“You don’t ban the beneficial uses of a technology just because that same technology can be used for evil. Otherwise we would never have harnessed fire.”
-Patrick Moore, a Greenpeace co-founder-
About two-thirds of electricity used globally today is generated from fossil fuels using the energy created from burning fuels such as coal and gas, which release greenhouse gases. These trap heat in the atmosphere and cause global warming. Moreover no more fuels are predicted being formed in the near future to replace what is being used up since fossil fuels finite and nonrenewable. In the future, countries will need to generate more of the electricity they need without using fossil fuels. Besides slowing global warming, they also have to meet electricity demand when these fuels start to run out or become unavailable due to political problems between countries.
There are several factors influent whether or not a particular type of energy is adopted. These factors include cost, reliability, environmental impact, generating capacity, and efficiency, possibilities of hybrid designs and storability, and technology development risk. While renewables are not being developed fast enough to meet demand, the best available option may come from conventional energy sources. Among them, nuclear power which is well developed and highly penetrative is the largest source of electricity that does not release significant amounts of greenhouse gas and has been contributing mostly to world energy use.
After World War II, nuclear power became the world’s shining energy hope. Technically it is produced when neutrons split the nucleus of uranium atoms releasing heat which is used to boil water and produce the steam that drives a plant’s turbines. Nuclear energy is often the focus of controversy. But many consider it our best solution to the problem of rising energy demand. Between 1970 and 2005, the demand for oil, gas, coal and electricity increase significantly. This increase is expected to continue in the future. Growing demand for electricity is a major part of that growth. Burning coal generates half the United States’ electrical supplies but it also accounts for much of the greenhouse gases that are released into the air. These gases can cause damage to the environment with global temperature now rising at a rate unprecedented in the experience of modern human society. Our globe, ecosystem, climate, water sources, crop and livestock, human health, and so on, are all affected. Up until now, there is too much of these gases which are caused from burning fossil fuels to serve human’s demand and activities. Some researchers have suggested using available technologies to capture some of the carbon dioxide produced by power plants before it enters the atmosphere. The gas would then be stored deep beneath Earth’s surface or in ocean depths. But carbon capture at power plants could double the cost of producing electricity. It would also increase the amount of fuel the...