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Monday, 21 March 2011

Will alternative energy sources solve our power problems?

Alternative energy is a way to reduce dependance on fossil fuels and be a pioneer of new technology which we can produce. The benefit far outweighs the costs in terms of caring for the planet and the persons well being, it just feels right.

 Photo credit: janie.Hernandez55 

Alternative energy is usually classified as wind power, geothermal power, solar power and hydroelectric systems.There may be many more such as harnessing the power of earthquakes and volcanoes but these technologies are  not currently available for you to use in your home.

The current demand for fossil fuels is not sustainable, as we progress into the future.Most of todays burning of fossil fuels is the burning of coal in energy plants to produce heating and electricity. Every day there is an increasing demand for oil.

In terms of oil expense, not only do governments dictate what we spend on oil, but the demand of oil is very tightly controlled, with unrenewable energy sources such as oil we have to ignore the ethics of obtaining that energy because the product has to be obtained regardless of the value of a country's political aims or practices which seem unethical to the majority of the population.

Large scale alternative energy sourses whether they are offshore or land based can produce a significant amount of energy, in Texas for example wind energy can account for the capacity of supplying the average hoome electricity demand to up to 5million households.
On smaller scales even more people are seeing the benefit of Solar energy via the use of solar panels for their use in DIY heating.

Scale that down to you local neghbouruseage because it is using something that is already readily available, i.e it did not take millions of years to produce as with oil or coal, so is not seen as more difficult to access.
Renewable energy is all around us, the wind, the sea, the sunlight and in heat from the earth. By using various technologies we are able to capture this energy and turn it into something we can use such as heating and lighting for our homes.

Although the immediate switch to alternative energy as a country is not now a viable option, because the infastructure to support this is not there. Many people are feeling the benefit of switching their own homes to renewable alternative energy.

We can say that our over reliance on fossil fuels such as coal will need to clean up as it were, we need more efficient ways of burning coal and a strict monitor of the environmental and human health impacts, if we are the phase out this addiction of fossil fuels.
I suspect a lot of people are not under the illusion that reliance on fossil fuels can be a long term plan, the onslaught of climate change is affecting the way we live and it is imperative that we are able to access clean energy not only for the survival of the planet but for the next generation, who may have to leave this rock we call earth some day.

There is an argument against switching to alterntive power,is there a point of switching to a new form of power that will be much much more expensive than previous method?
In order to smooth the way into using renewables, it is simultaneously beneficial to try to make our current energy sources more efficient, in doing this the power we source from our environment can decrease so therfore decreasing the impact we make when extracting fossil fuels from the earth.

Simple things such as having energy efficient washing machines or proper insulatiod windows can have a largere impact if whole neighbourhoods and countrys were involved.
On a country wide scale,simply redesigning the way our power gets to one another can also reduce dependancy on fossil fuels , a more modern layout of grid system can maybe reduce power outages which could affect a whole country as we have seen with the Japan power rationing after the massive march 2011 earthquake.

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