Renewable energy is based on a number of factors, but cost is the primary consideration. While there has been a dramatic increase worldwide in renewable energy (around 20%), this has to jump even more dramatically for everyone to participate. The secondary factor for consideration is the local and government policies and incentives. In the energy world, there are tariffs that are levied but there are also incentives that are added. The current policies cannot offer a fair level of competition for the renewable energy companies and products as compared to the fossil fuel based energies. So, policies need to be changed. This may be easier said than done, as there are many corporations with their own profit bases heavily placed in the fossil fuel world. These companies have political clout as well.
There are situations around the world that have established a supply-and-demand scenario that have shown excellent success. The concept around this is to create a bidding proposal process that demonstrates the lowest cost with the most significant savings, combined with a platform that uses a lesser demand for energy. This situation can occur when the renewable energy is supplying the needed energy and then returning a large amount of energy back into the system. All of this, of course, must be counteracted through revenue savings of the initial investment and a good profitability grid established.
If the general public is offered choices that will not only save on their monthly costs but also help in saving the planet, this could be enough of a win-win situation to make them change their consumer behaviors. Neither corporations nor the general public will invest in any renewable energy projects that will increase their costs, but again, combined with incentive programs, this can create an overall and wider spread change.
There are two major steps that have to be taken first to help to ensure renewable energy deployment. The first is the development of a plan that will change the shift of carbon-based energy dependence towards renewable energy. The second is the adoption of government policies to establish a clear and concise vision and purpose for a transparent and longer-term energy efficient system. This should minimally include incentive packages but should also include a streamlined concept of energy companies competing to offer renewable energy projects and the lowering of costs to the general consumer.
We may have come a long way since the first Earth Day on the topic of renewable energy, but we still have a long way to go to make sufficient changes in our habits and energy use.