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Renewable Sources Of Energy sample essay

During the 1970s, energy conservation was a popular idea—the energy “crisis” forced governments to encourage the public to use energy wisely, to become less wasteful and to think about energy consumption. Government programs emerged, research into alternative energy sources was financed and individuals tried to make a difference. This will look at the advantages of renewable energies rather than what has been submitted so far. Introduction The utilization of renewable energy is no longer new to man because a century ago, wood already supplied more than 90 percent of man’s energy needs.

However, because of the convenience and low prices of fossil fuels, the use of wood no longer became popular. The consumption from these sources summed up to . 8 quads (quadrillion Btu) in 2007, or about 7 percent of the total energy utilized nationwide. Somehow though, with the immediate crisis over, (even though longer term crises, such as global warming, were becoming more apparent) all that changed in the 1980s. Government spending on alternative energy was slowly eroded, conservation programs started to drop out of sight and, at the same time, spending on massive oil development projects continued to grow.

As the 1970s “crisis” showed, energy consumption is directly related to perceived energy availability and relatively low costs. As long as people believe that they have an endless supply, and as long as they ignore the environment when counting the cost of that energy supply, people are living (albeit comfortably) under a delusion—a delusion that is the direct cause of major environment degradation. Energy Options It is said that more than half of the renewable energy goes to producing electricity. The next one that is used after this is the production of heat and steam that originated for industrial purposes.

Therefore, there are also some kinds of renewable fuels that are also used in transportation. When renewable energy is used, the consequence is a reduction on the demand for fossil fuels. It is a fact that unlike the fossil fuels, the non-biomass forms of renewable sources such as geothermal, wind, solar and hydropower do not directly emit greenhouse gases. The production and use of renewable fuels has increasingly been more of use in the past years because of the higher prices for oil and natural gas. There are also several incentives from the State and Federal Government such as the Energy Policy Acts of 2002 and 2005.

Thus, the use of the renewable fuels is likely to grow in the next few years, even as people rely on the non-renewable fuels in order to meet most of the energy needs. Renewable energy At present, only a small proportion of the world’s energy needs come from alternative and renewable energy sources. These exist in many forms including Solar Thermal, Photovoltaics, Wind, Hydro, Tidal/Wave and Bioenergy (including Biomass, Biogas and Biofuels). As with fossil fuels the sun’s energy is the ultimate source of these energies. The dominant presence of non-renewable forms of energy generation, production, and promotion are very disappointing.

With the increasing depletion of our non-renewable resources, as well as the growing human population, our levels of consumption, and the pollution that accompanies our increased industrialization, the continuing expansion of our fossil-fuel based economy will ultimately lead us to self destruction (Brown). Utilities and independent power producers are researching ways to expand the use of renewable resources. The two most important benefits of renewable resources are their long-term availability and non-association with global climate change and minimal atmospheric impact (PSC, n. p. ). Energy from the weather is free from nature.

If we are able to harness it in increasing quantities to help contribute to the world’s energy needs we can help the environment. One major advantage with the use of renewable energy is sustainable and thus, will never run out. Even more importantly, renewable energy produces little or no waste products such as carbon dioxide or other chemical pollutants. Renewable energy projects can also bring economic benefits to many regional areas, as most projects are located away from large urban centers and suburbs of the capital cities. These economic benefits may be from the increased use of local services as well as tourism (Solarschools.

net, n. p. ). The advantages of renewable resources include: Low or no fuel cost (except for some biomass); short lead-times for planning and construction; small, modular plant sizes; reduced environmental effects compared to fossil fuels; non-depletable resource base; potentially more job intensive; favorable public opinion; and distributed generation potential. The implementation of technology to utilize these renewable resources efficiently and their consumption will accomplish three goals critical to human societies achieving sustainability.

First, their use will result in the reduction of polluting emissions into the atmosphere, thus improving air quality and limiting the greenhouse effect. Furthermore, the increased use of renewable resources will lessen the overall amount of environmental degradation attributed to the use of nonrenewable resources. Lastly, the use of potential energy sources aids in achieving a sustainable lifestyle because of their long-term usability. Their use adopts a philosophy of utilizing the resources sustained within natural systems rather than consuming those that take thousands of lifetimes to regenerate (Armstrong).

The primary long-term benefit of renewable technologies is that once a renewable project has been constructed, and fully depredated, it becomes a permanent and low cost component of a country’s energy system. In effect, the construction of a renewable energy project provides future generations a low cost, energy facility that produces power with little or no environmental degradation (Armstrong). Africa today continues to perform consistently and positively in terms of its economic growth rates. There are reports that the energy supply is now hampering the overall growth prospects of the continent.

But what is positive here is the fact that Africa possesses vast renewable and non-renewable energy resources that are unexploited. Evidence of this is the fact that only 7 percent of hydroelectricity and less than 1 percent of the potentials in geothermal energy has been exploited. Thus, the energy challenge can be given solutions because of the available renewable energy resources in Africa. Some questions that need to be addressed along these lines are on the emerging renewable energy market in Africa as well as the effectivity of cost on the renewable energy technologies.

It is said that this renewable energy will already be able to meet at least half of Southern Africa’s energy needs at a lower cost than the current ‘business as usual,’ Thus, this will be an combination of coal-based supply options. ’ (Socioligo’s Africa). According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States will bury or burn the following materials in the following years: 11. 4 million tons of newsprint, 16. 2 million tons of corrugated cardboard, 10. 8 million tons of glass packaging, 8. 2 million tons of plastic packaging, and 1. 5 million tons of aluminum packaging.

If those 48. 1 million tons were recycled instead, the equivalent of 10. 1 billion gallons of gasoline would be saved. That is enough gasoline to power 15. 4 million cars for one year (at 18 mpg and 12,000 miles driven per year). Additionally, the use of recycled materials results in the reduction of water use, water pollution, air pollution, and energy consumption. The federal and state governments can have significant influence on the attractiveness of renewable resources by providing tax advantages for owners of renewable systems (U. S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Another company has taken the issue on renewable fuel more seriously. Google has announced that it is poised to develop electricity from the renewable energy sources that will be cheaper than the one that comes from coal. This move known as RE Brown, T. Renewable Resources for the 21st Century”.

Retrieved Jan. 31, 2009 at: http://www. arch. wsu. edu/gg/rr-tb. html Google’s Goal: Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal. (2007). http://www. rushprnews. com/2007/11/27/googles-goal-renewable-energy-cheaper-than-coal/ Renewable Energy Resources. Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. Retrieved Jan. 31, 2009 http://psc. wi. gov/consumer/electric/cnstrenv/renewabl. pdf#search=’advantages%20renewable%20resources’ Renewable Energy. Retrieved January 31, 2009 at: http://www. eia. doe. gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/renewable/renewable. html Socioligo’s Africa. Retrieved January 31, 2009 at: http://sociolingo. wordpress.

com/category/environment/african-environment/african-power-generation/african-renewable-energy/ Solarschools. net. Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Energy. Grassroots Marketing Alliance. 2003. Retrieved Jan. 31, 2009 at: http://www. solarschools. net/ed_resources/renewablecompare. aspx The Living Environment. Retrieved Jan. 31, 2009 at: http://www. project2061. org/publications/sfaa/online/chap5. htm U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Renewable Resources. Retrieved Jan. 31, 2009 at: http://www. commerce. state. il. us/com/recycling/pdf/06_5naturalresources. pdf#search=’advantages%20renewable%20resources’

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