• Views 124
  • Favorites
Photo by Peter Beukema via Unsplash

Database Provider


Katharine Hayhoe, Global Weirding, Public Broadcasting Service


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 28 seconds, CC

Regional Focus


Renewable Energy Is Way Too Expensive, Right?

Ask a Question

  • This video refutes common arguments against and misconceptions about renewable energy resources and argues that renewable energy can be cheaper, more accessible, and efficient as economies grow and develop.
  • Other concerns such as wildlife mortality from wind turbines and renewable energy storage are addressed as well.
Teaching Tips


  • The video strikes a nice balance of using scientific, social, and economic arguments for promoting the use of renewable energy resources.
  • The narrator's tone is playful and inviting, allowing learners to approach this complicated topic in a relaxed manor.
  • The video demonstrates an effective way of addressing arguments against climate action.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Learners should have a basic understanding of the most common renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar power.
  • Learners should know the negative effects of fossil fuel usage.


  • Consider having students dig into the availability of fossil fuel resources by country (from the video) and use this evidence to discuss the need for renewable energy around the world.
  • Find additional resources related to renewable energy investment in the developing world to help students understand the current state of this industry.
  • Ask students if they thought the narrator effectively argued her position on the benefits of renewable energy sources.
  • As an extension, students could create posters or infographics demonstrating the benefits of using renewable energy sources compared to fossil fuels.
Scientist Notes
This video resource from PBS debunks the argument that renewable energy is too expensive to be implemented in developing countries. The video makes it clear that adopting clean energy technologies is a moral necessity and that claiming developing countries should be dependent on fossil fuels is patronizing. The narrator stresses that many renewable energy sources are more economical than fossil fuels today and that with increased adoption and economies of scale, this should increase in the future. Multiple common objections to renewable energy are addressed, such as bird strikes and energy storage. The only issue with this video is that data cited is not sourced so that it can be fact checked. Overall, this resource presents a clear and compelling argument for renewable energy adoption worldwide and is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.II.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • SL.II.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, qualitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review
    • It's really cool that there's a resource that focuses on the economic aspect of green energy! Super important stuff! 👍👍
      10 months ago