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Alternative Energy Sources Essay

1758 words - 8 pages

Alternative Energy Sources

The issue of depending on oil on a global scale has been in question for a long time with suggestions that application of alternative sources of energy will eliminate dependency. Due to the argument on this, it is important to weigh the options on how each of the two is true and how they work, hence the essence of this essay.

The Impact of Alternative Energy Resources in a Sustainable World

The use of alternative energy resources such as solar power, hydel power, tidal power, wind energy, geothermal energy and biogas as a substitute to fossil fuel-based energy resources is being discussed at various ...view middle of the document...

Or at least, the formation process can take millions of years. This creates a gap between the rate of production and the rate of consumption of these fuels, which is not conducive to a sustainable environment.

For example, it is expected that the oil resources of the United Arab Emirates will be depleted in the next 90 or so years (Gulf News, 2008). Similarly, Pakistan has been experiencing an energy crisis because of declining natural gas production. When the supply of these fuels is reduced, the price increases as a result of market forces, which creates economic problems of its own.

Alternative Energy Resources are Ubiquitous

A second argument made in defense of alternative energy resources is that compared to fossil fuels, they are more widely available. For example, oil is concentrated in certain regions of the world such as the Middle East and the Gulf of Mexico.

On the other hand, alternative energy resources such as wind and water are available in several parts of the world in forms that are conducive to power generation. The fact that alternative energy resources come in various forms increases the likelihood of some type of alternative energy resource to be present in a particular part of the world.

For instance, the countries along the equator are blessed with longer hours of daylight and sunshine compared with countries further away from the equator. At the same time, certain regions of the world have access to coasts and rivers that can be harnessed to deliver energy.

The use of alternative energy resources will reduce the transport of fossil fuels through tankers and pipelines to far-off places. This will reduce the energy costs significantly. As a consequence, the cost of goods and services that are directly influenced by the rising energy costs, such as agricultural produce, will not be affected adversely.

Alternative Energy Resources are Non-Polluting

The strongest argument made in favour of alternative energy resources by the environmentalists is that such resources are non-polluting. It has become a much discussed fact the persistent discharge of carbon emissions into the atmosphere is related to the environmental disasters that threaten the sustainability of the ecological system. The depletion of the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, global warming and climatic changes have all been attributed to the use of fossil fuels.

The greenhouse effect, for instance, is caused by the increase of fossil fuel based emissions in the atmosphere. These emissions form a blanket that prevents solar heat from escaping the atmosphere thus increasing the temperature of the Earth. This has resulted in many of the drastic changes in world climate that have been witnessed in recent years. In 2005, the Hurricane Katrina devastated the American coastline while in 2010 unprecedented huge floods in Pakistan crippled the economy of that country.

Even when fossil fuels are...

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