In today’s society many people want to help the environment, and one of the main ways individuals believe they can pursue this goal is by using green energy. In the eyes of many individuals, green energy is viewed as safe for the environment because of the perception they do not pollute the environment like coal or other fossil fuels. However, perception does not always match up with reality.
Despite popular beliefs about green energy, there is a real cost in using these alternative forms of energy. Solar and wind power both have serious drawbacks that are often overlooked. Both wind and solar energy are highly dependent on the use of rare-earth metals in their construction. Many of these rare-earth metals come from China, where they are mined with little regard for the environment. While solar and wind energy may generate clean power in the United States, a high price has been paid in China where the materials and generators are produced.
Another issue with wind and solar energy is their cost, and the small amount of energy they produce for their cost. Right now the United States government is giving huge subsidies to green energy producers. The average subsidy for wind energy is $23.37 per megawatt-hour, and the average subsidy for solar power $24.34 per megawatt-hour. Coal, on the other hand, only receives a subsidy of around $0.44 per megawatt-hour, a staggering 53 to 55 times less than wind or solar energy. Despite the subsidies from the United States government, wind and solar energy still only account for about 3% of the power generated in the United States.
Green energy may sound like a fantastic idea on paper, but that is not the case. When the facts are checked and the numbers are crunched, it becomes apparent the cost of green energy is much higher than many people have been led to believe.