Solar panels and wind turbines are known to produce less carbon dioxide than power plants that burn fossil fuel. Less carbon dioxide is not the only benefit produced by these technologies and they need to be noticed. Switching to solar panels and wind turbines can create a vast amount of new high paying jobs and will be able to save an enormous amount of freshwater. Out of the 3% of freshwater on earth only 0.8% is used for human use. So, although water is one of the most essential elements to keep us alive, it is also a commodity. In the U.S., 45.3% of the water withdrawn from lakes, rivers and underground aquifers is used to cool off thermoelectric power plants: nuclear reactors and plants that burn fossil fuels. This percentage far exceeds human consumption and irrigation rates. The immense volume is a quietly thieving away at our limited resources and quickly threatening the U.S. Making matters worse, the power sources that have high water withdrawal per MWh are also the largest suppliers of electricity.

Knowing this, conversing freshwater should clearly be of upmost importance. The country needs to shift towards renewable energy as the populations continues to grow. This change will make more freshwater available for food production and human consumption. Along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this change will also create far more jobs than expanding fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants combined. Solar jobs pay about the same median salary as fossil fuel jobs. Wind jobs, unfortunately, pay less on average because nuclear power plants hold more risk and are more technical.

Aside from creating more jobs, the cost of energy must also be levelized due to the fact that fuel and operating expenses are very high for fossil and nuclear plants and are very low for solar and wind. Switching to renewable energy can help the world conserve water for personal use, sanitation and food production, and help improve living standards with good jobs. Although this change requires a lot of work the long term affect it will have is much more beneficial for our planet.

 

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