Renewable Energy- Does have Disadvantages too!

Together with the rapid growth of the world population, the limited ability to supply of non-renewable leads to energy demand on a rise especially in developing countries. This situation results in the risk of depletion of cheap fossil energy and environmental pollution as well as climate change.

Renewable energy sources are still not the predominant energy resource in the energy sector, although in certain developed countries they participate in a significant share in electricity generation. It is estimated that world energy consumption from renewable energy sources exceeds 20% at the present and continues to grow. Renewable sources in electricity / heat generation do not pollute the environment with greenhouse gas emissions and enable the use of limited fossil resources in the future. This is the main reason for the increasing investment and exploitation of renewable energy sources.

Advantages of Renewable Energy Sources

  1. Renewable energy sources account for zero or almost zero percent of greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution.
  2. With renewable energies, energy is usually converted from one form to another without the creation of pollutants. 
  3. Many of the plans for renewable energy stations are focused on their capacity to provide an immediate and continual source of energy to an area. There is very little conversion that needs to be done to take electricity from a solar or wind generator and use it. Sun is going to shine for another billion years. That means solar energy is renewable and sustainable. Moving water and strong winds will continue to supply constant source of energy.
  4. Another advantage in the use of renewable energy sources is manifested in the encouragement of economic development, namely the development of the energy sector and all related activities related to this industry.
  5. Presence of renewable energy sources in rural areas, especially those underdeveloped, can contribute their economic development and in general the civilizational need for electricity. Renewable energy sources provide much-needed electricity in areas where the electrical grid is underdeveloped or does not exist, such as remote villages or islands.

Disadvantages of Renewable Energy Sources

It should be noted that renewable energy sources are not always the best solution in providing additional quantities of electricity and in their delivery to the electricity network there are certain shortcomings and difficulties.

  1. Due to their natural features that renewable sources depend entirely on geographical location and weather conditions, namely the volatility and unpredictability of the renewable source is a significant limitation and difficulty in electricity generation.
  2. Due to the large daily oscillations in the availability of a renewable source on the basis of which electricity is generated, it is necessary to consider the possibilities of accepting renewable electricity into the electricity system. There must always be a sufficient reserve in the electricity system network in the form of available installed power of the power plant that can eliminate the deficiency that occurs when a particular renewable energy source is not available.
  3. One of the major cons of many of the renewable energy plans is that the raw material – solar intensity, wind or water, is not available in all locations. That mean you will still have to create an infrastructure for transporting the energy that may not be better than what is already in place.
  4. When comparing renewable energy sources with traditional fossil energy resources; renewable sources have a lack of capacity (capacity) to produce electricity, they are not able to produce as large amounts of electricity as power plants with fossil fuels. In order to try to reduce this shortcoming, it is necessary to further invest in the development of renewable energy technologies, but also simply to build more renewable energy plants
  5. Renewable energy sources also have a lower ratio of installed plant power (in MW) or electricity production (in GWh) to the area of the location (in m2) occupied by the power plant, compared to fossil fuel power plants. This means that renewable energy plants should have a much larger area than thermal power plants in the production of the same amount of electricity.
  6. The biggest disadvantage of renewable energy is that the cost of the energy is relatively higher than non-renewable energy. The initial costs of renewable energy still make many people ignore it completely when comparing it with fossil fuel on two aspects: total cost and over the same time period.
AdvantagesDisadvantages
Environmental protection (reduced greenhouse gas emissions)Weather conditions dependence
Reduced fossil fuel consumptionNon-continuity and unpredictability
Reduced energy imports dependenceAcceptance of renewable electricity in the power system
Stimulating the development of innovation and the economyLow ability to produce electricity
Increasing employmentLow energy efficiency
Rural developmentLow maximum capacity utilization/low capacity factor
Reduction of energy scarcity (expansion of rural electrification capacities)Relatively high cost of electricity production

Final Thoughts

From all the above, it can be stated that renewable energy sources have numerous advantages and disadvantages in providing additional quantities of electricity, and their application should be seen primarily in the context of improving the electricity sector and the development of the national economy.

Renewable energy sources, as environmentally friendly energy resources, will become even more important in the future, because they are unlimited and provide additional energy forms along with the existing conventional power plants

Despite of some disadvantages of using renewables, it can be concluded that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of renewable energy sources utilization for the overall society.

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3 thoughts on “Renewable Energy- Does have Disadvantages too!

  1. We do not yet have the ability or technology to produce. build, construct, maintain, repair or reproduce the machinery, facilities or plants needed as a source for renewable energy. We can sit in the sun and warm ourselves, but we cannot make solar panels without using fossil fuels. Windmills require large amounts of fossil fuels to build. We will have ti preserve as my h fossil fuel as possible until we can solve that problem. That means reducing consumption. And laws are needed to enforce reduced consumption.

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    1. Very well said. We have a long way to go to make renewable sources our primary source of energy. The countries lack cost efficient technologies to build the plants 100% based on renewable energy only.
      The key is to reduce the consumption. This will not only ensure that we run out of the fossil fuels but will also reduce carbon emissions.

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