy does, indeed, have some economic prospects. New energy projects lead to an increase in the demand for skilled laborers and those with education in engineering and energy management. Clean energy systems also lead to reduced reliance on fossil-fuels like oil and coal. Considering the fact that most countries import fossil-fuels from beyond their borders, clean power can reduce the costs associated with these fuel imports. Clean energy also leads to fewer emissions, which could help alleviate some of the respiratory issues that have been linked to harmful emissions, thereby reducing medical costs. Countries generating a significant amount of electrical power can also export this energy, making their renewable energy systems even more profitable.