Renewable Energy Sources

Introduction

A potential crisis of armed conflict is evidently looming on a global scale on the limited availability of diminishing reserves of oil. To avert a crisis of this kind, a concerted effort by all nations should be sanctioned and a radical shift from overdependence on oil especially by the U.S should be avoided. Countries such as Britain, France, and the U.S should invest more in research to build nuclear reactors whose life span is longer, cleaner and cheaper with easily disposable waste material, and cheaper and safer to dismantle at the end of their life span. Other forms of renewable energy their diverse forms should be developed, ranging from solar and wind energy, water power, biomass, passive and active solar energy as in California, to fuel cells. Top consumers of energy per capita including the U.S, Finland, Bahrain, Luxembourg, should initiate energy conserving measures as illustrated in Fig. 12.4. Brazil should develop further its technology of producing ethanol and developing countries which have large tracks of land adopt the technology to reduce environmental pollution from oil and its products. Hence, more investment is needed in renewable energy to help avert the crisis in the making. Coal as an alternative source of energy should be discarded given its environmental destructive effects such as acid rains.

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Renewable Energy

To help avert a looming crisis, a potential threat to mankind, environmental degradation at an unprecedented scale with its undesirable consequences, a global military confrontation for the diminishing global reserves of oil in fulfilling their energy needs, the U.S, China and India and other developed and developing nations, should sanction the development of new and renewable sources of energy on a global scale with the U.S as leader.

The only viable option to avert a crisis to which the US may be plunged is to sanction a rapid development of alternative and viable sources of energy. This includes developing energy from Biomass, nuclear energy, wind, solar energy, and water power. Despite their limitations as sources of energy, they are the only viable options which are environmentally friendly.

Though nuclear power plants, according to (Cunningham and Cunningham, 290-3), present difficulty challenges in their safety from terrorist attacks, disposal of spent materials and prohibitive initial cost in construction, the US, India, China, France and Britain who have major investment in the technology should invest more in researching on better ways of constructing nuclear reactors, storage of wastes and enhanced technology to lengthen the life of a reactor and better and environmentally friendly ways of dismantling and disposing of aged and retired nuclear reactors. This would help reduce global warming despite the associated dangers, if precautionary measures are taken asserts Cunningham.

Another viable alternative to energy needs is wind and solar energy. According to information from the (National Weather Bureau, U.S department of Commerce), wind and solar energy should be developed within the central states of the U.S that will provide alternatives to energy supply as is evident in West Virginia in the U.S. Active and passive solar energy should be developed in the U.S, as evident in California’s desert located parabolic mirrors, photovoltaic cells in the desert regions of the U.S and the Middle East countries such as Bahrain.

Focus on energy conservation measures is another desirable alternative according to (Cunningham, 293). Statistical evidence points to the U.S as being one of the biggest consumers of energy per capita, Fig 12.2. Bahrain, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Finland, Belgium who fall within this bracket should take energy conservation measures seriously to help avert the crisis discussed and as a measure of reducing global warming and environmental degradation. Vehicles with a low mileage of fuel consumption, hybrid cars, and buildings put up should adhere to laid down regulations and standards. Lighting that consumes less electricity should be adopted widely in the U.S and other developed nations as illustrated in section 12.4.

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Another measure involves the use of geothermal energy as in New England. This energy source should be aggressively developed to reduce overdependence on fossil fuels.

While Brazil should develop its production of ethanol on a large scale, developing countries which have large tracks of land should duplicate the technology. On the other hand, political and scientific interest should be aroused to develop biomass from methane and, to supplement for its energy hungry nature, china should improve on the production of methane from biomass.

The Alaskan sanctuary should be conserved as it forms a very small proportion of natural gas as is evident from the Fig. 12.4, thus further conserving the environment.

Conclusion

My feelings about the whole issue on energy is that, nuclear energy in the short run should not be discarded, but nations especially the U.S should invest more in research to build nuclear reactors whose life span is longer, cleaner and cheaper with easily disposable waste material, and cheaper and safer to dismantle at the end of their life span. Other renewable sources of energy, especially, water power, wind and solar energy technologies be developed further, consumers of energy be more economical, fuel efficient cars be developed, hybrid cars be prioritized in use thus resulting in a reduced overdependence on oil, averting a global crisis that can lead to a global armed conflict. These measures will result in a cleaner environment thus leading to the preservation of sanctuaries such as that in Alaska. Coal as a source of energy should be avoided as it emits products that are destructive to the environment.

Works cited

Cunningham, Cunningham.” Principles of Environmental Science” – Inquiry and Applications, 5th ed, McGraw-Hill, NY, 2008.

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