Focusing on energy savings and making environmentally conscious decisions in the present day makes for a more “green” environment tomorrow. But sometimes, we don’t necessarily see how our efforts impact the world we live in immediately, so how do we know if what we are doing is working? And what kinds of changes can we expect to see years down the road? Lucky for us, environmentalists and researchers can help us understand the future of our planet and how much our investments will pay off in the future.
First of all, just how much are we investing (by year 2040)?
Well, let’s break it down by energy sources.
- Onshore wind renewable electricity generation is projected to cost $2.4 trillion
- Hydro-electric renewable energy will cost about $1.1 trillion
- Offshore wind renewable electricity generation will round out at $464 billion
- Small-scale photovoltaics is expected to cost $2.2 trillion
- Large-scale photovoltaic projects will eventually cost around $1.5 trillion
Needless to say, we are sparing no expense.
What will become of those large investments?
While it’s hard to say exactly how much our planet will prosper from how much effort we put into preserving energy, we can make estimations based on past successes. For example, based on an article released by the Union of Concerned Scientists, in 2012, renewable sources have the potential to provide about 482,247 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. As a reference, this is 188 times the amount of electricity used around the United States annually. Basically, this means that if we continue to use resources such as water, air, sun, and earth, there will theoretically be a vast and insurmountable energy supply.
Who is involved, and what can you do to help make these projections a reality?
Well, according to this infographic provided by FuelFighter, a majority of the world has bought into the vision. Only a few parts of Asia, South America, and Africa will lack in efforts in 2040. But there are few local things that can be done on a daily basis to help make sure the efforts have a positive outcome.
- Use eco-friendly light bulbs
- Use public transportation, or better yet, invest in a bike
- Recycle, recycle, recycle!
- Use green power such as solar panels
- Turn off all electrical appliances when not in use
- Buy rechargeable batteries
- Open windows rather than using air-conditioning
- Light a fire instead of using heat in the winter