Green energy funding has been a priority for many governments in the Western world in recent years, with the knowledge that fossil fuel supplies will not last forever. Even if they were to last for many more years, there are environmental and safety concerns with this type of energy, and with the nuclear fission energy which is often being generated as an alternative. Unless a significant investment is made in the development of renewable energy, the standard of life in the Western world will have to drop as fuel shortages will begin to take effect.
Much of the investment capital which has been generated for the renewable energy industry has been put into the solar power sector. This sector is the best known of all of the different types of renewable energy, and it has the potential to solve the world energy crisis without any other technology being added to it. In practice, this will not happen, and there will be a multi-faceted approach to solving the energy crisis. Solar power will play a significant role in this, and funding will continue for both large scale developments and individual home solar constructions.
Many countries are also investing heavily in wind power, which also has the potential to generate all of the energy which a major country would need. Many of the northern countries of Europe have extensive coastlines, with high winds a large percentage of the time. These locations are ideal for offshore wind farms, and it is imperative that investment continues into developing this technology. Wind power technology needs to be developed onshore, where the siting of wind farms is invariably controversial. What needs to be understood is that wind turbines have an expected lifespan of around twenty five years, so if a landscape is disfigured it can always be rectified later.
Most green energy funding has to concentrate in these two key areas, because these are the areas which can decide whether or not a country has enough renewable energy to survive. As well as funding large scale operations, much can be gained by offering grants to people who have solar photovoltaic panels installed on their own roof. When the sunlight hits a roof, the energy is wasted unless there is a solar panel to take advantage of it. Even though solar power may not yet be able to satisfy all of the energy needs of a household, it can certainly go a long way towards it.
It will also benefit the overall trend towards renewable energy if investment is made in local projects which are possible due to certain terrain factors being present. These include areas next to a river with strong currents, which can be used to drive a turbine and generate electricity. If these projects can be given the funding to allow construction to take place, they can then run at a low operating expense from then on. Most of these local projects are cost effective, and there is minimal maintenance involved in keeping them running.
The greatest barrier to green energy funding is of course the economic climate, and the fact that budgets have had to be reduced across the entire government expenditure. This may not work out to be a negative factor in the end, because a delay in funding can mean that more advance technology is available when the project is finally backed. This may happen with solar power, now that new panels have been developed which capture twice as much sunlight as those which are currently in use. There is every chance that these panels can be the subject of new green energy funding.