This article explains the importance of the alternate energy. The traditional energy which we are using is not going to be adequate for our future needs and that too it reached its peak. Apart from its inadequate supply it is also producing enormous amount of pollution which is questioning the very existence of some living organisms. To over come these problems switching over to the alternate energy usage is a viable option left to us. Even though it is also having its own negative points but it is the best option available now.
The article also explains the porns and corns of all the alternate energy sources and the future of alternate energy. It also justified the option with some data and how some organizations are planning to set up alternate resource setups. It enlisted the key elements of a renewable-intensive energy future and also the policy initiative that can be taken to encourage alternate energy proposal. Introduction: The present world trend is shifting towards the better future of human beings with the available options.
There is a big leap towards the alternate energy sources from the traditional sources. We can see many numbers of reasons for that transition. Sustainable development is the main agenda of many conventions now. To comply with these commitments, nations have to put efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce pollutants. By using the fossil fuels it is not possible now. The alternate way to cope up with the present day need and the clean future climate is ‘alternate energy’. Primarily there are some important problems with the exiting fuel resources.
1. The oil extraction came to saturation level. 2. The fossil fuels are getting exhausted in near future. 3. The present day usage of these fuels is showing alarming signs to the future generations. 4. There is lot of pollution due to these which is resulting in global warming. To resolve some the problems the alternate method is using of ‘alternate energy’. The alternate energy sources available to us are: a. Wind energy b. Solar energy c. Thermal energy d. Hydroelectric energy.
Even though these are recognized as the alternate energy sources and can wipe out the existing problems they too contain their own advantages and disadvantages. Wind energy: This is having enormous potential and doesn’t effect the pollution at all. But it depends upon the wind always and we have to take care of them in the large cyclones. Hydroelectric energy: This depends on the water currents and pollution arising from it will be very less. But construction of dams will be expensive and there needs to be enough flow of water. Geo thermal energy
Geo thermal energy is produced by harnessing the heat available in the earth crust. Some time hazardous minerals are extracted due to improper drilling and even chance of pollutants coming out is there. Once it is built it is self-sufficient. Solar energy The last one is the solar energy and there is large debate going on how to harness the solar energy? Solar energy is generally used for cooking; the production of electricity, heating etc. solar energy is produced by trapping the sunlight into solar cells. This sunlight is again converted into electricity and it is stored in appropriate form.
This also helps in heating water, heating room and even air. Advantages: It is the best form of renewable source. As the sun is permanent this source of energy is also permanent. There will be no pollution because there is no combustion of fuels. It can be used
The building up of solar power stations is very expensive. The Americans can face a biggest challenge of the decades if fuel pump is stopped. The rise in the prices of energy resources has affected all the sectors from a farmer to an office worker, economically. A group of agricultural leaders about 2years ago joined forces in a discussion for addressing this challenge. It was discussed that some of them had anticipated it as a future big issue. Some say that no one can imagine at that time of hurricanes disruptions of supply dramatic swings in the prices, etc.
That Ag Energy Work Group after spending about six months in searching questions like the role that can be played by the farm sector, their amount of contribution, how to make the ag and forest sectors into leading energy producing sectors, and how to establish an energy alliance; felt that the time for the ag community has come to get together. The Ag group was convinced finally after extensive dialogues that a key role could be played by the agriculture in helping the nation to move towards energy independence.
They looked potential of energy from variety of the sources such as solar, wind, methane, biodiesel, etc. they were also convinced that farms, ranches, and forests of the America could be used for the fuels of new generation with a clean and green environment. Ethanol will be one of the best answers to the Americans oil addiction. Emergence of new technologies could make the dream come true. Greater steps have been taken in the manufacturing facilities of ethanol in the past decade that can help in substantial improvement in the efficiency of the fuel source.
Similarly the corn hybrids produced by the Seed companies, soy diesel, wind turbines, and methane digesters etc. are also developed and progressed. . Momentum of the 25x’25 Work Group has expanded dramatically from its beginning both in its size and scopes and now it is approved by many states governors and state legislatures like Indiana, Pennsylvania, Montana, Colorado etc. Electric utilities: The Electrical utilities helps in converting one form of energy into another. This energy is full of attraction of its cleanliness and versatile ness, and also it can be moved over large areas almost instantly.
