We know that, to reduce emissions associated with power production, fully we need to make the switch to renewable energy. Some say this will cause energy prices to “skyrocket.”
So far, United States’ adoption of renewable energy has been poor, at best. Power producers, responsible for about a third of US greenhouse gas emissions, could hardly be said to be vanguards in renewable energy adoption. In fact, renewable energy adoption has barely been keeping up with increased demand. In other words, solar power, wind power, and hydroelectric power, aren’t being used in percentages that would replace current fossil-fuel-based power production facilities. Still, it is encouraging to see corporations and individuals adopting renewable energy for themselves.
Unfortunately, power producers say that adding renewable energy to the mix will only cause energy prices to increase, continuously and for a number of years. This seems like a logical statement, but is it just a scare tactic? Taking a look at the costs associated with power production and the grid itself, as well as emissions controls and the phasing out of fossil fuels and the adoption of renewable energy, what will happen to energy prices? The power grid in the United States is only getting older, and as every year adds more users, maintenance and repairs cost more and more. As the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) implements stricter emissions regulations, such as carbon dioxide limits and PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter) limits, power producers will have to do two things. First, they’ll have to clean up their act, which costs money. Second, they’ll have to phase our fossil fuels and build renewable energy facilities, again, costing money.
On the other hand, it seems that these “experts” are overlooking the true costs of renewable energy and emissions reduction. For example, power producers said emissions controls would spike energy prices. The reality was that, even in heavy coal states, energy prices had fallen. Additionally, renewable energy has proven to be consistently cheaper than fossil fuels. Finally, the extended costs of fossil fuel utilization is difficult to justify, such as public health and climate change effects.
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