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Alternative energy - Essay Example

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In the present age, scientists are trying hard to explore environment friendly and green sources of energy in an attempt to protect the environment as well as minimize the dependency of humans on the traditional sources of energy like fossil fuels and oil. “Some predict a…
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Alternative Energy In the present age, scientists are trying hard to explore environment friendly and green sources of energy in an attempt to protect the environment as well as minimize the dependency of humans on the traditional sources of energy like fossil fuels and oil. “Some predict a hydrogen economy. Others say solar is the way to go. Wilder schemes involve sky-high wind turbines or antimatter engines” (Than, 2005). The main sources of energy in the future include but are not limited to wind energy and solar energy. However, numerous challenges lie in the utilization of these sources in the future.
The Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy Fund’s co-manager Edward Guinness says that although wind energy’s use is growing almost at 30 per cent per year, yet the price of energy generated by the wind is competitive with the price of the fossil fuels (Eaves, 2007). Rapid growth in the production and use of solar power is also expected in the near future. Slightly more than 0.1 per cent of the total energy in the world is derived from the solar power through the photovoltaic vells. According to Edward Guinness, use of the solar power can grow to more than 10 per cent in the next two to three decades with the improvement of the manufacturing processes (Eaves, 2007). However, “[t]here are financial, political, and technical pressures as well as time constraints that will force tough choices” (Grunwald, 2009). Therefore, it would take some time for the use of the alternative sources of energy to outperform that of the fossil fuels.
The future of energy is more about how than what. “I think the things that would really blow us away if we could jump forward 20 years would not be the giant fields of windmills, but the 1,000 changes in daily life that have taken place in order to save energy” (Steffen cited in Eaves, 2007). In the future, the sources of power are expected to get closer to the home. The changes would extend beyond the use of low-energy light bulbs. People would rely more on local energy particularly where the places have abundance of wind, sunshine, and rivers. With the production of energy at the domestic level, there would be flow of energy back and forth within the small infrastructure in the form of power grids that would supply energy two-way i.e. both to and from the homes.
The alternative sources of energy have not been utilized to full extent on the Earth to date fundamentally because their supply and use has been expensive and the supply has not met the demands. Although the use of fossil fuels has many negative effects on the environment, yet they prove more cost effective and are abundant and easily retrievable as compared to such other sources of energy as wind or solar energy. According to the research conducted by Global Data, “the cost of generating clean energy like solar power is coming increasingly closer to the cost of generating energy from traditional, non-renewable sources” (Energy Tribune, 2012). Given this, it remains more convenient to use the fossil fuels since their sources and means of exploration are rampant and omnipresent unlike the solar energy. Nevertheless, since the fossil fuels have been in use for centuries as the fundamental source of energy, the natural resources of fossil fuels are depleting and they are becoming increasingly expensive which imparts the need to increase the use of alternative sources of energy, which through the continued research, would be more cost effective and convenient for use in the future.
References:
Eaves, E. (2007, Aug. 24). Energy Sources Of The Future. Retrieved from
http://www.forbes.com/2007/08/23/energy-sources-future-tech-07egang- cx_ee_0824sources.html.
Energy Tribune. (2012). Solar Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels? Retrieved from
http://www.energytribune.com/11037/solar-cheaper-than-fossil-fuels.
Grunwald, M. (2009, Sep.). Seven Myths About Alternative Energy. Foreign Policy. Retrieved
from http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/08/12/seven_myths_about_alternative_energ y.
Than, K. (2005, May 5). Countdown: Power of the Future: 10 Ways to Run the 21st Century.
Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/11324-power-future-10-ways-run-21st- century.html. Read More
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