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Free «Alternative Energy Sources» Essay Sample

Abstract

Total expenses on energy extraction by means of alternative energy sources quite often exceed the quantity of energy obtained. Alternative energy sources include sources like, sun, wind, water, and geothermal energy. These sources are self sustaining and once used they are replaceable. They happen to be readily available since they occur naturally. In regard to this, the alternative sources of energy are renewable and harnessing of energy from them has proved to be cheap for small scale production of energy. At the same time, the extraction of energy by means of alternative energy sources is so costly and as a result, the amount used to extract energy in this case far much exceeds the amount of energy produced. The reason why the amount of energy produced is smaller as compared to the amount used to extract the energy is for the reason that the technologies are too expensive for large scale production of energy. Despite the fact that the non-renewable sources of energy such as coal, natural gas and oil are predicted to be depleted in the future along with the pollution associated with them; they stand to be the only means through which little expenditures  in extraction are used with high amounts of energy being produced. Thus it is justifiable to state that the total expenses on energy extraction by means of alternative energy sources quite often exceed the quantity of energy obtained.

Introduction

Total expenses on energy extraction by means of alternative energy sources quite often exceed the quantity of energy obtained. So to speak, there are various sources of energy of which they have been pointed out as alternative sources of energy. Over time, there have been of course sources of energy that have been used. In connection to this, many disadvantages have been associated with them or rather pointed out. They involve issues to do with the pollution emanating from their extraction along with the by products that are realized in the process of extraction. Such by-products include substances like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulphur oxides among others as such which prove to be highly toxic as well as detrimental to both environment and human life not forgetting the animals (Laughton 1990, 53). 

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 Following this point, there has also been the issues of the energy sources which have been in use over time being at the verge of being extinct. This is for the reason that they are non-renewable resources meant to mean that once used they cannot be replaced. They involve sources like, coal, oil, and natural gas among others as such. However, the biggest challenge that has faced the use of them is the fact that once used up they cannot be replaced. Additionally, during the use of both oil and coal a lot of pollution has been reported and most detrimental above all is carbon dioxide which has been associated with the climate change that has changed the face of the world calling for increased world wide concerns.

 In order to deal or rather eliminate these consequences or rather the effects of these non-renewable sources, alternative energy sources have been considered. Such renewable sources happen to be the kind that once used it can be replaced and that they are environmentally friendly in the sense that they do not pollute the environment and that they produce clean energy. In order to bring into view the whole picture of these energy resources, it is important to put them down. They are energy sources such as, sun, wind, water, and geothermal energy which have been so readily available in the environment (Laughton 1990, 11).

Methodology

In order top come up with detailed information on the topic under discussion, several sources of information have been used. The sources mostly used are books as secondary sources. In particular, they are as cited in as references in this piece of work. Accordingly, they cover information on the energy sources that are used as alternative energy sources and public opinion and government along with benefits and losses that are associated with the sources.

Research Findings and Discussions

Just as it has been explained in the introduction, there has been an ongoing kind of shift from the old or the existing energy sources such as oil, coal, and natural gas in order to adapt other energy sources. The energy sources that are thought out to be better in terms of the pollution and cleanness of the energy produced have been classified as renewable energy sources (Laughton 1990, 18). They are termed as renewable because once used they can be replaced unlike the case with the non- renewable sources which cannot be replaced and equally prove to be so polluting. The pollution in this case is directed to the natural environment with the greatest concern being on the impacts of these kinds of energy sources to climate in the sense that carbon dioxide has been associated with climate change, a global concern with unfavorable effects. The renewable resources happen to be naturally available and they are easy to harness leading to the aspect of affordability (Laughton 1990, 87).  

