Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development

Topics: Energy development, Peak oil, Fossil fuel Pages: 18 (4953 words) Published: March 14, 2011
Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development: an Overview
The Environmental problems that we face today require long-term potential actions for sustainable development. In this regard, renewable energy resources appear to be the one of the most efficient and effective solutions to this problem. The anticipated patterns of future energy use and consequent environmental impacts are comprehensively discussed, along with the potential solutions to current environmental problems are identified along with renewable energy technologies. Issues relating to renewable energy, environment and sustainable development are examined from both current and future perspectives. The forest volume inventories are valuable source of data for estimating the above ground biomass density and the carbon stored in biomass and the C contained in biomass of Indian forests. As most of the biomass is concentrated in lower diameter classes of potentially large species, the low biomass estimates in Indian forests implies that there is a large potential to sequester carbon over several decades to continue if left undisturbed.

Keyboards: Biomass, Environment, Forests, Inventory, Carbon cycle. 1. Introduction The most important global concem today is the increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide by 25-30% over the last 100 years and its potential to change the world climate. There is no doubt about the size of the changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, since 1960; there is lot of precautionary measures taken by the developed countries to control the pollution of the environment. The additional CO2 is released to the atmosphere from the buming of fossil fuels and CO2 is also released by the clearing of the forests. The main problem is how much CO2 is released to the atmosphere from terresfrial ecosystems (Fells, 1990), the estimates of the net release of carbon from world's forests are highly uncertain ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 Pg/yr (peta grams = lO'^ Grams). The net annual emission estimates for India range from various land-use i.e. 0.625Tg to positive sink of 5Tg (Tera gram=10'Va^ns)> the wide variation in the estimated carbon pools and fluxes is because of the uncertainty in biomass estimates of forests. Further, the C release estimates vary significantly depending on the biomass data. By comparing the results of several studies. Detwiler and Hall (Anon, 1995) found that the C release estimates vary significantly depending on the method for estimating the biomass. They obtained a low estimate of 0.42 Pg of carbon release based on inventory volume compared to a high of 1.55Pg C based on destmctive sampling data. There is an increasing need to improve the accuracy of the estimates of biomass as they determine the actual amount of carbon that reaches the atmosphere (Anon, 1987). As populations grow, the need for more and more energy is exacerbated. The increase in lifestyle and energy demand rise together and the wealthy industrialized economies, which contain 25% of the world's energy supply (Anon, 1995). The problems with energy supply and use are related not only to global warming, but also to such environmental concems as air pollution, acid precipitation, ozone depletion, forest destmction, and emission of radioactive substances. These issues must be taken into consideration simultaneously if humanity is to achieve a bright energy future with minimal environmental impacts. Much evidence exists.

° Assistant Professor, MSRIT, Mech. Dept., Bangalore-560054, India, Email: * Author for corresDondence 0113(1% 2010, 'VoC. 3,5\io. 2


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Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development: an Overview

which suggests that the future will be negatively impacted if humans keep degrading the environment. Other environmental considerations have been given increasing attention by energy industries and the public. The concept that consumers share responsibility for pollution and its cost has been...
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