Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind have enormous potential but this potential is yet to be fully utilized on global energy market as fossil fuels still rule the world. Yes, the global renewable energy capacity continues to grow on global scale but this growth in capacity is still inadequate to offer a decent challenge to dominance of the mighty triad (oil, coal and natural gas).
Why is renewable energy still well behind fossil fuels? There are two main reasons for this: the costs and efficiency of renewable energy technologies. Renewable energy is still connected with higher costs when compared with fossil fuels and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind also need to become far more efficient.
Many people think that renewable energy is all about environmental benefits but this is not true. Renewable energy is also very beneficial from the economic point of view, not just in form of new jobs but also because it can help improve our energy security and our energy independence.
More domestic renewable energy means reduced dependence on foreign oil. The volatile oil price market means that the age of cheap oil is well behind us and that we should be starting looking for alternatives to oil.
Renewable energy is really the only logical option to replace fossil fuels. Why? Because there seems to be no better alternative. Some may say that we should go for more nuclear but nuclear isn't the right solution, not because of the accidents but mostly because of the nuclear waste issue.
Renewable energy market is constantly expanding but it still hasn't reached the level where it can effectively challenge fossil fuels. This is where science needs to step in and make the difference by making renewable energy technologies cheaper and lot more efficient.
The science is working hard and we are seeing many promising renewable energy research work that could rip major benefits in years to come.
The future will no doubt belong to renewable energy and the only question is how long do we have to wait for this future to come? Some say that fossil fuels will remain dominant energy sources throughout this entire century while other say they only have couple of decades of life still left in them.
In any case, renewable energy will eventually replace fossil fuels, hopefully sooner rather than later.