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At this instance, it is important to point out that the public opinion and government has pointed out the global concern on the use of renewable energy sources as an alternative source of energy. Specifically, there has been an ongoing research in order to establish the best alternative sources of energy that can be used in order to adopt cleaner, environmentally friendlier sources of energy which are affordable. The government like in the case of the United States looks forward to adopt such sources of energy and as a result the government is aiming at making subsidies and incentives for such kind of energy production. Thus in this case, it becomes evident that the government and the public are equally concerned about the use of renewable energy sources. However, the idea has not been fully conceptualized as research is still ongoing along with the investigation of the economies included.

 In line with this, the public opinion on this issue has a great percentage favoring the use of alternative energy sources with a few objecting the idea. The public’s concern has been on the issue of pollution that has led to climate change along with the fact that the non –renewable sources cannot be replaced once they are used. This is to bring into view that with time, these sources of energy will be depleted and thus with time there will be no source of energy (Abbasi 2004, 19). In order to safeguard the world from the expected future depletion of non-renewable sources of energy, of value and consideration is the use of renewable sources of energy. Energy is in essence of great importance and in simple terms, its availability should be unlimited. In this regard, it has been noted with a lot of interest that most of renewable energy sources are too expensive for public to utilize them. For example, thinking of oil prices is an issue that has brought a lot of concern in that the prices are too high.

 In this connection, considering the use of renewable energy, it means that many of the energy sources are readily available. Taking the example of the solar energy, solar is naturally available and there is no fears in the market that the prices attached to it will be high and unaffordable. Also, wind is a naturally occurring source of energy and it’s readily available. Additionally, wave energy harnessed from oceans is readily available. Accordingly, the use of Biomass is another source that is readily available and it ensures the continual production of electricity. Another point to note is that the renewable sources of energy will never run out of stock and that their affordability makes lifestyle to be better in the sense that they are readily available and affordable to majority of the population.

It is evident that many advantages have been attached to the use of alternative energy sources making life better and affordable to many. Most important point to note is that, renewable sources of energy do not pollute environment as it is the case of the non-renewable sources. This is for the reason that they are not associated with the production of carbon dioxide which has been associated with global warming (Laughton 1990, 117). Global warming in particular, has led to many problems especially related with climate change that has highly contributed to economic recession globally. Public concern over the effects of climate change and global warming has fueled their opinion to favor the use of alternative sources of energy. Equally, there have been the advantages of renewable resources in the sense that they will never run out of stock along with little effects if they are there to the environment.

Another point to note is that the renewable sources of energy are best suited in the rural areas and remote areas. In this sense, the amount of energy produced is only suitable for small amount of work to be accomplished (Abbasi 2004, 37). At the same time, the technologies applied to harness the energy from these resources are affordable to many in the rural areas and remote areas whereby the lives of people are improved.

Considering the amount of energy produced from the renewable sources of energy is small compared to the amount used in the installing of the technologies used for harnessing the energy. Taking the example of wind power, it is of a requirement that the wind mills, wind turbines, wind pumps among others to be installed in large extents of land that are so costly in order to make for large scale production of electric energy fit for industrial use. The industries require a lot of electric energy that the wind mills cannot produce if not installed in large extents of land areas.

 
 
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In this sense, installing of many wind mills becomes so expensive in order to harness as considerable amount of energy. Thus, it becomes so hard to make use of wind mills for large scale production of energy (United States Office of Coal, Nuclear, Electric, and Alternate Fuels 1996, 9). As much as wind power may be cheap, environmentally friendlier and natural occurrence of wind, the amount produced is small compared to the expenses used in the installation of the technologies. At the same time, the use of solar energy as a source of energy is very economical in that solar is a naturally occurring phenomena. However, the technology that calls for the harnessing of solar energy in large scale proves to be more expensive (Abbasi 2004, 79).

In particular, this technology makes a great use of silicon of which the manufacture of solar panels and the Photovoltaic cells largely depend on its availability. This means that once it is realized that Silicon is in high demand for solar harnessing of energy, its prices go high hence making the use of this technology to be more expensive as it is the usual case in market places. It also means that the use of this technology in solar harnessing may prove to be so much expensive since the large scale production of electricity is so much costly. In this case, when the amount used to produce the energy is compared to the amount produced it is evident that the method proves to be not cost effective (United States Office of Coal, Nuclear, Electric, and Alternate Fuels 1996, 49).

