Energy Conservation

Topics: Wind power, Fossil fuel, Renewable energy Pages: 7 (2381 words) Published: October 7, 2013
Joe Garcia
Energy Conservation

It would be hard to imagine a life without the use of energy. So many of the products that we use on a daily basis are powered because of electricity, which in turn is generated because of energy. American’s use a mixture of different energy sources to cool and heat our homes, offices, and means of transportation. We also use energy sources to illuminate and power these same places. Oil has provided the United States with less than 50% of energy needs and supplies almost 97 percent of the energy used for transportation (Dale and Kluga, 1992). There are two sources of energy that we depend on: renewable and nonrenewable energy. Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural sources which is constantly renewed. Some examples of renewable energy are wind, water, sun, vegetation, and geothermal. Nonrenewable energy comes from natural resources that are unable to be replenished like, fossil fuels i.e. oil, gas, and coal. Also, a large percentage of electric power that is located in the United States primarily comes from nuclear power plants. Current plants that operate possess a significantly large amount of waste disposal problems which in turn mean that there are currently no plans of building any additional nuclear power plants. A mass amount of electricity is generated because of the burning of nonrenewable energy sources. Due to this massive problem, the conservation of energy is a process we need to take more seriously. Being able to conserve energy will ensure the use of nonrenewable sources for our future generations. Among the different renewable energy options, wind energy is one of the fastest growing power technologies in the world. Because wind energy is clean and fuel-free, it has become an attractive solution to the world’s energy challenges. It has already become a mainstream energy source in many countries around the world. This is due to the fact that efficiency and production capabilities of wind turbines have increased thanks to the dramatic growth of the wind industry and major advances in technology. Wind energy has a growing rate of 30% annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of over 100 GW (EWEA, Dec. 2, 2008). Based on an annual study made by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), only 4% of the U.S. energy is being produced by wind in 2006. Another study made by the Department of Energy’s report concludes that the U.S. possesses sufficient and affordable wind resources to obtain at least 20% of its electricity from wind by 2030 (New wind agenda, Dec. 2, 2008). Another fast growing renewable energy resource is Geothermal energy, this is the energy from the Earth. What could be more natural or plentiful? The source of geothermal power is the heat contained inside the Earth; heat so intense that it creates molten magma. There are a few different types of geothermal energy that can be tapped. "Some geothermal systems are formed when hot magma nears the surface (1,500 to 10,000 meters deep) directly heats groundwater." The heat generated from these hot spots flows outward toward the surface, manifesting as volcanoes, geysers, and hot springs. Naturally-occurring hot water and steam can be tapped by energy conversion technology to generate electricity or to produce hot water for direct use. "Other geothermal systems are formed even when no magma is nearby as magma heats rocks which in turn heat deeply-circulating groundwater." In order to maximize the energy gleaned from these so-called "hot dry rocks," geothermal facilities will often fracture the hot rocks and pump water into and from them in order to use the heated water to generate electricity. Despite the fact that geothermal energy is abundant renewable, and able to reduce our dependence on imported fuels, the fact remains that fields of sufficient quality to produce economic electricity are rare. In addition, many of those that are known are located in protected wilderness areas that...
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