The Uncommon Insight Into Renewable Energy

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 10:57 PM

The uncommon insight into renewable energy.

Working for a renewable energy project developer, most people often ask me what the impact is of my work on the environment. Primarily, I like to speak on the value of renewable energy as a source of power, and then I revert back to the actual discussion of positive environmental impact, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions.

A market approach perspective to valuing the positive impact of renewable energy is often neglected when discussing the benefits of clean energy. The economics of renewable energy does not get much publicity, although it is relevant to speculators of CO2 bonds and energy derivative traders. In my experience working with financial markets, energy price fluctuations are opportunities for those who speculate on short term price change. I would often read energy sector reports and watch markets react. For example, if there were positive announcements made by a company that produced solar panels, then speculators would bet the price of clean energy to rise. Inversely, other speculators would bet the price of non-renewable energy to drop. Since the production of clean energy is now more available than before, we have seen the overall energy price of coal and petroleum stabilize over time.

The notion of price competition takes effect once more (and better) alternatives of power are available on the market. The cost of renewable energy has been decreasing over time due to technology advancements and cost minimization. Now that clean energy is more affordable than before, traditional sources of energy like coal and petroleum are becoming less attractive to the general public. The supply of clean energy is increasing, which in turn pushes the overall price of energy to a minimum. Another great benefit that renewable energy offers is its lack of dependency for water. For example, coal, natural gas, and nuclear power depend on large amounts of water for cooling purposes, and in parts of the world water can be scarcely available. 

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