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Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Energy Sources

solar panels at ground level

Mankind needs to reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase the generation capacity for alternative energy sources on the planet because the changed weather conditions is already causing drought, floods, extremely high temperatures during the summer or extremely low temperatures during the winter.

The violent weather conditions on the entire planet and deadly tropical storms, and threatens to destroy the entire civilization if we don’t do something to reduce the level of air, water and soil pollution on the planet. This article aims to show you what are the advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources, to better understand why we have to use them as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.

Alternative Energy Definition

Alternative energy also known as renewable energy is the energy that is considered an alternative to fossil fuels.

Here we find the green energy sources, which are also renewable and are produced by the sun, wind, hydro, geothermal heat, bio, waves, rain, waste and other sources of clean power.

Renewable energy sources have appeared as a response to the conventional energy sources represented by fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas because during combustion, these fuels are releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere, which leads to global warming and climate change.

Advantages of Alternative Energy Sources

There are many advantages produced by alternative energy when we replace fossil fuels with cleaner sources of power.

1. Is A Renewable Energy Source That Never Runs Out

Fossil fuels are considered non-renewable energy sources because they are finite sources of energy due to the fact that they will run out in just a few decades.

Alternative energy is considered a renewable energy source because provides a sustainable and stable supply of clean energy in the long term.

2. Is Friendly With The Environment

Alternative energy is good for the environment because renewable energy sources like wind and solar produce zero emissions.

Biomass (wood chips) is another renewable energy source (trees regrow) that produces very low emissions (lower than natural gas).

3. Is A Reliable Source Of Power

Alternative energy is considered a reliable source of energy because the technological development in recent years allowed these clean energy sources to enter more and more into the global energy mix.

However, the renewables represent today a very small percent in the world energy mix, but the continuous technological development of the human society will allow the alternative energy sources that are less reliable today (solar and wind) to consolidate their position in the energy mix of every country up to the level when the world energy mix will consist only of renewable energy sources.

4. Can Create Energy Independence

Alternative energy sources are the solution to getting energy independence for every household.
In the society of the future every household will produce and store its own clean electricity produced by the renewable energy sources available in that place.

Places with plenty of sunshine will harness the power of the Sun to produce clean electricity that will power the house during the day, but also during the night with the help of advanced energy storage devices.

Disadvantages of Alternative Energy Sources

Alternative energy has a few disadvantages mainly represented by the low-carbon energy sources, which are not entirely clean.

1. Renewable Energy Has Its Limits

The today’s technology used to generate renewable energy (clean electricity) has its limits.

Wind turbines harness the power of the wind.

Wind turbines harness the power of the wind.

The low efficiency specific to these technologies creates a problem with the feasibility of such projects because the investment may return in a long period of time, which in some cases does not justify the initial investment.

2. A Very High Cost

Sadly, even if alternative energy sources have appeared to replace the fossil fuels that pollute, the green technology of today is still expensive for most of the population.

Without governmental incentives and subsidies that support the development of the green energy sector in the world, many green projects developed today would be remained only on paper.

3. Is Not A Constant Source Of Energy

If we take each alternative energy source to see if it represents a constant source of clean energy, we see that some of them rely pretty much on weather conditions.

Solar panels do not produce electricity during the night, and produce less electricity during winter or during cloudy and rainy days.

Wind turbines produce clean electricity during the day and also during the night, but only if there is wind.

Wood chips that are burned as biomass to produce low emission electricity requires huge quantities of wood (to produce wood chips) every year.

Biomass is a reliable source of power

However, the latest energy storage devices available on the market allow us to store the clean electricity produced by our solar panels or wind turbine for a later use (during cloudy days, during the night or during days without wind).

Also, if we want to have a continuous source of clean power at our disposal, we need to combine solar and wind power because if there is no sun, it means that is night, or it is a cloudy day, so there are plenty of chances for a good wind that can be used by our small turbine to produce clean electricity.

The Sun is a constant source of clean power.

The Sun is a great source of clean power.

The latest battery created by Tesla for the home and small business (Powerwall 2) can store now 14 kWh of clean energy and deliver an output of 7 kW.

At utility scale, Tesla provides now an improved battery called Powerpack 2.

4. Is Less Developed Compared to the Potential Of Power Generation From Fossil Fuels

Today, is very difficult to generate enough clean energy to power a medium town, a big town or even an entire country.

Renewable energy is produced in small scale compared with the global demand of energy, and to increase the generation capacity in the world up to a level which would count in the global energy mix, we need to use large surfaces of land (which can be used for agriculture) and huge financial efforts of the governments around the world.


Green technology needs to evolve in the future to replace the dirty energy produced by fossil fuels.
An improved efficiency of the devices used daily, would decrease the power consumption on the planet and would make renewable energy more efficient.

The further decrease in costs for installing solar PV systems and wind turbines would facilitate the creation of new green projects around the world that would increase the generation capacity and the presence of the alternative energy in the world’s energy mix.

Wood chips used as biomass represent a good source of renewable energy with low emissions.

Wood chips used as biomass represent a good source of renewable energy with low emissions.

Article written by:

I write about the renewable energy sector, electric cars and climate change issues. I love nature and good food, so I travel all over the world to see new places and meet new people. Magda Savin


  1. Becks Asaba

    Thanks for explaining me the advantages of the alternative energy sources.

  2. Designatude

    Hi Magda –

    I appreciate the article and believe and experience climate change every day. I am out in the Portland area in the Pacific Northwest, and every year seems to be warmer, drier, and with wild fires out of control.

    We are progressive city and green energy is spreading throughout. Thanks to websites and great articles like yours, the word will spread and the awareness level of the general population will increase!

    Bookmarking and sharing this…thank you for sharing my friend!


  3. Paul

    If you ask me, I would choose solar as an alternative power source because solar is free, it only needs a huge power bank to make it a more reliable source of energy.

  4. Pedro Odops

    Environmental benefits of alternative energy.

    Low or zero carbon emission is without a doubt the main advantage of alternative energy over fossil fuels.

    Solar and wind power virtually produces clean electricity and zero carbon emissions, while wood is providing a sustainable, environmentally friendly and inexpensive way for heating the house or the business, of course under condition that the firewood is sourced in sustainable managed forests and burned in an efficient mode.

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