Renewable Alternative Energy Sources Essay

963 words - 4 pages

The world needs to start making alternative energy sources more of a priority for a number of reasons. “Alternative energy refers to energy sources that have no undesired consequences such for example fossil fuels or nuclear energy” (“Alternative Energy”). Alternative energy sources collectively only provide about seven percent of the total world energy supply (McLamb). Even though fossil fuels are cheap and plentiful, can help a country’s economy, and can be extracted relatively easily, they have many disastrous effects (“Activity 3 – Fossil Fuels – The pros and cons”).
Burning fossil fuels emits dangerous substances that harm our ecosystem. Carbon dioxide is emitted which is a major greenhouse gas (McLamb). Greenhouse gasses cause Global Warming to progress (McLamb). Effects of global warming include the melting of ice caps which causes sea levels to rise. This causes change to the surrounding water’s composition (McLamb). Also pollution from the burning of fossil fuels harms living plants and animals (McLamb). Fossil fuels will become more difficult to extract as time goes on (“Activity 3 – Fossil Fuels – The pros and cons”). Even though scientists have found a way to control pollution, it is very expensive (“Activity 3 – Fossil Fuels – The pros and cons”). It will also become harder and more dangerous to extract fossil fuels as companies like Exxon and Marathon are required to drill deeper for more oil (“Activity 3 – Fossil Fuels – The pros and cons”). This will cause fuel costs to rise (“Activity 3 – Fossil Fuels – The pros and cons”).
There are many alternatives to fossil fuels that can provide sustainable energy. Nuclear energy supplies six percent of the world’s energy (McLamb). Nuclear energy is gathered through a process that involves the splitting of atoms (McLamb). Because of the dangers of atomic fission, nuclear energy is not likely to be a major world energy supplier (McLamb). Solar energy is another renewable energy resource. There are many advantages of solar energy. “It is non-polluting, has no moving parts that could break down, requires little maintenance and no supervision, and has a life of 20-30 years with low running costs” (“Alternative Energy”). Solar energy has some drawbacks too. Of all the energy that is captured by solar panels, only about one half is actually converted into electricity (“Karthik”). Solar energy is only available during daytime without batteries, but it is naturally available to most all humanity (“Alternative Forms of Energy”). Using wind turbines is a cheap way to harness the wind’s kinetic energy (“Alternative Forms of Energy”). Countries, like Norway, are creating huge, floating turbines to capture the ocean winds (Karthik). Unfortunately, investment costs are high for wind energy (Karthik). Hydroelectricity is great because its efficiency rate is ninety five percent (Karthik). Hydroelectricity uses the potential energy of stored water made by damming rivers (“Alternative Forms of...

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