The renewable energy industry recently experienced a profitable boom. Solar companies achieved their highest sales rates in 2020 compared to previous years. Renewable energy tax incentives neared their expiration as community members purchased and installed devices with financial aid.
Fortunately, President Biden extended the credit, promoting additional sales. As the industry expands, America gets one step closer to reaching carbon neutrality. With a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we can prevent climate change and improve global air quality.
Industry Expansion Challenges
As purchases and installations increased, researchers evaluated potential industry challenges. The current method of reducing our fossil fuel reliance comes from the increased production of clean energy. When we focus our efforts on construction rather than conservation, ecological issues arise.
Solar and wind power devices are relatively new inventions and lack protection against external harm. Inadequate technology and installation processes place the systems at risk for damage. When natural disasters occur, some devices fail to withstand the effects.
Disasters pose a severe potential threat to clean energy production and system longevity. Hurricane, wildfire, and drought frequencies increase as global temperature rises. Earth is experiencing record-breaking disasters deriving from pollution and atmospheric degradation.
The rising global surface temperatures increase storms’ intensities through heightened evaporation rates. High winds and flooding from storms increase the likelihood of damage to solar panels and wind turbines. They cause trees to fall on panels, damaging the surface and decreasing efficiency.
Increased evaporation rates also generate more wildfires. Fires cause wind turbine destruction, compromising both safety and production. When turbines experience damage, they create a pollution problem.
Turbine blades are non-recyclable products. When they no longer function properly, professionals cut them into small portions and transport them to a designated landfill. Then, workers place the blades in shallow graves, where they pollute the soil indefinitely.
We can limit the pollution generated by the renewable energy industry by optimizing our maintenance techniques. Before a disaster, owners can shelter and protect their systems, limiting destruction. Over time, we can enhance the production of clean energy by expanding device lifespans.
We can prepare renewable energy devices for disasters through storm prediction technology. Environmental engineers are developing efficient systems, combining hurricane tracking, weather data collection, and intensity evaluation technologies. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems may accurately calculate disasters, and the internet of things (IoT) can signal first responder actions.
Homeowners can use the data and install protection technology, limiting a system’s damage. They may stabilize their roof, protecting it from storm damage to secure their solar panels. Adding specialized hardware can increase a roof’s wind resistance.
Altering your gable roof into a hip version can also increase the protection of solar panels throughout hurricane season. Additionally, wind turbine owners can prevent wildfire damage by taking damage prevention measures. You may spray your turbine with a fire retardant before the fire reaches your region.
Using Renewable Energy as Disaster Relief
Many disaster-prone regions rely on generators for electricity backup. In some cases, they produce 2,000 kilowatts of electricity, powering response efforts. Communities can adopt solar power generators, increasing energy access during and following disasters.
After Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. began evaluating solar power generators as an efficient disaster relief resource. Some companies distributed 10-kilowatt renewably sourced generators after the storm, supporting medical devices and charging batteries. The reliable energy source produces electricity as long as the sun is shining, providing an optimal relief resource.
Other countries developed mini electric grids, using renewable energy for natural disaster assistance. The systems can filter the local water supply and charge electronic devices. Regions may additionally use the grid throughout the year, increasing residents’ access to clean power and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Targeting the Issue’s Origin
The recent increase in natural disasters stems from climate change. When we limit our contribution to rising global temperatures, we can prevent future hurricanes and wildfires. Society can reduce its carbon emissions by converting its energy reliance away from fossil fuels. In turn, these renewable energy sources require protection from natural and manmade disasters.