Alternative energy is commonly defined as energy that usually comes from resources which are naturally replenished; these resources include sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat (Kessides). The basic elements for the deposits of fossil fuel were laid down millions of years ago and are a finite resource.
However, recently, alternative energy has been replacing the traditional form of generating energy (Götz). Most of the companies around the world, people in their homes, and transportation, currently use fossil fuels to heat or power them. The main reason due to which most of the people today are turning towards alternative forms of energy for their manufacturing and production operations, is the shortage of the traditional energy sources, such as the fossil fuels (Asif).
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The supply of these natural fossil fuels is limited and is causing an energy crisis that is further creating looming issues around the globe. The use of these fossil fuels is more frequent and on such a large scale as compared to the timescale at which they are being created, there will ultimately come a time when all these resources would run out, and the people will have to rely on alternative resources. An old North American proverb states, “Only when the last tree has died, and the last river been poisoned, and the last fish been caught, will we realize that we cannot eat money” (JosephDay).
Moreover, because of the waste disposal and safety concerns, the United States is going to retire most of its nuclear capacity by the end of the year 2030 (Veringa). In the meantime, the needs of energy in the USA are expected to grow by a rate of 33%, which is a huge gap over the period of 20 years, and green energy is the only alternative which could be used to fill the gap of the nation (Kessides). Even if countries around the world had an excessive supply of these fossil fuels, still the use of alternative resources is better and more efficient.
This is the reason that we also call alternative energy sources as green or clean energy sources, as the use of clean energy sources emits fewer pollutants (McKendry). When fossil fuels burn, they emit a greenhouse gas (CO2) that contributes to global warming, which is the gradual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere of Earth by trapping the heat of the sun. Scientists of climate change have also stated that Earth’s average temperature has risen from 0.6 to 0.9 degree Celsius since the past decade.
This is attributable to the excessive use of fossil fuels as a source of energy (Kessides). If this continues for the foreseeable future, then there are increased chances that the result of the rising temperatures, floods, droughts, heat waves, and another kind of extreme weather conditions would also continue, and there is a high probability that these extreme conditions would occur more often (Painuly).
Firestone Energy Solutions, an environmental expert company, argues that the world is heading towards an energy crisis. They endorse the use of alternative sources of energy and promote a decreased dependency on the usage of fossil fuels to overcome the energy crisis issues (Asafu-Adjaye). Moreover, several governments of different countries around the world have also developed energy policies, such as related to waste recycling and energy conservation, which emphasize upon the usage of the alternative and green energy sources for their manufacturing and production firms (Asif).
Because of these recommendations and energy policies, there has been a great deal of interest shown, and studies have been conducted in fuel research. Such fuel researches include those researches that have been conducted on a wide range of energy categories that include wind energy, tidal energy, solar energy, coal energy, hydrogen fuel, and the fuel cell technology (Götz).
Goods are produced from these resources that have significant economic value to them. All the natural resources around the world have an aesthetic value attached to them because these resources are derived basically from the water, environment, and minerals. (Gilbert). However, when the humans around the world utilize the natural resources in a systematic way, it is then called “natural resources.”
There are many forms of energy; it is simply defined as the ability to do work. There are some forms of energy which could be found in everything such as the gravitational energy, kinetic energy, heat energy, nuclear energy, chemical energy, motion energy, and light energy (McKendry). Energy is used for everything done by the humans, from frying an egg to sending an astronaut into the solar system or to the moon. There are also two different categories of energy; one is the working or the kinetic energy, and the other is the stored energy or the potential energy.
For instance, when we eat certain foods, foods that contain chemical energy, which is stored inside the body and is consumed whenever the humans start to work or play. The electricity, which is used by the humans at home is generated through the electric power, which has been generated through the hydel plants located near the dams, and this electricity is produced through performing nuclear reactions. Therefore, hydro, nuclear and the coal energy are all the basic sources of energy, but the most significant of these energy resources is the energy derived from oil (Götz).
Whenever a gas tank is filled up, the sources could be anything such as ethanol or petroleum, which are made by growing and processing some natural resources such as the corn. The sources of energy are also divided into two separate groups; one is the alternative energy sources, and the other is the nonalternative energy sources. The difference between these two is that the former can be replenished easily. However, the latter can never be replenished once it is used and it cannot be recreated again.
