Ever feel a twinge of guilt when you think about the impact your electricity use is having on the planet? If so, it might be time to consider going green and switching to a new electricity provider who can offer you access to sustainable sources of power. There are many environmental benefits of renewable energy, and as customers across Australia develop a better understanding of how our reliance on fossil fuels is negatively impacting the country, it’s likely that we’ll see green power rise to prominence in years to come.

Still not convinced that renewable energy is right for you? Read on to get further insight into the environmental benefits of renewable energy and find out how sustainable electricity generation can minimise pollution, preserve our delicate ecosystems and positively shape Australia’s electricity industry.

What are greenhouse gases?

You’ve probably heard the term ‘greenhouse gases’ thrown around a lot, but what exactly are these mysterious substances and why are they so bad for the planet? Well, as the Parliament of Australia explained, greenhouse gases are gases that exist in the atmosphere and trap heat.

While most of these gases exist naturally, over the last 100 years, the global dependency on carbon-containing fuels such as coal, methane and oil products has resulted in an increase of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Consequently, temperatures have risen, and now governments around the world are looking at ways they can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to create a sustainable planet for the future.

Why is renewable energy important?

Given how much we rely on electricity for just about every aspect of our day-to-day lives, perhaps it isn’t too surprising that the energy industry is by far the biggest culprit when it comes to carbon emissions. According to the Parliament of Australia, stationary energy (e.g. electricity generation, domestic heating, fuels consumed in the commercial sectors) accounts for 51.4 percent of the country’s total carbon emissions. This amount was followed by agriculture (15.2 percent), industrial processes (5.4 per cent), land use change and forestry (4.6 percent) and waste (2.5 percent).

Considering how much carbon dioxide the energy sector is responsible for, any widespread changes could have a noticeable effect on Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

What are the environmental advantages of renewable energy?

Establishes a sustainable future 

The core benefit of renewable energy is that, by definition, it is sustainable for the foreseeable future. While there is a finite amount of fossil fuels buried beneath the Earth’s surface, there is near limitless solar, wind and ocean energy waiting to be harnessed.

This forward-thinking approach ensures there will always be an abundance of renewable energy and that people of the future will be able to enjoy a clean, green planet for generations to come.

Reduce the risk of extreme weather conditions 

As touched on, greenhouse gas emissions have played a significant role in the rising temperatures that are affecting the globe. Due to this climate change, countries around the world have experienced an increase in extreme weather events. For example, a comprehensive report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that the frequency of heat waves in Australia has likely risen due to human influence over the last 50 years.

Widespread adoption of renewable energy could help slow the onset of climate change and reduce Australia’s exposure to heat waves and other extreme weather phenomena.

Better for people’s health 

A side effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimising pollution is the positive impact it has on people’s health. Electricity generated from conventional sources of power can be incredibly unhealthy, with The Australia Institute (TAI) explaining that coal combustion is linked to heart and lung disease, respiratory issues, heart arrhythmia and other harmful conditions.

Most forms of renewable energy produce very few emissions, making them substantially better for the general health of people across Australia.

While there are many environmental advantages of renewable energy, it’s worth keeping in mind that the benefits aren’t only ecological in nature. As technology continues to improve and the need for sustainable electricity becomes more defined, renewable power will continue to distinguish itself as an economically smart choice.