In the present economic environment, most who opt to purchase renewable sources of energy—solar, wind, or geoexchange—do so because they believe in the importance of doing the right thing, they are financially capable of the more expensive but greener energy sources, and they’re also aware of these green options and agree that purchasing them is worthwhile.
But will renewables always remain so costly? Most experts don’t think so. As one example, electricity costs from onshore wind turbines are expected to drop by 12% over the next five years, reaching parity with conventional fossil fuels. Reasons for the decrease in cost include lower-cost equipment and gains in output efficiency, according to research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
I have no doubt that in coming years, as the referenced study concludes, green energy will become more affordable and reach parity, ultimately becoming even cheaper than conventional fossil fuels. The reasons are simple:
a) developing technologies always decrease in cost with time
b) fossil fuels are in finite supply, and as we have to turn to ever more challenging sources—offshore drilling and the Alberta oil sands in particular—energy from these sources are going to cost more and more.
I cannot wait for the day when people will be able to switch to greener sources of energy because they are the most affordable option. Since the pocketbook usually wins over doing the right thing, it can’t happen soon enough for my liking.