Can Sustainable Energy and Fossil Fuel Co-Exist?
In recent years, the question of America’s power source has been the topic on more than a few dinner and boardroom tables across the country. In fact, it is even talked about in the offices of governors and the POTUS. The reason why so many people are raising this question is the rise in petroleum prices and the depletion of natural resources. The rising prices of petroleum is not a new thing; It has happening for decades, but the American people have begun to realize that its dependence on foreign oil has escalated over the years along with the cost of living which brings up the question of money and how to keep more of it in pocket.
The argument of finding other ways to keep cars on the road, to keep homes heated in the winter, to keep homes cooled in the summer, planes flying, etc. has made people think outside the box; the “what if” factor has been slapped on the table along with a few “can we”, and a couple “of how comes”. For the most part, a lot of the answers are not new they are old with an added twist to revive them; for example, the wind power was being used by early farmers in the 1800s, steam and solar power had been dated back to the ancient Greeks.
With the help of new technologies and studies, these old energy sources are becoming more popular as time goes on. The growth of sustainable energy, which includes Solar, Wind, Biomass, Biogas, and Geothermal, has become a major factor in the business of supplying power across many countries in the world. With the birth of renewable energy brings the birth of new problems such as how to get this power into homes and businesses, and how to make a mesh between the fossil fuel and renewable energy? Many variables hinder sustainable energy from growing, but the main thing that slows it is growth rate is the fact that fossil fuel has so many advantages such as the following:
o “Fossil fuels have a very high calorific value. Thus, burning 1 gm of fossil fuel releases tremendous amount of energy. Thus, the energy produced by fossil fuels is greater than that produced by an equivalent amount of other energy resource.
o The reservoirs of fossil fuels are pretty easy to locate with the help of advanced equipment and technology.
o Coal is a fossil fuel that is found in abundance. It is used in most power plants because it reduces the production cost to a great extent.
o Transportation of fossil fuels that are in liquid or gaseous forms is very easy. They are simply transported through pipes.
o Construction of power plants that work on fossil fuels is also easy.
o Petroleum is the most predominantly used form of fossil fuels for all types of vehicles.
o Fossil fuels are easier to extract and process, hence are cheaper than the non-conventional forms of energy.”(Sule)
This makes fossil fuel hard to compete with along with federal subsidies worth over $500 billion dollars in 2011(Whitely 9). The financial gains of using fossil fuel are staggering...