Alternative Energy

February 16, 2011
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Today we are using more and more fossil fuels each day and this huge consumption of these non-renewable resources needs to stop before it’s too late. In using these fossil fuels everyday like we do, we are going to run out of these resources eventually and the later generations of people are going to be in trouble in the near future. The entire world consumes around 85 million barrels of oil each day. The U.S takes responsibility for leading the list of oil consuming countries with over 20 million barrels every single day.

No other country even comes close to these numbers. So before anyone else, the US needs to construct a new game plan to save our future. Not only the fear of running out of fossil fuels is haunting us, our environment is in danger as well. Even if Global Warming means nothing to you, the environment is still affected greatly due to the pollutions that theses fuels emit into the atmosphere, our breathing air and our water. Scientists believe our climate is beginning to change due to the pollution in the air affecting the atmosphere. There’s no way to really prove this but I for one am definitely seeing changers in the weather in the last few years.

Animals are directly affected by the dumping of waste products and oil spills in the ocean. Oil is killing these animals and is poison to the whole ocean. Even when the oil from an oil spill seems to be cleared up, there are still horrible side effects that affect the ocean for years to come. The oil can still lurk underneath the surface of beaches and the sea bed where animals like to burrow. These sea creatures are food for other animals therefore they are affected also and the cycle continues for years. The killing of all these animals in the water is bigger than just the fact that animals are dying. This affects the ecosystem and the overall process in surviving as an animal. As bad as it is for animals, humans are affected too. The killing of the thousands of fish and crab is putting fisherman out of work because of the lack of animals. Therefore restaurants and grocery stores can’t provide this food and now there losing money too. It’s weird when you go into a restaurant and they tell you that they can’t serve a type of crab or fish due to the oil spills.

To prevent all of this we need types of energy that has little or no effect on the environment, and can be renewable so we don’t use these new resources up like the fossil fuels. The world is working on this now but obviously not fast enough. Renewable resources such as wind power and solar energy are probably going to be our main sources of energy. These to resources have absolutely no ill effects on the environment and are more economical to maintain. This means that we can use all of the energy that we want without harming the environment or ever fear of running out of these resources. We haven’t converted over to wind power and solar energy just yet because of the cost. Scientists are working on a means of making these more cost effective and efficient at the same time so the entire world can be less dependent on other sources. There is still a long time until this is accomplished that’s why it hasn’t happened yet. The maintenance required for these wind turbines costs a lot of money and sometimes they don’t even produce more energy than that of what they cost. The investors and companies who build these turbines have to pay people to work on them for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Part failure is one of the biggest cost problems. If a big part on the turbine goes out then they have to buy the parts overseas usually and pay a huge some of money buy it have it shipped and then installed. A crane is usually needed to replace these parts and the use of a crane can cost up to $70,000 just to get it there and use it, so reliability is one the biggest factors in wind power.

Solar energy is another great source of alternative energy that needs to be used more as well as wind energy. Solar energy is the use of photovoltaic cells that magnify the heat of the incoming sun by almost 5 times and directly converts this heat to electricity. The earth absorbs about 51% of the energy that reaches the earth, and we can use all of this energy to make electricity. There’s more than enough sunlight to meet the needs of the people and the earth so why not take advantage of just that? Solar energy gives off absolutely no pollution and requires no fossil fuels except for the making off these products, so you know they won’t harm the environment. Solar energy is quiet and can be very cost effective if your there is a lot of sun where you live and only can acquire energy during the day. Pollution also affects how much energy you can obtain. The biggest problem with solar energy is the initial cost of solar cell that can cost thousands of dollars and if you need more than one you have to pay a lot of money. This doesn’t always matter because over time the panels will pay for themselves and give you free energy. This is all depending on where you live, pollution levels, weather, and how many panels you have. If you’re off the power grid then solar energy is more cost effective than installing high voltage wires, so why not pick the smarter all around choice.

So overall I believe that these alternative sources’ of energy will be great for the future of the world. Once these are more cost efficient, then people will invest into these products, but until then it’s not going to happen for most people. By that time the technology will get so much more advanced and the costs will be down so fossil fuels wont be as important to us .Its going to be a long time before we look at fossil fuels as not being a necessity , but starting now will lessen that time.


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