Why do people use renewable energy less often?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The major reason for our reliance on fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) is an economic one, along with the inertia of habit. Notions of fuel depletion and environmental damage due to burning of fossil fuels are quite recent – less than 50 hears old. So internal combustion engines, gas heaters,...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The major reason for our reliance on fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) is an economic one, along with the inertia of habit. Notions of fuel depletion and environmental damage due to burning of fossil fuels are quite recent – less than 50 hears old. So internal combustion engines, gas heaters, coal heat sources in industry, etc. have a strong grip on our economic system. (A current example: the downturn in oil prices has a negative effect on our general economy, despite savings to consumers, because so much profit is lost by fossil fuel distributors, drillers, shipping companies, pipeline manufacturing companies, etc.) Recent advances in such renewable power sources as wind generators and solar power have to compete against the status quo, which has so much economic inertia. Also, such long-range arguments as species depletion and icecap melting do not penetrate the crust of a free enterprise economic system. When and if alternate sources can compete in price with other fuels, some progress may be made.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team