August 31, 2012
University of Phoenix
CheckPoint: Energy Resource Challenges
“Nonrenewable energy resources include coal, oil, and natural gas.” However, they are nonrenewable, meaning that these resources cannot be regenerated. There are alternatives, though, that can be used in their stead; some of which are wind turbines, solar energy, ethanol, hydropower, geothermal energy, biomass energy, and ocean energy. The video discussed not only the benefits of some of these fossil fuel alternatives but the challenges faced when using and managing them. The benefits appear endless, but the challenges have potential to cause problems if not properly weighed out and accommodated. For instance, the initial development of the different renewable energy resources can be quite expensive for individual use. Aside from the fact that individuals are skeptical as to whether or not the alternatives are as reliable as fossil fuels, the most significant challenge surrounding these energy alternatives is the cost. An urban or suburban turbine can cost as little as $6,500.00 or as high as $15,500.00, and that is only the turbine, not the tower or the installation. An all-inclusive estimate for the complete installation is between $15,000.00 and $55,000.00 (Hamilton). Most people would have an issue coming up with that kind of money, and that will be the challenge hindering the general public’s ability to take part in this “clean energy” alternative. Solar panels are another alternative; however, they are almost as expensive to begin using as wind turbines. Residential systems can cost between $4,500.00 and $12,000.00; the power inverter (used to “connect to the grid”) can cost between $1,000.00 and $3,000.00; and the mounting hardware/wiring can cost up to $4,000.00 combined (SUNRUN). That is just the initial cost of the solar panels. This does not include the installation/permit costs or the...