There is an increase in the demand for the electrical energy. In the electric power industry, are about 200 investor owned utilities constituting the major contributors generating about 78% of power that will be supplied to about 76% of customers. It is highly capital intensive, in the United States it is the largest consumer of primary energy consuming more than one-third of the total energy demand at the national level but supplying only one-tenth of it. Now there are solar-powered refrigerators also which works on 12-volt DC battery.
In the 1970s, industrial growth period was ended due to the energy crisis, which led to the rising of the fuel prices subjecting to all the fossil fuels and the slowing down of the Economic growth. As a consequence operating and maintenance costs were also went high, that would include the supplies and materials, labor costs as well as the administrative expenditures. Therefore costs per kilowatt-hour rose higher, and the increasing price of electricity led to a decline in the sales growth. Further with the increase in the nuclear power and coal power plants the industries’ financial condition was at a set back.
To add to the worries, escalation of the interest rates due to acceleration of inflation has occurred. In that decade, it was felt by most of the people that coal and nuclear power plants can be damaging the environment, and argument for the development of new means that can be aiding in the protection of the environment. New environmental and safety regulations were also implemented by the federal government increasing the utility costs to a further extent, also requiring utilities for the purchasing of alternative energy sources like that of the solar energy.
In the late 1970’s the strategy of the grow and build for the electric power industry was not plausible as adoption many different strategies has been taken up by the industry, different sections following different tracks based on differing views about the future. Percepting that the economic growth would recover and the renewable energy sources would not be able to meet the needs of the increasing demand, many utilities such as Commonwealth Edison, Carolina Power and Light, Long Island Lighting, etc were followed with the modification of the grow and build strategy.
Whereas some other utilities like Duke Power, Potomac Electric Power, Consolidated Edison, which were located in declining demands of energy countries, preferred the capital minimization. Whereas utilities such as Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric that were present in the areas with rapid increase in the demand for the for the energy, were left with no choice except depending on their internal R&D potentials for the exploration of the alternative energy sources; as the construction of the nuclear and coal plants was depressed by the set of laws.
The diversification of the utilities helps them in the freedom in getting profits. Harnessing of the solar energy: The origin of primary energy sources, with the exception of nuclear energy, can be attributed to the ultimate source, the sun. From the initial stages of man on the earth, he has started to use his natural surroundings after a thorough analyzing of it and he is progressing the utilization along with the developmental progress. It was observed in the year 1839, by French physicist Alexander Edmond Becquerel that certain materials could produce electricity when light falls on them, which was termed as “photovoltaic effect”.
After the discovery of this effect, so many substances were studied until the final development of the Solar cell. In solar photovoltaic system, solar energy is converted directly into electricity by means of silicon wafer photoelectric cells known as ‘solar cells’. Solar cells have also been made from polycrystalline silicon wafers as also amorphous silicon films. The advantages of photovoltaic technology such as the ease of operation, reliability, minimum maintenance due to lack of moving parts, have been widely recognized.
Thus PV systems are suitable for installation in rural areas and isolated locations for a variety of applications such as water pumping for micro irrigation and drinking water supply, community and street lighting, power supplies for microwave repeater station, communications equipment, radio and T. V. receivers. Impact: Passing of the National Aeronautics and Space Act in July 1958 by the U. S. Congress has given a boost to the astronomy. Which will need a key source of power that can last for a longer duration; resulting in the launching of the first photovoltaic-powered satellite of the world i.
e. Vanguard 1, solar cell technology got a breakthrough as the success has paved way for larger contracts from NASA as well as expansion of the photovoltaic industry. Finally, hundreds of thousands of solar cells were produced each year by about four U. S. companies in the end of 1960s, most assigned for the developing satellite industry. Increase in cell efficiency as well as reductions in cost are the great Achievements in solar cell development during the development of the space programs, but much was desired fro the applications on the earth.
