Renewable energy refers to energy that comes from natural resources. This may be from sunlight, geothermal heat, rain, wind among other sources. These sources are termed as renewable because they can be naturally replenished. In the last decade, the United States of America has had significant progress in development of policies favorable to renewable energy. This is particularly so at the state level where currently 26 states have adopted mandatory renewable portfolio standards. Six other states have adopted non-binding renewable energy goals (Dale, 2007). More reliance on renewable energy will make the United States of America less dependent on energy sources from other countries.
According to Lovins (2011), most of the American citizenry depends on non-renewable energy, for instance oil. The production of oil is very expensive, and the oil deposits that the US government has are not sufficient to meet the country's demand. This forces the government to depend on oil from other countries; oil that is sold at exorbitant prices. The US has also been accused of invading other countries with an objective of accessing more oil deposits (Turcotte & Schubert, 2002). For instance, the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US has been criticized as a pursuit for oil, rather than for the said weapons of mass destruction. In my view, the US government can move away from these oil pursuits by developing its renewable energy industry.
One good thing with renewable energy is, of course, its characteristic of being renewable. This means that, provided the production facilities are there, there will be no time when the country will lack energy. Renewable energy is very sustainable and may not run out. Unlike oil, that needs new deposits every time, renewable energy, for instance, wind, will forever be there.
Production of renewable energy requires less maintenance when compared to the traditional fossil generators (Turcotte & Schubert, 2002). This arises from the reason that its fuel comes from naturally available resources that do not require high operational costs. For example, the production of nuclear energy is very expensive when compared with the production of wind energy. The processes involved in the two energy sources are very different; nuclear energy generators are very sophisticated, while wind energy generators are simple and cheap. This is saying that the US government will save a lot of money when it pursues the production of renewable energy.
Another important point to note is that renewable energy has very little waste products. There is no production of carbon dioxide, chemical pollutants, or other dangerous products. One reason why production of nuclear energy is discouraged is the dilemma of where to dispose its waste products. The nuclear waste products are very dangerous, in addition to being non-biodegradable. Oil energy has been blamed for increasing the amount of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, thus threatening the depletion of the ozone layer. Focusing on renewable energy will ensure reduction of these impacts on the environment.
Adoption of renewable energy projects will lead to economic growth of our country. This is because many regional areas will be engaged in the renewable energy projects, thus leading to increased activity in such areas. This may increase use of local services and encourage tourism - activities that will have a direct impact on the economy of the areas.
The disadvantage of renewable energy is its production of less electricity quantities as compared to the non-renewable energy sources (International Energy Agency, 2008). It is difficult to use renewable energy to produce the same energy produced by the traditional fossil fuel generators. A condition here could be that the population should reduce the quantity of electricity it uses. However, a counter argument could be that the country will use the money saved from the use of renewable energy to build more renewable energy facilities.
Thus, the United States of America should stop looking for energy solutions in other countries. What it requires is right there: a more reliance on renewable energy will make the US self -sufficient, and less dependent on energy sources from other countries.