Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Reflection Essay on Alternative Energy Sources

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The move to alternative energy sources is inevitable for most of the modern world. Reasons for the move include sheer economics, geopolitics and environmental protection.

Through the years, the world has gotten used to using fossil fuels for their energy needs. Products derived from fossil fuels are used in transportation, in electricity generation, in petrochemicals and even in road construction.

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The primary reason for the move is the inadequacy of fossil fuels to meet future energy demands at an economically feasible price. Fossil fuels, due to their nature, are of finite supply. Even though no estimates show that the amount of fossil fuels in the Earth is not about to run out, economic forces will cut the fossil fuel supply even before it runs out.

As the amount of fossil fuels extracted decreases, the greater the demand for it becomes, particularly because of rising economies. Economics will thus dictate that the price of fossil fuels go up due to shifts in global supply and demand. Sooner or later, the price of energy will rise to unsustainable prices – prices which can cripple economies and cause great financial problems for the common man due to inflation.

Already, we have seen evidences of this scenario happening. The price of oil has risen continually over the years and has already sparked unrest in some countries.

Alternative energy sources, especially renewable energy sources are clearly better in the long run. Renewable energy sources will not face the problems faced by rising oil prices today simply because these energy sources are not finite.

Alternative energy sources like biomass, wind, hydro and solar energy will always be replenished. Moreover, these energy sources are also less polluting than fossil fuel sources. The use of fossil fuels has been linked to the phenomenon of anthropogenic global warming.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels are said to cause Earth’s temperature to rise abnormally – a situation which can have disastrous effects on a global scale if left unchecked. Renewable energy sources do not suffer from this drawback which makes them more attractive from an environmental perspective.

Nuclear energy is also another alternative energy form. While it is not exactly renewable due to the finiteness of the Earth’s Uranium deposits, the high yield of nuclear energy means that the accessible Uranium in the Earth can last us for centuries before running out.

Nuclear energy is clean, already available and can supply energy at a large scale. While there are concerns regarding its safety as well as what to do with spent nuclear waste, newer technologies have managed to reduce the dangers from these nuclear side effects. These make nuclear energy an attractive stopgap until the development of more advanced energy sources.

In the pipeline are also some more futuristic energy options. Hydrogen power is a promising alternative to using oil products in transportation. Unlike oil combustion which releases pollutants into the air, the by-product of Hydrogen consumption is harmless water vapor. Lastly, Helium-3 fusion is an attractive solution which can potentially end all of Earth’s energy problems. Helium-3 fusion is a form of nuclear energy which utilizes Helium instead of Uranium and has no radioactive by products.

References

National Renewable Energy Laboratory – www.nrel.gov

Schmitt, H. (October 2004). Mining The Moon. In Popular Mechanics. Retrieved August 26, 2008, from http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/air_space/1283056.html?page=4.

Whitlock, J. (2008). Uranium. In Canadian Nuclear FAQ. Retrieved August 26, 2008, from http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/cnf_sectionG.htm#uranium_supply.

 

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Reflection Essay on Alternative Energy Sources. (2016, Jun 19). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/alternative-energy-sources-2/

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