“The future is green energy, sustainability, renewableenergy”. That is the strong claim of Arnold Schwarzenegger (n.d.
) aboutrenewable energy in the future. Indeed, nowadays in the world, there is highdemands for renewable energy, as the global requirement for energy is onincrease at rapid speed. As everyone know, renewable energy is a kind of powergenerated from nature. Fossil fuel, the main source of energy of the world, ismore and more exhausted because of the excessive consumption.
Hillary Clinton(n.d.) had ensured that she was the only candidate to make policy to bring theuse of clean, renewable energy into coalcountry, because she realized people are putting lots of coal miners and companiesout of business.
Therefore, demands for alternative are increasing incrediblyfast. However, everything has two sides: good and bad, so does the renewableenergy. Althought it has plenty of benefits, renewable energy also bring usgreat drawbacks if we do not use it wisely. Thus, this paper, based on relevantand reliable data, will discuss the merits and demerits of alternative energyto help everyone understand more about this kind of power.2. Discussion of findings 2.1. What is renewable energy? Renewable energy,or alternative energy, simplely is a kind of energy or a source of energy thatcan recover after human’s consumption, like its name “renewable”.
According to HarperCollins said in Collins English Dictionary(2014), renewable energy is energy from various sources which are derivedfrom nature, such as sun, water, wind, or other natural processes, and they arealways available. As reported by Andrea Aust (citied in “Nonrenewable andrenewable energy sources”, 2014), since the beginning of human society, mankindhas utilized renewable resources to stay alive; for instance, they used woodfor cooking and heating, wind and water for milling grain, and sun for creatingfires. To be more precise, renewable energy is definitely in contrast withenergy that comes from fossil, or nuclear fuel, or we can call “nonrenewable”.They includes coal, oil, natural gas, and are available in limited supplies;meanwhile, alternative energy is replenished naturally and in a very shortperiod of time, so that it will never run out.
In theworld today, there are five major types of renewable energy resources. Firstly,solar energy, energy generated by sun’s heat of light, is one of the most popularpower in the world. Secondly, wind energy created by converting wind currentsinto a form of energy is one of the most widespread used. Thirdly, hydropower(hydroelectricity, or water power) is the oldest power in the world thateveryone all know. Finally, the last two resources are geothermal power, energystored as heat in the planet, and bioenergy, which is derived from biomass togenerate electricity.
In the article “What is renewable energy?” (n.d.),Australian Renewable Energy Agency, also known as ARENA, has claimed that justas there are many natural sources of energy, there are many renewable energytechnologies and applications. 2.2. What are the benefitswhen using renewable energy sources? In our modern life nowadays, governments of manycountries have made more and more effort to promote five main alternativesources of energy above to improve people’s life.
Indeed, taking advantage ofrenewable energy actually can affects positively to human’s daily life. Jacobson(n.d.) used to said each dollarspent on nuclear or less money spent on renewable energy can turn the worldbecome more and more unsuitable for the settlements, because of the risks ofnuclear power and nuclear weapons. There also is an imminent demand to stop paying asubsidy to the fossil fuel industry, dramatically reduce wastes and pollutants,and significantly replace our power supplies from fossil fuel to otherrenewable energy sources (Bill McKibben, n.d.).
The trend of using renewableenergy has gradually become the worldwide trend not only because of theinexhaustibility of this kind of energy resource but also for great benefits ithas brought to people. The first benefit, also the clearest benefit,that renewable energy use give us is the decrease in global warming. Globalwarming, also referred to climate change, is considered as the most complexconcern of many countries around the world. This problem is contributed mainlyby greenhousegas emission, which is created by human’s activities. Those activities such asburning fossil fuel to provide energy for manufactories, or vehicles like carsare overburdening our fresh air with carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), andother greenhouse gases. Renewable energy sources, however, show extremelylittle or even no connection with the global warming emissions. Wind and other clean, renewable energywill help end our reliance on fossil fuels and combat the severe threat thatclimate change poses to humans and wildlife alike (Frances Beinecke, n.d.
).That is absolutely true. Wind power and solar power get electricity from thesun and the wind, which theoretically are inexhaustible sources of energy andshow no contributions to the climate change. Hydroelectricity also workseffectively by using endless source, water.
