“For sources instead of fossil fuels. To begin, the

“For decades, we’ve been
told that it doesn’t make economic sense to switch to renewable energy. Today,
that’s no longer true,” remarked former President Barack Obama. If the current
trend of global consumption of fossil fuels remains constant, the world’s available
fossil fuel reserves will be completely consumed by the early 22nd century.

Since the industrial age, mankind has depended on fossil fuels for our energy
needs. However, the use of fossil fuels has created a drastic problem due to
its mass-consumption and harmful environmental impacts. As a result, the shift
to renewable energy in the past few years has started to develop immensely, but
inadequately. Renewable energy possesses the ability to replenish at the same
rate it is used and derives from natural powers—such as solar, wind,
geothermal, hydropower, bioenergy and ocean power. For the advantages of being
environmentally friendly, being both economically beneficial and stable, and
producing a multitude of job opportunities, the US government must play a
greater role in shifting energy dependency to renewable energy sources instead
of fossil fuels.

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To begin, the US government
must enforce the movement to renewable energy sources due to their minor
environmental impacts. Compared to fossil fuels, the quantity of carbon
emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere from renewable sources is certainly
minimal. According to a 2012 report from the International Panel on Climate
Change, when fossil fuels are burned, between 0.6 to 3.6 pounds of carbon
dioxide is emitted per hour (CO2E/kWh). On the contrary, renewable sources emit
as low as 0.02 pounds to as high as 0.5 pounds of CO2E/kWh. Even though the
difference of these emissions may seem slight at a glimpse, the mass-production
of energy over a period of time definitely poses a threat to the environment.

In 2017 alone, nearly 36.8 gigatons of just carbon dioxide were emitted into
the atmosphere(Carbon Brief). It is important to notice that renewables are not
fully carbon free, however, at least they emit less than fossil fuels. Carbon
along with other global warming emissions—such as methane and nitrous oxide—are
a detriment as they trap heat in the atmosphere; resulting in temperature
increase and other impacts including stronger storms, drought, and sea level
rise. Therefore, it stands to reason that fully initializing a movement to
renewables in a leading country, like the US, will not only benefit the
environment but will also serve human safety.

Another essential point,
the US government must veer to renewables for its continuous refinement in
investment and operation costs. “The economic case for renewables as the
backbone of our global energy system is increasingly clear and proven. Offering
ever greater bang-for-buck, renewables are quite simply the cheapest way to
generate energy in an ever-growing number of countries,” stated former UN
Climate Chief, Christiana Figueres. To elaborate, a record-breaking $242
billion renewable energy capacity installed worldwide in 2016 carried 161
gigawatts. Compared to 2015, it was a 10% increase in capacity and a 23%
decline in investment. Despite this, financial aids for renewables are still
much lower compared to those for fossil fuels. It is apparent that with the
advancing technologies of this generation, prices and capacities will only
become cheaper. Subsequently, some may argue that when including the costs of
investments for renewables, its values start to show its costliness; however,
once installed, renewable energy functions for low costs that will still
decline as the market grows. Based on the 2017 Solar Market Insight Report,
between 2010 and 2017, solar power installation costs decreased by more than
70%. To add on, between 2009 and 2016, the cost of generating electricity from
wind dropped 66% (2016 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report). In comparison,
fossil fuel prices can sometimes be unpredictable due to varying energy
demands. By allowing more renewable energy, the people will also benefit as
competition with fossil fuels will lower costs and demand; as a result, people
would be able to rely on renewables if fossil fuels rise in price. For that
reason, in the long term, renewables will undoubtedly be beneficial to the US.

Moreover, it is a
responsibility for the US government to adjust to renewables for holding the
capacity to allow countless more job opportunities. Between Quarter 2 of 2015
and Quarter 1 of 2016, there was an approximate 18% increase in renewable
energy jobs. In addition, through the clean energy industry, 3,384,834
Americans were directly employed. Whereas during Quarter 1 of 2016, an
estimation reported that only 2,989,844 Americans were employed by the fossil
fuel industry—this covers jobs for power generation manufacturing of vehicles
powered by gasoline and diesel (US Department of Energy). Renewable energy jobs
are already outnumbering fossil fuel jobs; as time goes on renewable jobs will
certainly continue to rise immensely. Jobs are important for the future because
as the world’s population continues to grow, it will only be harder for people
to attain careers in order to supply themselves and their family. Thus, through
the reliance on renewable energy, people not only from the US but
internationally too, will have the opportunity to pursue millions of new jobs
for generations to come.

Hence, it can be observed
that for a successful global movement towards a lasting world, it is a
necessity for governments of powerful countries, such as the United States, to
greater enforce the shift to renewable energy sources due to their minuscule
environmental impacts, improving economic advantages, as well as increasing job
opportunities. The world, for too long, has continued to diminish fossil fuels
due to unfamiliarity with its impacts and with the opposing benefits of
renewables. Today, that is no longer true. Numerable influential organizations
and individuals have already shed light on the importance of energy with
minimized consequences; however, it is now time for the world to take a
collective effort. If the world persists to cling to the consumption of
detrimental fossil fuels, who knows when the world might ultimately be
destroyed in its already damaged condition.