Accordingly, there are days which there are cloudiness and thus solar may not be available for solar energy harnessing. This means that the availability of solar energy may be tampered with since the availability of solar is equivalent to the electricity being produced. This may prove to be so costly to install the storages of electricity for use during the days when solar energy is not available (Trainer 2007, 97). The costs of maintenance of such technologies that make it for solar harnessing are very expensive as compared to the amount that is produced. Focusing on the production of electric energy by means of biomass, the method is cheap and affordable for small scale production of electricity. As a result, it becomes so costly to maintain biomass production of electricity since the production will mean that a lot of animal and plant waste will be required along with large scale equipments that are required for the production. In order to achieve high amounts of electricity needed for use in industries and hospitals may prove to be so expensive.

Following these arguments, it is clear that the renewable energy sources are difficult to harness and expensive to produce for large scale use. With the non- renewable sources of energy, the amount produced is large and the cost of producing is small. These energy sources have proved to be so much useful to the world demand for energy. There is the energy needed in order to be used in vehicles and industries. It then becomes so hard to tell how much of energy through wind mills need to be harnessed to be used in motor vehicles in place of oil. On the other hand, it becomes so difficult to depend entirely on the renewable sources as energy sources (Trainer 2007, 125). This is because the amount that is produced by means of renewable sources is small yet the amount invested in the installation of the technologies is quiet costly leading to an imbalance that may jeopardize the economy globally. 

Over time, the use of oil, natural gas, and coal has reflected that the production has been less expensive with a desirable amount of energy produced that is profitable if compared to the amount used in extraction. The only disadvantage that is associated with non-renewable sources of energy that they are not replaceable once used. In addition, it has been pointed out that these sources are associated with high emissions of carbon dioxide which has largely contributed to global warming leading to climate change which has been the world concern in the current time. These kinds of arguments and the fear that the energy source may be depleted, has made it possible for the world population to have quest for alternative sources of energy (Nelson and Ghassemi, 269). Nonetheless, the change has taken long factoring in the costs required to produce a good amount of electricity that can be used for the electricity. Of a truth, the cost of production of energy by means of renewable sources of energy is cheap when it is being produced for small scale use. Nevertheless, it has fallen short quiet often, considering large scale production of energy. 

Conclusion and Recommendations

From the above discussion on the issue that total expenses on energy extraction by means of alternative energy sources quite often exceed the quantity of energy obtained, there emerges a great challenge on the adoption of alternative energy sources. In the same line of thought, there has been the use of alternative energy sources which has been associated with high expenses which exceed the energy produced. The energy produced in this case proves to be small with high costs incurred which makes the extraction to be not cost effective. In this connection, most of the alternative sources are readily available but the cost of the technologies involved along with the maintenance is tantamount (United States Office of Coal, Nuclear, Electric, and Alternate Fuels 1997, 123).

It is therefore recommendable to make a development in the technologies that are employed in harnessing of wind energy, solar energy, biomass, wave energy and others as such not leaving behind hydro power generation of electricity. Once these technologies are fully developed, then it will be so easy to obtain a large output of energy that is profitable compared to the amount invested in the extraction. This may be so economical especially based on the fact that the existing sources of energy which are non-renewable, with time they will be depleted and the only option is the use of renewable sources of energy. Losses of renewable sources of energy as alternative sources of energy are things like, extensive land being used in the case of wind mills, birds being killed by the wind mills, sometimes the climate of the area being moderate for worst and such like losses. Nonetheless, the advantages far much outweigh the disadvantages. By this time forth, it is justifiable to state that the total expenses on energy extraction by means of alternative energy sources quite often exceed the quantity of energy obtained. However, much development is required for the technologies in order that they may be cost effective.

   

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