Due to the rise of the oil prices in the mid-1970s led to Federal Photovoltaic Utilization Program by the funding of U. S. Department of Energy that resulted in the testing of many solar power systems. One of the world’s first photovoltaic residences that were named as Solar One was built by the University of Delaware in the year 1973. Apart from the photovoltaic technology there was also advancement in the investigations of other solar energy alternatives such as transferring of the solar heat into fluid, which can be used for warming of the buildings, heating the water, and even generation of electricity?
Key elements of a renewable-intensive energy future: 1. There would be diversity of energy sources. Electricity is produced with many combinations. 2. Biomass would be widely used. 3. With the new electrical storage technologies the intermittent renewable would provide one-third of total electricity. 4. This will introduce new choices and competition in energy markets. 5. Natural gas would play a major role which have low capital costs and can quickly adjust their electrical outputs. Policy initiatives: 1. Subsidies should be removed or else they should equalize with the renewable sources.
2. Taxes should ensure that consumer decisions are based on the full cost of energy. 3. Creation of national institutions to implement renewable energy programs. 4. International funds for energy sector should be diverted to renewable mechanisms. Good policy initiative will encourage the transition more quickly which is certain. Future of energy with alternate energy: The traditional sources almost entered the point of saturation. There are predictions saying that oil will get exhausted with in another 50-100 years. So the viable option left is the alternate energy.
The initial investment will be more but returns will be for prolonged period. Most of the alternate energy sources are from nature itself and there won’t be unnecessary interference of other countries. It is very difficult to comply up with the terms and conditions of the oil producing countries. While using the alternate energy sources we can protect our sovereignty of the nations and can minimize wars for oil and also the oil politics of the world can get marginalized. Initially the solar-electric modules were costly. The technological advancement made these cost effective.
The average captured energy with photovoltaic was 95 US cents per kilowatt-hour but now it came down to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. It is still more than the average national price of electricity which is 8 cents. ‘Thin film’ photovoltaic technology, a high-tech coating which is having ability to convert the solar energy is one of the recent technological development. Now these solar unit power is used every where right from the small houses to the large office buildings. Residential usage of energy will increase by 25% by 2025, so we should be in a position to have an alternate which is permanent and cost effective.
As the size of the alternate energy equipment is less than the conventional set up. This helps each and every individual have his own setup. The alternate energy utilization is the need of hour and we cannot put this out. In every transition there will be pain but this will results in large number of benefits in the future. References: 1. Sara Wyant, 25x’25: building a renewable energy future. Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World 13. 5 (June-July 2006): p4(1). 2. Marcus, Alfred A. “Electric utilities. ” Environmental Encyclopedia. Ed. Marci Bortman and Peter Brimblecombe.
3rd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Science Resource Center. Thomson Gale. 08 January 2008, Retrieved on 15 Jan, 2008 from <http://galenet. galegroup. com. ezproxy. umuc. edu/servlet/SciRC? ste=1&docNum=CV2644150442> 3. Harnessing Solar Power and Earth’s Renewable Energy Sources. ” Science and Its Times. Ed. Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer. Vol. 7. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Science Resource Center. Thomson Gale. 08 January 2008, Retrieved on 15 Jan, 2008 from http://galenet. galegroup. com. ezproxy. umuc. edu/servlet/SciRC? ste=1&docNum=CV2643450807> 4. Is Ethanol/ E85 Fuel the Solution?
July 26, 2006, Retrieved on 15 Jan,2008 from <http://alt-e. blogspot. com/2006/07/is-ethanol-e85-fuel-solution. html> 5. Renewable energy: sources for fuels and electricity, Thomas B. Johanson, Laurie, Island Press, 1993. 6. 5. The future of Alternative Energy, Cameron Walker, National Geographic News, October 28,2004. Retrieved on 15 Jan,2008 from http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/2004/10/1028_041028_alternative_energy. html. 7. Jeffrey Yago, (1998), Solar-powered refrigerators, Backwoods Home Magazine, Retrieved on 15 Jan,2008 from http://www. backwoodshome. com/articles2/yago102. html