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Searching For The Energy Source Of The Future.

3241 words - 13 pages

There are cleaner and more efficient ways of producing electricity than the burning of natural gas, to produce most of the world’s energy. Solar energy is cleaner and virtually self sustaining after installation, not taking much maintenance. It is becoming more affordable as well, prices have dropped seventy percent over the last five years (Sorenson 215). It is also very hard to find a new location, and when one is found the amount of energy drawn is sometimes sparce or fluctuates wildy. Wind energy is another semi-viable option. Wind energy is clean and may be more efficient in less sunny regions. If a region does not have an overabundance of sun or wind, Nuclear energy is another clean option. Geothermal energy, tidal energy, wave power, and hydroelectricity are all options that are much cleaner and can replace much of the natural gas that is burned. As technology progresses support from governments and people around the world to “go green” is progressing as well. People seem to be finally starting to realize that the planet they live on is in distress and something needs to be done about it. Alternative energy sources may not yet solve all of America’s energy problems, but it is probably is a step in the right direction. Renewable resources are being utilized now more than ever; but still only twelve percent of America’s energy is produced by nonrenewable resources, this is a far cry from where we should be (Haley 3).
Until the late nineteenth century the majority of America’s energy came from burning wood. Wood burning was used for things like heating homes and cooking food. Water wheels were another source of energy drawing energy from running water as they spun. In the 1830’s coal usage started to rise, but until 1870 wood was still used three times as much as coal. Inventions like the steam engine and coal stoves helped to make wood an obsolete form of energy (Uekötter 2). With the development of steam engines trains became the main method of transporting goods and people long distances. However in 1859 America installed its’ first oil well, and in 1870 natural gas lines were beginning to be installed. After World War II America began running natural gas lines to remote areas and it became a major contributor in meeting America’s energy needs. Petroleum based energies, such as natural gas, would eventually take over as the dominant source of energy for transportation and electricity (Uekötter 3).
America draws eighty percent of its’ power from non-renewable resources. After those resources are gone they are gone forever. It is speculated that earth may run out of oil by 2060. Researchers have stated that greenhouse gas emissions will have made the world uninhabitable within the next two-hundred years. If an alternative to petroleum based energy is not found and utilized soon society as it is today could be over within the next 100 years...

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