Unit 3IP Green Power Sources - Research Paper Example

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The power plants involved in the generation and conversion of energy releases harmful chemicals into the environment. The need for…
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Unit 3IP Green Power Sources
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Unit 3IP Green Power Sources Introduction Energy conservation is imperative for a brighter and a less polluted environment given that energy conservation occurs parallel with pollution. The power plants involved in the generation and conversion of energy releases harmful chemicals into the environment. The need for energy conservation is therefore mandatory.
Law of conservation of energy
The law of conservation of energy implies that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can only be transformed from one form to another. It further states that the sum of all the energies in the system remains constant. A significant amount of energy is wasted in energy conversions from one form to another form that is usable. Inherent conversion losses that lead to energy wastage also result from the power distribution and usage (Patrick, 5).
Given that the sum of energy is constant, energy conservation can be achieved by maintaining high efficiencies in the machines used during energy conversion in order to minimize the amount of energy wasted during conversion. Adaptive power control can be adopted at the user end that will substantially reduce energy wastage and loss through the use of light loads. With adaptive power control, a tremendous amount of energy can be conversed since there is an automatic monitoring and control of energy consumption by optimizing the light load efficiency. The current appliances used at home only utilizes about 20-50% of load for a significant amount of time leading to lots of energy wastage. Adaptive control ensures an optimized light load efficiency through the use of automatic switching of the appliances and devices (Patrick, 23).
Energy source
Fossil fuel
Fossil fuel includes oil, natural gas and coal. The combustion fossil fuel generates high amount of energy that is considered to be of high efficiency. Fossil fuel is easily available and their conversion into a usable form is simple. Coal is cheap as compared to the other energy sources and can be easily transported from one point to the other. Transportation of oil and natural gas over long distances is also easy through the use of pipelines. Coal is plentiful and is easily available in addition to its low costs of extraction and processing.
A major disadvantage of fossil fuel is pollution. The processing and conversion of fossil fuel into a usable energy form releases hazardous gasses in addition to the greenhouse gasses released during their consumption. The greenhouse gasses released causes global warming and acidic rain. Oil spills in deep sea destroys the aquatic ecosystem. Oil drilling and excavation is quite expensive and needs long term planning before extraction. Finally, fossil fuels are non-renewable (Patrick, 45).
Nuclear energy
The generation of nuclear energy has limited pollution effect on the environment since it does not release the greenhouse gasses. Nuclear energy is cheap to run and maintain despite the high cost of installation of the production plant. Nuclear energy produces a tremendous amount of energy to the most countries’ power grid as compared to other sources of energy.
There is risk of catastrophe associated with the generation of nuclear energy. Uranium mining might be emission free but leaves a scar on the face of the earth same as coal mining. The nuclear plants releases radio active waste which is hard to dispose and is a health risk to human.
Solar energy
Solar energy can be harnessed through the use of solar panels. Solar energy has a lot of advantages over the other sources of energy. The harvesting of solar energy does not produce any form of pollution, the production of solar energy is highly efficient in large scale in areas with high solar power. Apart from the installation cost of the solar panels, the solar energy is a free source of energy and is relatively cheap as compared to the other forms of energy production (Patrick, 32).
A major disadvantage with solar energy is the initial cost of the solar cell which can be extremely high. Weather changes can greatly affect the efficiency of the solar energy production. The production is highly dependent on the weather and is not reliable in some parts of the globe.
Wind energy share the same advantages as the solar energy since its also easy to harness with little emission. The cost of installing the wind powered turbines may be high but the energy is free. Just like the solar energy, wind energy is dependent on the weather and can only be harvested on windy regions of the globe.
Hydro Power
Hydro power is one of the major sources of energy that is widely used across the globe given its many advantages. Hydro power is renewable meaning it cannot be used up completely despite the limited location where hydro power plants can be located and harvested. There is no pollution or emission of greenhouse gasses during the generation of hydro power. The only pollution occurs during the construction of the plant and dams.hydro power is also reliable and flexible since there is no fuel required.
However, there are environmental consequences associated with hydro power production. The damming of water and the changed water flows causes intervention in the environment. In addition, there are limited reservoirs where hydro power can be generated. The initial cost of installation of the dams and power plant is relatively high. Finally, weather changes such as drought could greatly affect the production of hydro power given that it depends on the water levels in the reservoirs (Patrick,17).
Bio-conversion (bio-fuel)
Two of the most used forms of bio-fuel include diesel and ethanol. Bio-fuel is obtained from biomass such as waste in living organisms like manure. A major advantage of bio-fuel is that they are renewable and can be constantly replenished. Bio-fuel is inexpensive and does not release much greenhouse gasses as compared tom other energy sources. Bio-fuel has its use limited to motor vehicles besides the production of harmful nitric oxide.
Energy Policy Act, 2005
The energy policy act , 2005 address the modes of energy production in the United States of America inclusive of energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear matters and security, vehicles and motor fuel, energy tax incentives and climate change technology (McIntyre, Kevin , and Jason, 10).
On climate change technology, the energy policy act, 2005 encourages the production and development of energy production technologies that avoid greenhouse gasses by by authorizing loan guarantees for such innovative technologies. The technology may include renewable energy, carbon capture and storage in addition to innovative designs of nuclear reactors (McIntyre, Kevin , and Jason, 35).
The act provides tax incentives to users making energy conservation improvement in their homes through the use of recycling and reusable energy sources. The energy policy increases the tax credit for consumers using hybrid and other energy conserving technology vehicles.
Works Cited
McIntyre, Kevin J., and Jason F. Leif. Energy Policy Act of 2005: summary
and analysis of acts major provisions. Newark, N.J.: LexisNexis Matthew Bender, 2006.
Patrick, Dale R.. Energy conservation guidebook. 2nd Ed. Lilburn, GA: Fairmont Press ;, 2007.
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