In the United States, approximately five percent of energy consumption will come from renewable sources by 2020. That's an increase of nearly five percent compared to the 0.5 percent growth of total energy consumption. While the cost of renewable energy is not readily quantifiable, it will provide a substantial hedge against inflation. The current federal government has made incentives available for renewable energy investments, which can significantly reduce the overall cost of installing new renewable power generation facilities.
The cost of renewable energy development is directly related to the availability and quality of available resources. The quality and quantity of renewable resources can affect the energy input and effective capacity of a generation facility. For example, geothermal resource development requires the development of production equipment, which affects the cost per kilowatt-hour delivered to consumers. The government's policies should address the costs of developing renewable energy. In addition to developing resources, renewables require reinvestment in infrastructure and technology.
Wind power, which accounts for about six percent of U.S. generation, has become the most affordable energy source in many parts of the country. Wind turbines can be installed anywhere with high wind speeds, including offshore. Similarly, hydropower, which relies on fast moving water, is the largest renewable source in the United States. In addition, rivers have long been used for transportation and mechanical power. The cost of renewable energy is decreasing rapidly and is expected to be the largest source of energy by 2020.
Fossil fuels have a detrimental effect on the planet. Widespread use has increased global temperatures and caused more extreme weather events. It has also destroyed natural habitats. But recently, advances in capture and storage have made renewable energy increasingly affordable and accessible. This growth in the field of renewable energy production has made renewable sources an attractive option for those seeking a clean, green energy future. So, if you are concerned about climate change, make the switch to renewable energy today.
Biomass is a broadly defined term that refers to various types of biomass. Biomass is used to produce fuel, but biomass resources also include agricultural waste and landfill gas. Biomass resources are often highly variable, and individual treatment is required. A number of incentives are now available to promote the use of these renewable resources. They are expensive, but could also reduce the cost of fossil fuels. And they may be difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities to satisfy all your energy needs.
Renewable energy is also important for U.S. energy security. It can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy imports, as well as fossil fuel use. The use of fossil fuels is the largest contributor to U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. The International Energy Agency estimates that, by 2020, the world's total installed wind power capacity will reach 256 GW, or about 30 percent more than it did in 2001. But there's still much work to be done to make renewable energy even more widely available. This will also require significant improvements in the electricity grid.
The primary advantage of renewable technologies is that they can help reduce carbon emissions and ensure a stable electricity supply. Many renewable projects also generate pollution credits that can be exchanged for hard currency. And they are cost-competitive. In addition, renewable technologies are generally proven technologies that are available in the market and are not expensive. But while renewable energy technologies are not free from critics, they are still an important part of sustainable growth. If we do not use renewable energy, we risk the world's atmosphere and its resources.
Fossil fuels are produced by natural processes. But these processes are far too slow to replenish fossil fuels at the same rate as human consumption. Thus, sooner or later, our reserves of fossil fuels will run out. But there's a better way. Instead of relying on fossil fuels, we should use renewable energy to power our homes and businesses. And it's easy to do. There's also a lot of research going on.
Wind energy, for example, generates electricity by turning turbine blades. Wind energy requires the use of transition lines, which can add cost to the project. Solar energy is also used for electricity generation, although it's still not as widespread as wind energy. Solar panels, however, can produce electricity from sunlight and solar energy without the need for transition lines, and can even power calculators. One drawback of wind energy is the appearance of the turbines, which dominate the skyline and threaten wildlife.