Your paper should include all of the following parts.
- Assess your own energy use: What forms of energy do you currently rely on and where do they originate from? Be sure to consider the energy that you use at home, during travel, and at work or in school. Include at leastfivespecific examples. Consider whether each energy source is renewable or nonrenewable.
- Using the provided materials, determine which renewable sources of energy would be the most and least appropriate for use in your chosen location. Be sure to discuss the energy form identified by your instructor as well as two other forms of renewable energy, for a total of three forms of renewable energy. Explain how you arrived at your decisions. For example, you may find that solar energy is not a potential resource due to seasonal changes making sunlight inconsistently available throughout the year.
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the energy sources you currently rely on as well as the three renewable energy sources you identified above. Include both the economic (costs/benefits) and ecological impacts of each.
- Describe how technological advancements have facilitated the implementation of renewable energy technology. Be sure to examine how technology has influenced our ability to generate and distribute renewable energy to a broader consumer base over time.
- In addition to using alternative forms of energy, energy conservation is also a significant way in which ecological impacts can be reduced on the environment. Determine areas where you may already practice energy conservation and also identify at least three ways in which you can reduce your energy use at home, work, or in other areas you engage in on a regular basis.
- A template for the Unit 4 assignment is provided. You are welcome to modify this template to suit your needs, being sure to meet the Assignment requirements. Review the rubric for this assignment in the syllabus and the scoring guide for this assignment in Doc Sharing.
The Future of Energy Guiding Decisions with Evidence
With the advance of technology and the extreme change of weather in various parts of the universe, there is the increase in the energy that is used both by industries and households. Due to the increased need for the available energy, there has been an ongoing campaign that is meant to educate individuals on how best to conserve energy and to use a little amount of it for maximum benefits. Thus, most environmentalists are creating awareness of energy efficiency to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. However, with the realization that renewable resources of energy significantly contribute to air pollution, most companies and governments are striving to educate their citizens of the importance of renewable sources of energy. Renewable energy resources refer to that type of energy collected from resources that are naturally replenished while non-renewable resources of energy are often obtained from fossil energy that is hard and difficult to replenish. This assignment will attempt to tackle various aspects of both renewable and non-renewable resources of energy.
Most of the human activities in this new era are known to incorporate the use of energy mainly to improve the time taken to obtain the results. Some of the daily uses of energy include:
- a) Lighting
- b) Transportation
- c) For warmth especially during winter
- d) Commercial uses, such as driving machines
- e) Washing and iron clothes
Different energies are used for varied reasons, and they come from various resources both renewable and nonrenewable in the attempt to satisfy the ever growing demand for the use of energy. My household energy that is used for lighting comes from the solar energy (renewable energy resource) which is tapped from the sun and then stored in the hydraulic battery to be used later in the evening or whenever lights are needed. However, the solar energy is usually supplemented with hydroelectric energy (renewable energy resource) considering that at times; there is no enough sunshine to generate enough power for lighting. Nevertheless, all other houses hold energy uses, use hydroelectric energy except for transportation. Transportation uses petroleum energy which is obtained from fossils, making it a non-renewable fossil fuel (Pacific Power, 2013).
Renewable Energy Analysis
- Hydroelectric energy- hydroelectric power is usually obtained from flowing water, which creates energy by turning turbines, which are later transformed into electric power. Besides, it is a form of renewable energy resources and can be replenished once it runs out. As a matter of fact, it is the oldest methods of producing power and produces 17% of all worlds’ energy. However, with the advance in technology, the method used to produce this energy is changing with time as in this era; big generators are put in dams that produce this energy.
- Solar energy – is a radiant light and heat from the sun that is tapped through the use of technologies such as solar panels. Solar energy is a paramount source of renewable resource, and its energy can be characterized as passive solar or active solar depending on whether the energy is stored to be used when there is no sunlight.
- Wind energy- Wind energy is obtained from the wind. The wind is used to turn the turbines that convert kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power that is used for household uses or commercial use (NRDC, n.d.; National Atlas, 2013; Union of Concerned Scientists, 2012).
Judging from my location, I would say that solar energy is the most appropriate form of solar energy considering that we usually receive a large amount of sunshine at most times of the year. However, the sunshine may not shine for long every day, but it can sustain our domestic use. On the other hand, I would say that wind energy is the least appropriate form of energy considering that the area does not receive a high amount of wind. Moreover, due to the tall buildings, there are a lot of obstacles that prevents smooth harvest of wind energy (Pacific Power, 2013; Solar Oregon, n.d.).
Economic Costs/Benefits and Ecological Impacts
Some of the possible advantages and disadvantages of my current source of energy include:
Both wind and solar energy are renewable energy sources that can be replenished naturally and thus reduces electricity bills of the company or personal considering that this energy can be used to meet some of the energy needs. On the other hand, the initial cost of implementing both wind and solar energy can be high leave alone being dependent on the weather. On the same note, hydroelectric power relies on the water, making it clean energy. Notably, all the above sources of energy are renewable, meaning that they have minimal impacts on the ecology considering that they are clean energies making them some of the best renewable sources of energy.
Role of Technology
With the advance in technology, innovators have developed new ways of tapping solar, the wind and hydroelectric energy making it easy to harvest them in large quantities as well as distributing them with ease and efficiency. Besides, technology has made the harvest cost effective by introducing powerful harvest and distribution machines.
Currently, I purchase energy save bulbs to help reduce consumption of energy in my households and thus cut the cost incurred in the form of energy bills (Pacific Power, 2013; Solar Oregon, n.d.).
However, other possible techniques that can be used to save energy include:
- Sealing air leaks especially at winter to reduce amount o energy used for heating
- Turning off electrical devices when they are not in use to ensure that there no wastage of energy
- Lowering the room temperature can also work miracles when it comes to energy conservation saving a lot of energy.
In conclusion, it is correct to say that, energy is one of the important aspects of human life and we cannot do without energy. Thus, it is for individuals and companies to conserve energy by incorporating both renewable and nonrenewable sources to meet their demand. However, ecological effect of the resources should be the priority to consider before adopting any energy plan.
The Natural Atlas of the United States. (2013, January 14). Renewable energy sources in the United States. Retrieved from http://nationalatlas.gov/articles/people/a_energy.html
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). (n.d.). Renewable energy for America. Retrieved from http://www.nrdc.org/energy/renewables/
Pacific Power. (2013). Fuel source & environmental impact. Retrieved from http://www.pacificpower.net/ya/po/otou/fsei.html
Solar Oregon. (n.d.). Does solar work in Oregon? Retrieved from http://solaroregon.org/residential-solar/residential-faqs/does-solar-work-in-oregon
Union of Concerned Scientists. (2012, March 19). Our energy choices: Renewable energy. Retrieved from http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/