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Renewable Energy Consumption in the Future - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “Renewable Energy Consumption in the Future” the author discusses leading renewable alternative energy sources used globally. Solar panels work by harnessing the radiation from the sun and converting it to electricity…
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Renewable Energy Consumption in the Future
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Renewable Energy Consumption in the Future

Download file to see previous pages... At current consumption rates, we are left with 200 years of coal, 40 years of oil and 60 years of gas. Fossil fuels, Nuclear, and hydroelectric power plants also pose a danger to the environment (Hargreaves, 2011). If we are to address the issue of global warming, brought about through carbon emissions, then we will have to use the right energy sources, and dispose of the waste produced in our day to day lives in an effective manner. The use of solar panels is leading renewable alternative energy source used globally. Solar panels work by harnessing the radiation from the sun and converting it to electricity. Its main advantage is the abundant availability of the sun’s rays and widespread accessibility across the globe. But supply can be variable and intermittent, depending on weather conditions and time frames. These factors would probably underscore why the uptake of solar panels has not been as widespread as would be expected. According to the Pew Center on Global Climate change (2010), solar power only produces one percent of the energy requirement of the whole world in 2008. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (2010), Americans generated approximately 2.3 million tons of waste, in the year 2009. 53% of that waste was dumped, 33.8% recycled and 11.9% burned. This would seem to indicate that only a small portion of waste actually gets recycled. According to the grassroots recycling network (grrn.org), many of the products that we think are recycled are actually “downcycled”. For example, newspapers are turned into low-value products like insulation material and cow bedding. The problem with this type of waste management system is that it leads to the continual degradation of the environment, and depletion of natural resources likes forests. A huge part of the waste is constituted by paper products, and if we are not careful how we source for more paper materials, we could end up cutting more trees, and thus further compounding the greenhouse effect. The best way to achieve the reduction of carbon emissions is by looking for better and more sustainable renewable energy sources and by utilizing better recycling methods. Enhanced Geothermal Systems This system generates electricity by harnessing the heat naturally generated by the earth (Blodgett & Slack, 2009). To accomplish this, you need to dig into a rock located in a cold area. The fractured network is then improved to make a basin into which supplementary wells are going be pierced in. Chilly H2O is then squirted towards the wells, through the fractured network, gripping the warm temperature from the rock as flows into the rock. The end result is, steam is captured from the resurfacing water, which is then used to power steam turbines. Afterward, it is then redirected to the fractured network to repeat the whole cycle again. This method of power generation produces zero carbon emissions and is currently in use at Copper Basin in Australia. Smart Grids A Smart Grid is a “computerized” electricity grid. It involves adding two-way digital communication technology devices to an electricity grid (Williams et al, 2007). Each electronic device on the network can gather data, through sensors, plus two-way digital communication between the field and the utility’s network operation center. This connectivity can then allow the operator to adjust and control each individual device. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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