It’s common knowledge that burning fossil fuels is bad for the environment. But even without the damaging effects of climate change, renewable energy still makes the most economic sense for our global future. Worldwide energy use isn’t going to decrease anytime soon–people like the way they live. With only a finite amount of fossil fuels on Earth, an inevitable increase in demand (and price) is on the horizon.

“The nation that develops renewable energy that is cheaper than and as reliable as fossil fuels will dominate the world economy.” according to Steven Cohen, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. “Reducing climate change and air pollution is a beneficial byproduct of this technology, but cheaper and more reliable energy is the main outcome.”

ClearWorld’s commitment to renewable energy starts on the streets. Existing infrastructure can be retrofit with flexible solar panels, which power LED streetlights. RetroFlex combines renewable energy and energy efficiency in one solution.

Though renewable energy will have a considerable positive effect on climate change, America shouldn’t be pursuing it for those reasons alone. Rather, the argument for investing in renewable energy should be that “it is the logical next phase of technological development,” Cohen says. “Looking back to old industries and old energy technologies for economic growth is a losing strategy. Looking forward to a new, cleaner, and sustainable energy system is a much better idea, no matter what you think about climate models and climate science.”