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Renewable Energy Initiatives Continue Their Meteoric Rise

Across the world, support for renewable energy has swelled over the past decade. A variety of methods have been developed to gather energy from resources which are naturally replenished on a regular basis – from harnessing the wind and tides, through utilizing geothermal heat.

10 years ago, renewable energy was still evolving, and at that point in time, only 15 countries had developed policies. These policies were limited to first-world, technologically advanced countries who had the money to expend. Now, in 2014, over 140 countries have a renewable energy target in place, with 138 of them having solidified energy support policies.

Europe is leading the way – almost every country in the European Union has a plan set forth, and they have a collective target of producing at least 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. They’re making great strides with it too. In 2009, they had already hit 11.7% of their energy production from renewable sources. Some countries in the EU are even striving towards deriving all of their energy from renewable sources – Scotland has that aim, while Germany is already well on their way, with over 20 million residents living in regions where the energy is from renewable sources.

The United States is staying with the pack as far as developing our policies. We currently have the second most capacity for renewable power across the planet, with only China ahead of us. We’ve got quite a ways to go if we want to reach the point that Denmark, currently the world leader, has reached in terms of population served by renewable energy. How advanced are they? In 2013, wind power alone accounted for 33.2% of the energy used in Denmark.

Renewable energy is a permanent part of our infrastructure, and it is a field that will continue to develop as time goes by. As more nations strive to produce the majority of their energy from renewable sources instead of relying upon gas, coal, and other non-renewable sources, the market will continue to grow. Continuing the shift to renewable energy will make energy cheaper, more reliable, and will help to reduce our impact on our environment.

Fracking and Manufacturing

As a population, we are incredibly dependent on oil and natural gas resources to power our vehicles, factories, and plenty of products and services that we interact with on a daily basis. Fracking is a method that can be used to effectively extract oil and natural gas from well sites across the country. In the U.S. alone, hydraulic fracking is used in over 35,000 wells today and there have been approximately one million hydraulic fracking wells since the practice began in the 1940s. Hydraulic fracking uses high-pressure fluids composed of water and a few chemicals to cause fissures in the ground. When a well is drilled and fissures are formed, natural resources such as oil and natural gas can freely flow to the surface.

Fracking is an attractive way of obtaining natural resources for energy because it cuts costs and raises the standard of living throughout the country. According to economists at IHS Inc., “hydraulic fracking will likely raise the average U.S. household income by $2,700 per year and create 1.2 million jobs by 2020.” Additionally, hydraulic fracking will have a positive impact on the amount of energy available. The energy boom and fracking services in the U.S. have caused an increase in the supply of natural gas and positioned the U.S. as a leading provider of natural gas, making this a relatively cheap energy source for our population.

As fracking and energy costs continue to play an important role in our country, manufacturing is also impacted. Companies that manufacturer goods and provide services most definitely use massive amounts of energy to manage their business and would likely prefer low energy costs. U.S. companies can now purchase less expensive energy without having to import it and paying a premium cost.

As technology and the energy requirements of our country continue to change, we are always looking for less expensive and readily available energy sources. Fracking is a great method that will allow us to continue to supply companies and businesses with energy at an affordable rate and have a widespread economic impact.