We often think of energy as a resource to be exploited for profit. At this point, energy costs more than food and clothes. But electricity is actually less valuable than some of the things it can buy for relatively little money.
For instance, energy costs only 1/7th as much as water and one-third as much as food in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration.
As a result, the cost of electricity — whether purchased from a utility or from a solar panel — also falls significantly when using renewable power sources. And that means electric vehicles (EVs) can use energy in ways that other alternatives don’t.
Electric cars take advantage of the solar energy available in the winter to save gasoline when they are running low. EVs can take their power from wind turbines when the wind is down and use it to charge batteries when the wind is strong.
Solar panels, on the other hand, don’t produce much energy of their own. Because of this, they are a very expensive power source. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the cost of solar panels was $6,000 per kilowatt-hour when he first started working on them, which is more than triple the cost of the cheapest EV battery.
And that’s not all. Since 2000, the cost of renewable power in the United States has fallen by more than 50% while the cost of fossil fuels has gone up by more than 10% because “renewable energy is cheap and will get even more cheap as we add more wind and solar,” Musk told Business Insider in August.
What about the rest of the world?
Renewable energy is also a big part of a growing movement to transition away from fossil fuels. There’s a massive amount of support for this energy transition now — there’s a new initiative called #NoVaping now on Twitter which encourages people to get rid of their vaping habit.
“It’s a very, very short-sighted idea to think consumers are going to buy electricity at a cost that is two-and-a-half times worse than their current electricity bills,” said Peter Rive, the director of Energy for the Future at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Rive said the price of renewable energy is also set based on the level of technology that the technology is expected to allow.
And there’s a long-term plan to transition the world’s energy systems away from fossil fuels as well.
Many countries like Germany
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