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Alternative Energy Source- Environmental Issues

Alternative Energy Source

Environmental Education Essay by Amaan Rushdi (WKU)
Credit: engineers journal

For many years, the world has heavily depended on the fossil fuels to meet its energy demand. However, in the past few decades, both individual and industrial energy demand has drastically increased. The high-energy demand has increased the rate of extraction and experts now believe that fossil fuel reserves will be depleted in few decade time. Although technology has enabled and enhanced the extraction of oil extraction from dangerous and risky areas, there is no guarantee that the high demand for oil can be met. Besides, environmentalists have also heavily criticized fossil and coal energy because it is responsible for high carbon emission into the atmosphere. The high amount of carbon has led to global warming and climate change, which has devastated the world. As a result, a debate on whether the available fossil reserve is enough to meet the growing energy demand has existed for some time (Patel 11). The following study argues that with the current rate of extraction of crude oil and its adverse impact on the environments, the world needs alternative sources of energy. Some of the suitable alternatives sources of energy include solar energy, the wind, nuclear energy, hydroelectricity and natural gas.
Solar and wind energy are suitable energy sources because of various reasons. Unlike crude oil, alternative energy sources such as solar and wind energy are clean, meaning that they do not harm the environment (Pimentel 13). Therefore, switching to such sources means that we will be able to protect our environment. Besides, solar and wind energy sources are readily available and renewable, thus can repeatedly be used without being depleted. Moreover, in the past few decades, the prices of crude oil have been skyrocketing. Since many countries depend on crude oil for transportation, the high prices have affected the prices of commodities and general standard of living. In this regard, investing money in alternative sources such as coal and wind energy will save money for the community (Patel 14).
Like crude oil, the proposed renewable energy sources have their shortcoming. For instance, both wind and solar energy are highly dependent on weather elements like the wind and the sun to produce the energy (Pimentel 135). Therefore, a change in wind speed or sun intensity affects the production leading to inconsistencies in energy supply. Again, it is very expensive to develop renewable energy stations. Ideally, both the research and manufacturing component required to set solar or wind energy station are very expensive. Another shortcoming of the proposed renewable energy source such that its main raw material- the wind and solar intensity - are not available in all areas. The implication of this is that one still needs to construct the infrastructure required to transport the energy, which adds the costs. Furthermore, the technology used in the production of solar energy is still new. Therefore, it is difficult to produce large quantities over a short period (Pimentel 155). Land availability is also another problem because a large solar panel has to be set up to produce the intended amount of energy.
Due to the associated pros and cons of the proposed alternatives energy, the best way forward will be to introduce alternatives energy in small phases. For instance, someone may be encouraged to install, the small solar panel in his or her home as an alternative source of energy. This will help to reduce the dependence on the non-renewable and environmental harmful crude oil while cautioning the community from some of the cons of alternative energy such as high cost and inconsistency in supply (Patel 20).
It is conclusive that fossil fuels are non-renewable, harmful to the environment, and are becoming expensive and should pave the way for the clean and readily available energy source such as solar and wind energy. For this case, the best alternative sources of energy are solar and the wind although have their share of shortcomings and implementation must appreciate ways of managing them.




Reference
Pimentel, D. Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems: Benefits and Risks. New York: Springer Science & Business Media, 2008. Print

Patel, Mukund R. Wind and Solar Power Systems: Design, Analysis, and Operation, Second Edition. New York: CRC Press, 2005. Print 
Image Credit: http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/08/09/seai-renewable-energy-wind-atlas/

Tag: Environmental Education, Environmental Issues
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