Are Renewables Capable to Replace Fossil Fuels Completely?

Credit: Creative Commons/Chris Lim

It’s a well known and accepted fact that “fossil fuels such as coal, oil, petroleum and even natural gas are finite”, but the renewable energy sources such as “solar and wind energy are infinite”. The fossil fuels are mainly due the plants and animals buried deep beneath the earth millions of years ago which got transformed into the combustible material. The latest evolution study shows that the fossil fuel deposits on the earth are as old as 500 million years.

As of today, we are largely dependent upon fossil fuel to run our cars, electrify offices, appliances, factories etc. Almost 80% of energy needs are met by fossil fuels, as per the recent data. With the current energy demand which is rising rapidly, it is for sure that the finite (non-renewable) fossil fuel can’t get replenished at the same rate. Moreover, such a high consumption of these non-renewable fossil fuels is directly linked to the emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants which are causing global warming at an alarming rate.

The renewable energy derived from renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, water and waves ocean power etc. is used to power home, electrical equipments, heating and cooling and transport sectors. With the increasing awareness of using renewable energy to reduce the pollution across the globe, more and more investments and research are being made in this sector.

It is also a point of debate about the reliability and consistency of the renewable energy as it is nature dependent. But today more than 60% of the world population believes that “we need to shift to renewable to save earth from global warming effects”. As per the NASA Earth Observatory, the earth will warm between 2 to 60C in coming century whereas it took last 50000 years to become warm by 50C. Today more than 90% of the world energy needs are met by fossil and nuclear reactors, certainly, it’s a time to have the paradigm shift to renewables!

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