Fossil Fuels vs. Renewable Energy: A Realistic Comparison

Within the past one decade or so, the energy sector has been rocked by a consumer-driven "market coup."

Progressive consumers and innovative Institutional Investors like America 2030 want to transition from traditional fuels like coal, natural gas, and crude oil to alternative energy options like wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal. The main reason for all this hullabaloo is that conventional fuel sources, popularly known as fossil fuels, are responsible for the prevailing climate woes following years of blatant and reckless pollution across the globe. These opinionated energy revolutionaries blame traditional fuels for causing global warming, extensive climate change, and for all other pollution related calamities that have befallen this planet so far. Essentially, fossil fuels are made from the hydrocarbons of animals and plants that died millions of years ago. The problem is that for them to power anything, fossil fuels must be burnt to release energy. And every time this happens carbon dioxide is also produced and released into the atmosphere. The seemingly harmless carbon dioxide is one of the main pollutants on earth. The gas absorbs excess radiation from the sun in a process called radiative or climate forcing, which means that it traps more heat than is naturally viable. This causes global temperatures to rise considerably, which translates into severe climate change, melting of ice caps, and other dangerous natural anomalies. But as luck would have it, now we have a very clean and totally safe energy alternative calling itself renewables. These are naturally occurring energy sources like the sun, water, wind, waves etc, and they are easily and safely harnessed for electric power without producing any harmful emissions. In the raging debate on which option is better, the following pros and cons will hopefully ease the confusion at a basic level.


Although we already mentioned this factor above, let us revisit it briefly because it`s one of the main issues in this tug-of-words. Fossil fuels are guilty as accused because their continued emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is the main reason for the current climate change problems. Traditional energy sources are also to blame for destructive land use during extraction. These are all mined deep in the ground and as their consumption increases they dig deeper caverns, which they later abandon in a state of dereliction. Some of the accused claim that some of the renewables like the popular waste to energy plants are also guilty of pollution. This raises another issue of proving that this level of pollution is lower than the fossil fuel one.


Like the name suggests, renewable energy sources replenish or regenerate over and over. In other words, they are infinitely available in nature and hence are inexhaustible in nature. Fossil fuels are limited in quantity and because they are made over millions of years, their consumption outstrips their availability or supply. The simple conclusion on is that renewables are better because they are sustainable energy sources while their traditional counterparts are not.


Traditionally, fossil fuels were significantly cheap as compared to renewables. The situation was such that utility companies provided temporary financial relief by investing heavy capital into energy production and distribution. They then passed on their financial burdens to many consumers thereby easing the cost burden per customer. When it came to renewables like solar and wind, an individual consumer had to invest a huge amount of money upfront to install the required equipment and this was deemed very uneconomical because it couldn`t compare with the small periodic electric bills utilities charged. However the tide has turned in recent years. Government subsidies and incentives have caused the price of renewable installations to drop sharply, such that homeowners as well as Institutional Investors like America 2030 are all now attracted to this multi-beneficial industry now.


One issue that has always dogged alternative energy and even hindered access to renewable energy financing is the unreliability and unpredictability of availability of this source of energy. Most skeptics claim that you cannot possibly sustain even a single residential house on renewable power alone. Due to their inherent dependence on favorable weather conditions, clean sources like the sun and the wind are considered unworthy. Despite the massive fluctuations in equipment costs, these assertions have still scared many energy investors away from this market. The good news is that things are quickly turning around as modern technological advances enable consumers to store up huge amounts of alternative power in readily available and relatively cheap devices for future use to avoid outages in unsuitable weather conditions. Now futuristic financial institutions like America2030 are offering ready debt & equity to all interested consumers.