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Topics: Wind power, Energy development, Fossil fuel Pages: 5 (1956 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Renewable Energy and the Environment
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Energy is a great resource required in everyday life and activities. Energy is needed for the continuous running of normal daily routines, be it at home, school or work. For one to be able to take that warm shower, cook his breakfast, and even get to work in the morning, he will require energy. Energy comes in various forms and can be used to for different purposes such as heating, lighting buildings and homes, cooling in the form of air conditioning or refrigeration, manufacturing, service industries such as hospitals and many other commercial purposes. As such, the importance of energy cannot be over emphasized. The most common type of energy is that which is derived from fossil fuels. For years, we have been drawing on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, as energy resources. However, with time these resources have gradually depleted leading to increase in the cost of energy. This had led experts to invent new sources of energy. The invention on renewable energy has not only provided an alternative energy resource but has also come with great environmental and socio-economic impacts. Global warming, caused by emissions from fossil fuels, has become a major threat to the world today. In order to counter this challenge and the other problems associated with fossil fuels, there is need to embrace the use of renewable energy sources. However, not all technologies that are employed in renewable energy production are appropriate to all applications or sites. For example, it may not be possible to use wind energy to generate enough electricity to run a factory. On the other hand, geothermal energy cannot be harnessed in certain places. Nrdc.org reports that every state in America can produce its own energy from clean, renewable sources. This has led to new sources of income since new jobs have been created. This invention has also led to the reduction of air and water pollution. By setting up the right policies, states can be able to harness their own natural resources and contribute to the development of a local renewable energy industry. This will in turn lead to the economic development of the state. Renewable energy is sourced from resources that occur naturally. These natural resources do not diminish since they replenish themselves. Renewable energy forms include solar energy, wind energy and geothermal energy among many others. Solar energy comes from the sun and can be used either directly or indirectly as a source of energy. “Solar energy is a sustainable, inexhaustible, non-polluting source of energy that does not emit any greenhouse gases when producing electricity. Solar electricity can supplement ones entire or partial energy consumption. Therefore, using solar power can help one reduce his energy bills and save money.” (energymatters.com.au).  The sun’s heat and wind energy promotes evaporation which in turn leads to rain. This rain is captured in rivers and used to generate hydroelectric power. Biomass is a source of renewable energy that is generated from organic matter found in natural plants. This form of energy is mostly used for heating. For these plants to grow, they require solar energy, which comes from the sun. Hydrogen is an energy resource that occurs in combined forms in nature. For example, hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water. Hydrogen can also be found in organic matter. Once separated from the compound in which it occurs, hydrogen can be burned as a fuel or converted into electricity. Renewable energy can also be tapped in the form of geothermal energy. This is the energy produced from naturally occurring steam and hot water from under the Earth’s surface. According to learnaboutenergy.org, “geothermal energy is very cost effective and reliable”, however, locations of this form of energy “. . . are very hard to find and are extremely rare.” Energy can also be harnessed from the ocean’s tides....

References: Energymatters.com.au.( 2008, February 19 ). Renewable energy and alternate energy sources Retrieved 18th April 2012 from http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-energy/
Karl Mallon.( 2006). Renewable Energy Policy And Politics: A Handbook For Decision-making. Earthscan Publishers USA
Learnaboutenergy.org.(2002, July 2). Types of Renewable Energy. Retrieved 18th April 2012 from http://www.learnaboutenergy.org/renewable_energy/RenewableEnergy3.htm
Nrdc.org.( 2009,December 17). Renewable Energy For America. Retrieved 18th April 2012 from http://www.nrdc.org/energy/renewables/
Solarschools.net.( 2009, September 14). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Energy. Retrieved 18th April 2012 from http://www.solarschools.net/resources/stuff/advantages_and_disadvantages.aspx
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Stephen Lacey.( 2002,July 20). The Economic Impact of Renewable Energy. Retrieved 18th April 2012 from http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2007/04/the-economic-impact-of-renewable-energy-48201
Ucsusa.org.( 2008, October 26). Benefits of Renewable Energy Use. Retrieved 18th April 2012 from http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/impacts/public-benefits-of-renewable.html
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