Other clean resources produce zeroemissions as well. Therefore, the more people use renewable energy, the moreenvironment pollution problems are solved.The second benefit ofusing alternative resources is the greatly improved public health. Lots ofdiseases, including cancers, heart attacks, are likely to associated to airpollution and water contamination caused by greenhouse gases and chemicals fromindustry, so if renewable sources of energy can reduce the emissions ofgreenhouse gases, they can bring major health benefits to people. The CleanEnergy and Climate Change Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyhas made a study on people’s health. According to the study, Americans spend anestimated $361.
7 to $886.5 billion annually on their health conditions relatedto the use of fossil fuel. In a new study published in 2015 in NatureClimate Change, renewableelectricity projects and energy efficiency methods could have health benefitsworth millions of dollars a year. Moreover, it can said that all clean energytechnology application do not fabricate anything that negatively affect to airand water environment. Hydro, Solar, wind systems generate power without linkswith air pollution and water contamination. In addition, as reported in ” SixBenefits of Renewable Energy We Need to Consider” (2016) in TheAlternative Daily, biomass cansupport in eliminating fossil fuelemissions while reducing the junk going to landfills. To sum up, making use ofrenewable sources of energy not only solve environment pollution problems butalso help people avoid many diseases caused by the pollution. 2.
3. What are drawbacks when using renewableenergy sources? Althought clean sources of energy have reallygreat benefits, we cannot deny that they also get some clear drawbacks to ourlife. There is a rapidly increasing need for renewable energy in the whole planet.However, people rushed into renewable energy without any thought, and the consequencesare largely hopelessly not only inefficient but also uncomfortable (JamesLovelock, n.d.).
One of the biggest drawbacks ofalternative resources use is the high development cost. This is also the hugeobstacle for the development of renewable energy in the future (The EditorialBroad, cited in “A Renewable Energy Boom”, 2016). According to the article, despite increasing private investment in renewables, theUnited States and other automated countries have not beenwilling to make their promise at the Copenhagen conference in 2009to support $100 billion a year to underwrite climate projects in developingcountries.
Building a renewable system actually needs a giant number of moneyto complete, so that this is a very hard issue for developing countries, andspending a vast amount of investment in them is little risk for developedcountries like China, and U.S. For example, solar energy need a lot of moneyfor production and execution of solar panels, or wind power needs wind farmsand wind turbines, or geothermal energy wants people to set up a costlyworkplace in areas of volcanic activities, and dams for hydroelectricity areextremely expensive. As the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)reported (cited in Renewable Power Generation Cost in 2017, 2017), all renewable energy technologies should becompetitive on price with fossil fuels by 2020. However, the present price ofrenewable technology is far bigger than that of traditional fossil fuel.
Another clear disadvantage of alternativeenergy sources is the shortage and unreliability of energy supplies. In thearticle “Renewable Energy Pros and Cons” (n.d.), unlike fossilfuel-powered plants that producenumberous supply of power, renewable sources, however, can not produce thatmuch of energy in a short time. Thismeans that we should use less energy, or establish more energy plants. The lackof capacity to make energy to meet people’s demands results from the problem onthe supply.
Unpredictable weather conditions can cause disturbances when usingrenewable energy sources, as alternative energy often relies heavily on theweather for its type of power. According to Ashraf Mahmoud’s article ” TheAdvantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Energy” (2016), hydrogenerators need rain to fill dams to supply flowing water; wind turbines needwind to move the blades, and solar panels need clear skies and sunshine to collectheat and make electricity. This totally dependence on nature has made thedevelopment of renewable energy technology still challenging nowadays.3.Conclusion The above analysis has shown that theapplication of renewable energy technology in over the world which appearsprofitable for people’s future life is no longer a far- reaching goal.
Then,more and more concentrations on encouraging the merits of renewable sources ofenergy and diminishing the demerits of them are appearing among many countries.To accomplish this mission, the cooperations between developed countries anddeveloping countries are absolutely necessary. Certainly, with strongcollaboration among countries in the planet, mankind could really make theworld in which there is no global warming or climate change, and an infinitesupply of power.
Inevitably, this will take very much time, but it is worthpursuing by greatest efforts