Renewable Energy Sources Essay

1813 words - 7 pages

A flick of a light switch and the spark of an engine are everyday activities that we take for granted. What if the world ran out of the resources used to make these activities possible? What if heating your house was not a simple task that could be done by pressing a button? This could be the case if we continue to use nonrenewable energy resources. The article, Energy Resources states that the use of these resources "is increasing at an unprecedented rate due to the rapid industrialization of a number of formerly third world countries." At this rate, the oil sand and oil shales will undoubtedly be cleared out in the future, along with the coal mines. Many of the necessities we rely on use these resources, and would be no longer able to function. Driving a car would be impossible without gas made from oil, and heating your house would be a hassle without burning coal. Once these resources are gone, the world population will be in serious trouble. Luckily, there are alternative resources available that utilize the renewable resources on Earth. Sources like wind, sun, biomass, and geothermal energy will always be available for humans to use and will never threaten the everyday normalcy of people's lives. With so many benefits and unlimited supply, why haven't more individuals implement these new alternative energy sources?

Why Non-Renewable Energy is Easier

While some people are taking advantage of the ability to go green, others agree with Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Tad Patzek and Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, David Pimentel, when they say that "solar cells, wind turbines, and biomass-for-energy plantations can never replace even a small fraction of the highly reliable, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year, nuclear, fossil, and hydroelectric power stations" (Paztek, Pimentel). They argue that these alternative sources are not as efficient at providing energy because in reality, these renewable energy sources are not large scale enough to compete with the normal carbon-emitting fuels. For instance, gasoline refined from crude oil is still the cheapest form of energy for our automobiles and the most accessible, so more people will use it. Also, trying to set up a field of solar panels would be much more difficult and time consuming than using fossil fuels for electricity. Each source of renewable energy has its own downfall, causing it to stay as only a small percent of the primary energy production in the United States.

Issues With Renewable Energy

Solar energy is seen as inefficient because of the fact that a back up energy system must be used on cloudy days or at night when there is no sun. In addition, "the sun's energy is too widely dispersed and the land area required to collect it too vast for solar to become a large-scale power source" (Leher). Wind energy has the tendency to be unreliable because of the fact that it only works when the...

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