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Are Alternative Energy Sources the Answer to Ending Human Dependence on Oil - Research Paper Example

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Running head: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES Are alternative energy sources the answer to ending human dependence on oil? Author Author Affiliation Date submitted Are alternative energy sources the answer to ending human dependence on oil? Abstract: In the pursuit for a better earth alternative energy sources are among the chief pursuits for governments and corporations…
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Are Alternative Energy Sources the Answer to Ending Human Dependence on Oil
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Download file to see previous pages Are alternative energy sources the answer to ending human dependence on oil? Defining alternative energy: Alternative energy is the resultant product of alternative fuels, and these are anything that is not “fossil” based. The question that needs to be answered here is whether or not alternative energy sources are really the answer to ending humanities dependence on fossil based fuels, primarily oil. According to an article in the Virginia Environmental Law Journal, “All renewable sources of energy (including hydroelectric, biomass, wind, geothermal, and solar) will increase by an annual rate of approximately 2.2 percent and will constitute over ten percent of the overall domestic energy production by 2030” (Rosenberg, 2008). Understanding the mechanisms behind wind energy: Wind power has been utilized for centuries to pump water, grind grain into flour and in the modern times it is used to generate electricity to drive appliances and more. There are many placers around the world where steady relatively strong winds remain almost all year long. In these locations the use of efficient wind power may in fact be beneficial, however, as some have seen the installation of wind powered turbines large enough to generate an adequate supply of electricity take up a substantial amount of land, and cause eyesores as well as displacement of wild animals in some areas. Additionally the use of expensive and maintenance intensive batteries filled with environmentally dangerous chemicals adds to the downside of wind power. These drawbacks do not necessarily mean that wind power is not a valid option, in fact they simply mean that there are areas where work should be applied to generate a less expensive, more environmentally sound approach to storage of the electricity and to the actual generation of it through wind power. For some in the windy areas of the United States installing individual wind generating systems and towers is a relatively inexpensive proposition with a long term benefit for the homeowner. Arizona has seen a proliferation of small home sized wind towers and more importantly solar power. Understanding the mechanisms behind solar energy: Solar energy is another form of renewable energy that is virtually free, it is the methods used to harness it that cause consternation or are currently cost prohibitive on a large scale. Solar powered farms generate large amounts of steam, which means they require a large amount of water and they use oil cooled piping and reservoirs to channel the steam and generate the electricity. As a result there are still environmental concerns, and of course the additional concerns that accompany the creation of several square miles of solar farms, which unfortunately is what it would take for a medium sized city. Though technology is advancing there are still drawbacks to the use of solar power. This of course does not mean that using solar power for the individual’s home or for a small co-operative of homes is not a beneficial idea. In fact with some of the newer longer lasting gel cell batteries that are relatively maintenance free one can economically supply power to a small community of 5-10 houses without utilizing coal or oil based electric sources. There are numerous small solar powered ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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