Renewable energy has been seen as the best alternative source of energy given the rising cost and scarcity of non- renewable sources.
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According to Craddock (2008, p. 23), although some people believe that the development of renewable sources of energy is driven by the economic needs, the social force also plays an important role in increasing popularity of this form of energy.
The research by Kemp (2006, p. 37) shows that the social force behind the development of renewable sources of energy is even stronger than the economic one. In this paper, the social background of renewable energy development will be analyzed (Korkin, Krstić & Wells 2010, p. 76).
Green consumerism has gained great popularity in the West and many other countries around the world (Maczulak 2010, p. 78).
The recent destructive cyclones, earthquakes, and other natural disasters have made the society realize that there will be a time when the world will not be able to withstand pollution anymore (Linscott 2011, p. 35).
For this reason, the society has come to appreciate the use of eco-friendly energy that poses no threat to the environment. Most of those who engage in development and consumption of green energy do so because of their concern for the environment. This has helped in the development of renewable energy.
Change of consumer behaviour
According to Lund (2010, p. 63), there has been a shift in consumer behaviour over the past one decade. As the price for oil continues to soar, consumers have developed a different behavioural pattern that leans towards renewable sources of energy.
Consumers are always willing to pay a higher fare than normal when they board a bus that is driven on the alternative fuel. They get satisfaction from protecting the environment from excessive carbon emission.
Increasing quest for sustainable development
It has become a common knowledge that sustainable development can only be achieved if the environment is protected. As Da (2013, p. 34) says, our current developmental projects should not jeopardize development needs of the future generation.
Fossil fuel has played a major role in the pollution of the environment. The society believes that this condition can only be reversed with the help of renewable energy.
France, the United States, and the United Kingdom are some of the leading countries where the concept of sustainable development through the use of renewable energy has become very popular (Wengenmayr & Bührke 2013, p. 64). It is one of the forces that promote development of renewable energy.
Change of lifestyle
There has been a shift in consumer behaviour in the energy sector over the past one year. Most consumers now consider using renewable energy sources as a trendy lifestyle. This has been attributed to the role of media in promoting development and use of renewable energy (Todaro & Smith 2009, p. 42).
The youth find it motivating when the media gives them coverage on how they use or participate in the development of renewable energy.
People are embracing a new lifestyle where those who use fossil fuels are viewed as enemies of the environment, hence the enemies of the society. This has mounted a lot of pressure for many people to shift from using fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.
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The research by Chambers (2004, p. 86) shows that there has been a consistency in the world’s population. This means that the non- renewable sources of energy are consumed at a very high rate despite their decreasing volume.
The society has come to appreciate that the only way to have enough energy for all would be by developing renewable sources of energy.
New IT age
The new IT age has also helped in enhancing the development of renewable sources of energy. It has played a major role in promoting the use of renewable energy in the world.
Through information technology, experts in the field of renewable energy can share their ideas with the members of the society. The increased awareness makes it easy for the society to appreciate the need to go green (Fuchs & Masoum 2011, p. 46).
How Renewable Energy Contribute To Human Development
Human development index looks at a number of factors, some of which are closely related to renewable energy (Pimentel 2008, p. 66). Some of these factors are discussed below.
Renewable energy helps reduce carbon emission into the environment. This decreases the rate of pollution of the atmosphere (Kalogirou 2006, p. 32).
Cases of a poisonous atmosphere have been witnessed in Hong Kong as a result of pollution from machines that use fossil fuel energy. Using renewable sources of energy is the only way of having an environment that is free from pollution. This promotes health (Saunders & Chapman 2006, p. 78).
Renewable energy helps in enhancing education. Children at junior stages of life are made to appreciate the importance of renewable energy. Some of them who are creative can find ways of developing cost-effective sources of renewable energy. This helps in creating a practical learning environment (Black & Flarend 2010, p. 43).
Renewable energy offers a unique opportunity for men and women to put their skills into practice (Andexer 2008, p. 54). Some of the methods used to produce renewable energy are simple and can be done by people of both genders.
List of References
Andexer, T 2008, A Hypothetical Enhanced Renewable Energy Utilization (EREU) Model for Electricity Generation in Thailand, GRIN Verlag GmbH, München.
Black, B & Flarend, R 2010, Alternative energy, Greenwood, Santa Barbara.
Chambers, A 2004, Renewable energy in nontechnical language, PennWell Corp, Tulsa.
Craddock, D 2008, Renewable energy made easy: Free energy from solar, wind, hydropower, Cengage, New York.
Da, R 2013, Fundamentals of renewable energy processes, Academic Press, Oxford.
Fuchs, E & Masoum, M 2011, Power conversion of renewable energy systems, Springer, New York.
Kalogirou, S 2006, Artificial intelligence in energy and renewable energy systems, Nova Science Publishers, New York.
Kemp, W 2006, The renewable energy handbook: a guide to rural energy indepencence, off-grid sustainable living, Aztext Press, Tamworth.
Korkin, A, Krstić, P & Wells, J 2010, Nanotechnology for electronics, photonics, and renewable energy, Springer, New York.
Linscott, B 2011, Renewable energy: A common sense energy plan, Tate Pub & Enterprises, Mustang.
Lund, H 2010, Renewable energy systems: The choice and modeling of 100% renewable solutions, Academic, London.
Maczulak, A 2010, Renewable energy: Sources and methods, Facts on File, New York
Pimentel, D 2008, Biofuels, solar and wind as renewable energy systems: Benefits and risks, Springer, Dordrecht.
Saunders, N & Chapman, S 2006, Renewable energy, Raintree, New York.
Todaro, M & Smith, S 2009, Economic development, Addison-Wesley, Harlow.
Wengenmayr, R & Bührke, T 2013, Renewable energy: Sustainable concepts for the energy change, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim.