Count how many electronic devices you own. Now count how many of those you use on a daily bases. Now think about where all of the power to run those items comes from. As simple as it is, many Americans never think about where the power to run their personal gadgets, there only worry is about how big the bill is going to be at the end of the month. The truth is, Americans are the ones who need to think about energy consumption the most, because America uses far more energy per capita than any other nation in the world. This is because we have more money to burn, and we are completely energy dependent. If we want out world to continue to thrive, we as Americans are going to have to start using less energy as a whole and building more ways to reduce dependencies on oil and other unrenewable, dirty resources. The purpose of this paper is to inform the public about the salvations and pitfalls of different sources of renewable energy and the dangerous we will face if we don’t switch to it.
Wind is great renewable resource; in this section of my paper I will outline the pros and cons of wind energy.
Wind is energy is completely clean, inexpensive to build, and produces a reasonable power output. However, wind energy can only work efficiently in areas where there is a more or less constant wind. Wind energy works the best in places like California where there is mountain ranges where valleys get constant wind blowing through them. Wind energy does work in Iowa though, mostly you will see wind farms on hills, but if you’ve ever seen an old farm it is most likely that they had wind energy! Wind energy is very old; it in the 18th century to pump water.
Solar energy is one of my favorite sources of energy. It can be mounted on a roof to create clean power all through the day. Solar energy has several dehabilitating pitfalls though. Solar energy creates enough power to easily run a home, but it creates most of the energy when the occupants aren’t actually home. So a solar panel will run your appliances such as your fridge for free, but in the evening when you get home, turn on all the lights, and the sun is down, solar panels aren’t going to do you any good. So in order to combat this problem, solar panels would have to have batteries, this is completely possible, but unfortunately the batteries would have to be quite big, and very costly to replace once they stopped holding a charge. Solar energy would be great for the Midwest and other less populated areas but in order for solar energy to power places like New York City, you’re going to have to convince Montana to give up half their land for sole solar panel use for the “greater good”.
•Water Power and hydrogen power.
Water power is another very old renewable resource; it was use thousands of years ago to turn big wheels that were dipped in rivers to grind things up. Water power today is more tuned towards dams; dams make good energy, but they harm the environment more than any other renewable resource. Building dams causes the area in front of the dam to flood, resulting in loss of habitat for many an animal. Hydrogen power would be absolutely awesome if we had a source of pure hydrogen closer than the sun to harvest from. The only practical use for hydrogen energy is to use excess energy from solar panels to transform water into hydrogen; this may be a substitute for batteries for solar panels.
In my mind this is the energy that has the potential to save humanity. Nuclear energy puts out tremendous amounts of power and has only a little waste. The main problem with nuclear energy is idiots who are terrified of being saved by it because it might “blow up”. Other problems include: the storage of the small amount of byproduct, eventually we will run out of Uranium (not a pressing problem), and nuclear plants take a long time to build even if they were to pushed through to build immediately, which never happens. German is currently 80% dependent on Nuclear energy and I think we need to follow their lead.
In conclusion, we as people have a responsibility to protect the world and to protect ourselves. In order to accomplish this we need to move forward and invest heavily in completely renewable resources, and stop popping out kids. As previously stated, I believe nuclear power will be our salvation, but we need to invest in all renewable resources; wind energy for California, solar for the Midwest, hydro for places with large rivers, and nuclear for the New Yorkers.
- Solar Producer: Energy Efficient Questions? (5/13/2011)
- Solar Power Eco-Development Engineering Questions…?
- Solar Panel: Aluminum Can Solar Energy? (9/12/2011)
- Solar Power: Facts About Renewable Energy? (solar, Wind, Etc) Please Answer? (5/29/2011)
- Solar Power: With Solar And Wind Power, Do You Use Light Switches? (8/10/2011)