Compared to the fossil fuels that are so widespread, these emerging – and re-emerging – renewable energy options offer tremendous benefits in emissions, reliability, economy, and more.
Of course, compared to fossil fuels, renewable energy tends to generate significantly lower levels of pollutants such as carbon dioxide.(8) The sun, wind, earth, and water are also typically more universally available than fossil fuels, offering communities worldwide greater control over their energy sources.(8)
However, because renewable sources are not predictable – no one can consistently predict when the sun will shine or the wind will blow – they’re not the final answer to our energy challenge… yet. Due to the sometimes-fickle nature of renewable energy, it can be difficult to store for later use, but one up-and-coming solution to this storage conundrum is green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is made when renewable energy such as wind and solar power,(9) is used to extract hydrogen from water or other naturally occurring sources with no carbon emissions. Green hydrogen has the ability to be stored for longer durations of time. Thus, green hydrogen can effectively store renewable energy for the long-term, making it available when and where it’s needed. However, much research and development is still needed to make green hydrogen both widely available and economical.