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Renewable Energy in Decline
In 1800, the world obtained 94% of its energy from renewable sources. That figure has been declining ever since. The United States currently relies heavily on coal, oil, and natural gas for its energy. Fossil fuels are non-renewable, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, and become too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. In contrast, the many types of renewable energy resources-such as wind and solar energy-are constantly replenished and won’t run out.
It has been reported by Bloomberg News that, Global investment in renewable energy declined last year, for the second year in a row. Renewables are becoming the cheapest form of energy available in many regions, according to BNEF data. Bloomberg News reports that, the world is already adding more renewable-energy capacity each year than fossil fuel capacity. Sixty-eight percent of China’s energy capacity added last year was renewable.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the capacity factor for U.S. renewables is around 34 percent, compared with a capacity factor of 64 percent for coal. After nine years of growth, last year was the first time that investments in renewables fell in emerging economies according to SkyNews.com.au. The record high for renewable energy financing came in 2011 at nearly $318 billion, according to BNEF. Most renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun, Sun light or from solar energy.
“This is no longer about adding a bit of wind,” Michael Liebreich said, the chairman of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said “It’s about a fundamental change in the structure of the energy sector.”
Both wind and solar are within striking distance” of being competitive worldwide, Michael Liebreich said, according to Bloomberg News.
According to NYSERDA , renewable resources — wind, water power, solar, geothermal and biomass – already provide nearly 11 percent of the energy that New Yorkers use for transportation, space heating, industrial processes and electric power.
The Daily Caller reported that tens of thousands of wind turbine towers were installed, totaling more than 200,000 windmills worldwide by the end of 2012.
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Image Credit: www.energysolutions.necanet.orgRenewable Energy in Decline by Jaan