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Is Renewable Energy Worth The Cost?

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By Jeffrey

Everyone talks about the greatness of renewable energy, but is it really worth it?

I mean seriously, does it really pay off or make a difference?

Of course the biggest question regarding renewable energy is, “Why does it cost so much?!”

Even the USA Today ran a story earlier in the week about many municipalities around the country are scaling back their green energy plans—and some returning to fossil fuels completely—because the cost of using renewable energy was too great.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, price is NOT the same as cost.

So yeah, renewable energy has a higher price (for now), but does it really have a higher cost too?

Last week I wrote a guest post for an up-and-coming household products blog, Alice.com.

The post was entitled Going Green Actually Keeps More Green in Your Wallet.

In that post, I talked a lot about the differences of price and total cost. For example, did you know you can SAVE about $800 by spending $50 on an LED light bulb (instead of $2 on an incandescent or even $6 on a CFL)?

The upfront price of the LED bulb is FAR greater than the incandescent or CFL, but it ends up costing you AND the environment much less in the long run.

Moving Beyond Price

The aforementioned USA Today article starts off like this:

“Going green isn’t easy, especially during a recession.

For two years, the city of Durango, Colo., bought electricity for all its government buildings from wind farms. The City Council ended that program this year, reverting to electricity derived from coal-burning plants and saving the cash-strapped city about $45,000.”

– USA Today

Ok, yes, you got me…the initial price of clean and renewable energy is greater than dirty, destructive, energy from fossil fuels.

But which one do you think has the higher cost?

Maybe these videos will help you decide…

How to Get Around the High Price of Renewable Energy

Yeah, so “they” tell us we’re in a recession. Hey, like John Mayer said,

“If you trust the television,
what you get is what you got.
When they own the information,
they can bend it all the want.”

– John Mayer

Lots of us are tight on money right now, but there are lots of ways to not let that stop you from switching to renewable energy.

Maybe the fatal error made by the city of Durango, Colorado’s (and many other average joe’s) was to try to switch to renewable energy in one fell swoop.

If you’ve been a reader of The Fun Times Guide to Living Green for any amount of time at all, you know we’re all about lots of people taking simple, small, and manageable steps towards living green.

Economics 101: If more of us would slowly begin buying renewable energy from our power companies, they would have to find ways to supply more. That’s called Supply and Demand.

The more they’re forced to supply, the faster clean energy harvesting technology would advance and refine, becoming more efficient.

Guess what that would do?


If you do have the financial means to bite the bullet on the high upfront price of solar panels for your roof, there are TONS of tax credits waiting for you on next year’s tax return.

What Say You?

So what do you think? Do you still think that renewable, green, and clean energy actually costs too much, or does it just have a fairly steep price tag for the moment?