In the almost two decades since the 21st century began, there have been rapid advances in renewable energy technology as well as rising awareness of climate change and the impact fossil fuels have on the planet. So why, in this bold new age, are we still so dependent on fossil fuels? Why are we not using 100% renewable energy sources? The answer is complex.
Historically, coal and gas have been used for energy needs and they have become entrenched in the way of American life. While coal has dropped from being the source of 53% of our energy to 34% of our energy, it's still number one. Natural gas use has dropped as well, but both of these sources are cheaper than wind and solar and can be adjusted so that the supply will meet the demand. The same is not true for wind power or solar. Turning on the wind or the sun isn't an option and storage is expensive. While the complexity of the problem is one part, it's about money too. Up front costs for re-tooling and using renewable energy is considerable and so far, not many are ready to make that leap, financially or otherwise.