Save Energy Now To Save Earth Later

1079 words - 5 pages

There are currently many different resources for energy usage, both renewable and non-renewable. Non-renewable resources include those resources which, once used, will cease to exist, such as oil and coal being mined from the Earth. Kentucky, the state in which I live, was listed as the third largest producer of electricity using coal in 2011 (Kentucky, 2012). This output accounted for 10 percent of the United States’ total coal production for that year, as well as ninety-three percent of the total electricity generated for the state (Kentucky, 2012). Ghent Power Station, which is incidentally about seven miles from my house, is listed in the 100 largest electric U.S. power plants from 2010 (Kentucky, 2012). My house does currently utilize both electric and natural gas resources. The electric is from a power company which uses a coal-generated electricity output method and the gas is our heat source through the furnace. Coal and natural gas are, however, fossil fuels and as such are non-renewable. To travel, both of our vehicles uses gasoline, which is refined from oil, also a non-renewable resource, and the use of which produces large amounts of pollution that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Mining for both of these also affects the ecosystems in which they are found, destroying forests and thereby removing the homes of several animals. However, for our next vehicle purchase, I believe we will strongly consider a hybrid vehicle, relying on both gasoline and electricity. Should renewable resources become available for these power needs, however, we can only hope that current power providers would update their equipment to provide power through renewable methods. As such, there are three renewable resources that I will focus on: wind, water or hydropower, and biofuels (Renewable Resource, 2013)
Wind power is essentially harnessing the wind by the use of sails on ships or turbine blades on windmills (Renewable Resource, 2013). Wind power has the potential for high output, however wind is unreliable as it is never constant (Wind Energy, 2013). Regardless of this technicality, in 2012 wind power in the United States accounted for forty-two percent of new electric capacity, which was the largest share (A Record Year, 2013). The turbines currently in use in the U.S. provide enough electrical output for 14.7 million homes (A Record Year, 2013). There are now six states that use wind energy to provide more than ten percent of their electrical usage, two of which have reached twenty percent (A Record Year, 2013).
Hydropower is the method of harnessing the power of water as it moves, (Hydropower, 2013). In 2008, hydropower accounted for 6 percent of the energy used by the U.S., sixty-seven percent of energy produced from renewable resources, and twenty percent of electricity used around the world (Hydropower, 2013). The most recent forays into hydropower include harnessing wave and tidal power (Hydropower, 2013). Worldwide, hydroelectric power...

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