Nowadays the most common energy resources come from Fossil Fuel, which according to research it shows that more of 85% of all energy that is consumed in the United States. It takes millions of years for the Fossil Fuel to actually develop and ready to be used, and the main concern of Fossil Fuel is that it cannot be consumed over and over again or reused. Through this analysis it can be assumed that because it takes millions of years for the fossil fuel to develop, and we came up with two assumptions that would lead the innovation of producing energy using different resources.
The first assumption is that there is more fossil fuel that is used rather than what is provided or reserved by the nature. This act leads to second assumption that human being could not be dependant on fossil fuel as energy resources in the long run. There are many natural resources such as Coal, oil, and other natural resources that are limited and could not be renewed same as Fossil Fuel. As a result, scientist must find a way to prevent such extinction by inventing a new way of producing energy that is renewable and can be reused.
Renewable energy is received from natural gasses that hold unlimited quantities as they can be reused and form a cycle. Example of renewable energy includes wind energy, solar energy, hydrothermal energy, and geothermal energy. Wind energy is considered as one source of renewable energy. Wind energy was first found in 1979 with the capability to produce between 20 to 30kW each wind will. This use of this method has rapidly increased and even used globally, research shows that there are thousands of wind turbines that operate within these days which can be assumed around 120,791 MW is produced.
WWEA (Worldwide Wind Energy Association) predicts by the end of year 2010 there will be 160GW of energy capacity produced worldwide. This amount of energy definitely useful as a replacement for electricity, even though wind energy only produce around 1. 5% of the worldwide electricity, there has been an rapid growth and even doubled the quantity within the last 3 years between 2005-2008. Currently there are two types of wind mills. They are classified according to the axis of the rotating shaft; one vertical and one horizontal. But most of the used wind mills have horizontal axis.
Horizontal-axis wind mill has blades similar to airplane propellers. On the other hand, a vertical-axis wind mill has blades that go from top to bottom. As a result, vertical-axis mill machines are less likely to be used nowadays. Large scale of “wind farms” is connected to local electricity power transmission network, with smaller turbines used to provide electricity power for isolated are. This method is one way to produce energy that is favored by many people as an alternative of fossil fuel. Besides it can be reused, it can be easily and widely distributed; however the most important thing is that it harmless the environment.
Thus, wind energy is one way of distributing energy resources without harming the environment, unlike fossil fuel that would create and harm the environment such as the increase of global warming. Solar energy is unlimited energy resources that provide all human and nature in this planet. We all know that without solar energy, it is not possible for all human and nature to be existed until these days. The heat and radiation of sun can be described as solar energy. One of the easiest and main uses of solar energy is heating, as heat can be converted into thermal energy and can be used to heat water and other things.
Moreover solar energy can be also converted into electricity power through photovoltaic system or solar power plants. Firstly how photovoltaic system works is by converting the sun’s radiation into electric power. The Photovoltaic system is commonly used in remote locations that are not connected to a stiff electrical. Example such as power in calculator and watches are devices that use photovoltaic system. Photovoltaic systems are useful method because it can converse sun radiation into electric power directly, thus, mechanical generator is not necessarily needed, and yet it is easy to be installed.
There are two different types of thermal energy used, passive and active form. Passive solar heating does not require any equipments because the heat because it enters the building independently. On the other hand, active solar heating needs a medium to absorb and store solar radiation. One example of an active solar heating is energy storage system. Other than that, solar thermal power plant indirectly produces electric power when heat of the solar collected is used to heat a fluid; this method could transfer a system to produce steam.
Solar thermal energy works almost the same as creating energy but actually it is by converting energy using the sun’s radiation. Besides passive and active benefits of using solar energy, it also has less damage and fewer side effects to the environment since it does not produce any pollution. However, there are costs in terms of producing solar cells. Many scientists aware of the negative impacts that photovoltaic cells production has, it is because toxic metal such as mercury, lead, and cadmium are used during the process of manufacturing solar cell. It definitely increases the issue of global warming.
However we all know that all good things must have a trade off, where in this case the amount of good that we receive is more than the cost that we produce. Thus it is a good thing for the society. Hydropower energy is another energy resource that can be found through the derivation of moving water. Hydropower is widely used for farming, the method is irrigation, and another example is operation of watermills, textile machines, and even docks cranes. Watermill is a construction which uses water wheel in the process of creating energy. Extreme power comes from the water wave, later it used for the extraction of metal ores.
Hydraulic power networks are also an example of hydropower energy. Even though there are many types’ uses of hydro power, the most function of hydropower during these days is as the production of electricity. Hydroelectricity uses water to produce electricity; this is another source of reusable energy. Commonly there are four major components that consisted in hydroelectric plant. Dam is used to control the level of water in the river. While the turbines is used to create kinetic energy through the waterfall which gives pressure to propels and moves the turbine’s blades.
Generator is used to convert mechanical energy which produced by the turbines into an electrical energy. Generator is connected to the turbine by a shaft; it will spin along with the turbine. The last component is transmission lines that are used to distribute electricity from the hydropower plant to households, factories, and other uses. The method of hydroelectricity is very effective and useful for the environment yet it is also friendly. Consequently, this method would not harm the environment and would not increase the global warming in this world.
Last type of alternative reused energy is geothermal energy; this is basically energy that can be found in the earth. It is commonly generated from the heat that is stored in the core of the earth, which is around 4000 miles below the surface. The source of energy can be gained from the range of shallow ground to hot water and rock several kilometers under the earth’s surface. There are wells which is over 1. 5 km deep can be drilled into the ground, it would create basin to tap the steam and hot water that can be taken out the surface for purposes uses.
Geothermal technologies classified into three categories, Conventional Geothermal, Geothermal Heat pump, and Direct heat. First there are dry stem plants; this method uses a pipe which directly connected to geothermal basin to turn the generator turbines on. The second type is by using the flash steam plant which uses high pressure of hot water existed to convert the steam to turn on the generator turbines. Last but not least is binary power plant, which uses heat. There are many disadvantages of using geothermal energy, however since geothermal power plants do not burn fuel to produce electricity; emission level of pollution is low.
It would release less than 1 % of CO2. Geothermal energy also costs 97% less acid rain, which compared to sulfur compounds that release through the use of fossil fuel plants. Geothermal also has low requirement of land use, geothermal approximately use only 1-8 acres megawatt, where nuclear operation uses around 5-10 acres megawatt, and for coal plants is around 19 acres megawatt. In conclusion, after all then consideration there are many sources of energy other than fossil fuels that can be reused and yet more efficient.
The four energy; solar energy, wind energy, hydrothermal energy, and geothermal energy are the energies that could emit the same amount of energy as fossil fuel produces but costs less damage to the environment. One reason why fossil fuel is commonly used is maybe because it can be easily used and simpler than any other alternative energy which requires long process before it can be used. However, considering all the issues that fossil fuel has created until these days, we should consider the efficiency and productivity for the long run by changing the method to produce energy since it would more useful for the future.