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Alternative Energy Sources - Research Paper Example

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The Impact of Alternative Energy Resources in a Sustainable World The use of alternative energy resources such as solar power, hydel power, tidal power, wind energy, geothermal energy and biogas as a substitute to fossil fuel-based energy resources is being discussed at various levels…
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Download file to see previous pages Arguments in Favour of Alternative Energy Resources for a Sustainable Environment The arguments typically made in favour of the use of alternative energy resources as opposed to fossil fuel resources tends to emphasize the ubiquity and clean effects of these resources (Nelson, 2011, p. 4). Alternative Energy Resources are Renewable The argument made in favour of replacing fossil fuels with alternative energy resources states that alternative energy resources such as solar power, wind and ocean tides are renewable (Miller and Spoolman, 2007, p. 304). In other words, they cannot be depleted so we do not have to worry about increasing costs as a result of declining supply. On the other hand fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas are non-renewable. Or at least, the formation process can take millions of years. This creates a gap between the rate of production and the rate of consumption of these fuels, which is not conducive to a sustainable environment. For example, it is expected that the oil resources of the United Arab Emirates will be depleted in the next 90 or so years (Gulf News, 2008). Similarly, Pakistan has been experiencing an energy crisis because of declining natural gas production. When the supply of these fuels is reduced, the price increases as a result of market forces, which creates economic problems of its own. Alternative Energy Resources are Ubiquitous A second argument made in defense of alternative energy resources is that compared to fossil fuels, they are more widely available. For example, oil is concentrated in certain regions of the world such as the Middle East and the Gulf of Mexico. On the other hand, alternative energy resources such as wind and water are available in several parts of the world in forms that are conducive to power generation. The fact that alternative energy resources come in various forms increases the likelihood of some type of alternative energy resource to be present in a particular part of the world. For instance, the countries along the equator are blessed with longer hours of daylight and sunshine compared with countries further away from the equator. At the same time, certain regions of the world have access to coasts and rivers that can be harnessed to deliver energy. The use of alternative energy resources will reduce the transport of fossil fuels through tankers and pipelines to far-off places. This will reduce the energy costs significantly. As a consequence, the cost of goods and services that are directly influenced by the rising energy costs, such as agricultural produce, will not be affected adversely. Alternative Energy Resources are Non-Polluting The strongest argument made in favour of alternative energy resources by the environmentalists is that such resources are non-polluting. It has become a much discussed fact the persistent discharge of carbon emissions into the atmosphere is related to the environmental disasters that threaten the sustainability of the ecological system. The depletion of the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, global warming and climatic changes have all been attributed to the use of fossil fuels. The greenhouse effect, for instance, is caused by the increase of fossil fuel based emissions in the atmosphere. These emissions form a blanket that prevents solar heat from escaping the atmosphere thus increasing the temperature of the Earth. This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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