Most of the other technologies, such as the technology for increasing electric motor efficiency are now qualifying to be some of the most promising technologies and may become the center of attention for USDOE and NASA (Malkani). One thing is very common among them, and that is that these technologies are very uncommon among the common people worldwide. Over the last 12 years, the demand for energy has increased by 88% on a global scale.
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Moreover, the experts around the world have predicted that the consumption of energy around the world would increase and double in size by the end of the year 2020 (McKendry). However, these increases, and the anticipated growing needs cannot be met by using nuclear energy or other such alternative sources of energy alone. Therefore, the need for alternative energy is clearly evident here.
The World Energy Council has also shown that the consumption of the energy would double in consumption by the end of the year 2020. The London Energy Council believes that the generation of electricity and the generation capacity would also increase significantly in size over the next twenty years. Energy plays a direct role in human development, and the development of the world economy by producing the desired goods and services (Asafu-Adjaye).
Energy is one of the most important and most significant components of social, economic development and economic growth of many countries. The rate, at which the people of a country are consuming the energy is also often considered as the rate at which a country is progressing economically. In most of the Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, South Korea, and Thailand, the consumption of the energy is much higher in percentage terms, as compared to the major industrialized countries of the world such as North America and Western Europe (Adhikari).
Moreover, biomass is exceptional as well; the reason for this is that biomass stores energy more efficiently within itself. This energy resource could also be converted into solids, gaseous, and liquid forms using different technologies. Biomass is one of the most attractive sources of energy, as it is more comparatively friendly, sustainable, cheap, and it is one of the best alternatives that could be used as alternative for the crude oil in major industries.
Biomass could be used for gasification, biological processes, and direct combustion. Biogas is also another source of energy, which is produced from solid wastes, and this is related to biomass energy resource (Veringa). The total potential for producing biogas from waste annually is about 8.8 to 17 million cubic meters.
There are many alternative energy resources that do not affect the environment when energy is harvested from these resources. Some of the classic examples of these alternative energy resources are solar energy, hydropower, wind power, and nuclear power. For instance, the airflow in the wind in open areas is the reason to turn large wind turbines to produce electricity (Gilbert).
Wind power harvests energy and converts it into electrical energy in wind farms which consist of individual wind turbines. Wind power varies which is why like hydropower, it works in conjunction with other power plants to provide electricity in peak hours. Through photovoltaic effect, energy is harvested from the sun in the solar panels.
In future years, the highest demand for energy would come from the developing economies of the world. Currently, the consumption of the energy by the developing countries of the world is 35%, but by the end of the year 2050, the consumption of the energy by the developing economies of the world would increase to the total consumption of about 60% of the total energy available in the world.
However, the supply of the energy within these countries would not be enough, and as a result, these countries would be forced to import coal from other places around the world, such as Illinois in the US. The above factors, figures and the reality of the natural resources tell us that alternative energy is the only source of the energy that could save the future generations and make this a living planet for human life.
- Adhikari, Paudel &. “Optimization of hybrid PV/wind power system for remote telecom station.” International Conference on Power and Energy Systems (ICPS) (2011).
- Asafu-Adjaye. “The Relationship between Energy Consumption, Energy Prices And Economic Growth: Time Series Evidence from Asians Developing Countries.” Energy Economics (2000).
- Asif. “Prospectus for Secure and sustainable electricity Supply for Pakistan,” Alternative and sustainable energy reviews (2007).
- Gilbert. “Alternative and Efficient Electric Power Systems.” NewYork: Wiley (2004).
- Götz, Manuel. “Alternative Power-to-Gas: A technological and economic review.” Alternative Energy (2016).
- JosephDay. “Improving spectral modification for applications in solar cells: A review.” Alternative Energy (2019).
- Kessides, IN. “Chaos in power: Pakistan’s electricity, Energy policy.” Islamabad (2013).
- Malkani, M.S. “A Review of Coal and water resources of Pakistan.” Science, Technology .and Development (2012).
- Mckendry. “Energy production from biomass.” Bioresource Technology (2002).
- Painuly. “Barriers to alternative energy penetration; a framework for analysis.” Alternative Energy (2001).
- Veringa, H.J. ” Advanced Techniques For Generation Of Energy From Biomass And Waste.” Sustainable Energy Ireland (2012).
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