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Energy expert puts common myth about clean energy to bed: 'All energy production comes at a cost'

"It's just better."

"It's just better."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Many who push back against the benefits of renewable resources buy into the common financial myth that clean energy is too expensive and not a cost-effective solution for individuals and households. Some also argue that investing in clean infrastructure is just as damaging to our environment.

However, TikToker Sarah (@electrify_this) posted a video explaining why it doesn't make sense to highlight the latter issue when dirty energy sources require similar costs and do immense harm to our planet. As she wrote in the caption: "All energy production comes at a cost. We just need to pick the least worst for [the] environment."

@electrify_this All energy production comes at a cost. We just need to pick the least worst for tge environment. . . #electrification #renewable #renewableenergy #climatechange #electrification #decarbonisation ♬ original sound - Electrify_this

The video began with the expert addressing the frequent comments of whataboutism she receives from people questioning the costs of solar panels, batteries, wind turbines, and other sustainable energy sources. She said she believes people should be just as concerned about coal plants, gas plants, and nuclear power plants.

"It all costs something; there are resources that go into them to make them. But here's the difference: With a coal plant or gas plant, you're having to always be putting something, shoveling something into it to fuel it, and then burning that has an effect, a damaging effect on the environment over the course, the entire life, building it, burning stuff, and getting rid of it at the end," she explained. "It all comes at a cost the entire time it exists. … Same with a nuclear power station, massive resources to build it, and then there's nuclear waste."

She further detailed that clean energy sources don't bring the same concerns.

"But with renewables, that's not the case. The only cost to the environment is in its production, making it, putting it in place, and then its disposal, which hopefully it would be recycled, and we'll have a circular economy, and we won't need to dig up as many resources and minerals because we'd be reusing them at the end of those batteries' lives and etcetera," she said.

In fact, one facility in Tennessee is doing just that, remanufacturing solar panels and batteries that can be salvaged and recycling the others. Meanwhile, a major wind farm in Poland is using recycled steel for its towers. 

There have also been recent efforts to make clean energy more affordable. The cost of solar power installation has dropped significantly over the past decade, making it much more accessible to a wider range of people. Also, investments in clean energy are on the rise, which is a strong indicator of its growing affordability and profitability.

The TikToker ended her video by making it clear that renewable resources are much better for our planet in the long term. 

"When it's actually running and doing its thing, producing energy, there's no cost to the environment. No cost," she said. "Solar panels sit there, do their thing. Batteries sit there, do their thing. Wind turbines do their thing. It has no cost to the environment. … It is the least damaging form of energy production. It's just better."

Many of the commenters agreed, with one person aptly identifying one issue that holds some back from taking small steps toward meaningful, eco-friendly changes that also lead to a healthier future.

"Perfect is the enemy of better," they said. 

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