Renewable Energy Solutions for the State of Arkansas
Energy, currently we have renewable and non-renewable energy sources available to us. Examples of renewable energies are solar and wind. Non-renewable energy sources are nuclear, coal, oil and natural gas. As most homes and businesses are currently using non-renewable energy sources, we need an energy solution. How can we protect our earth for future generations? We need to use energy more efficiently and only use what we need. We need a sound energy solution that is efficient and conservational, we need a renewable energy source. For the State of Arkansas, what is the most effective renewable energy source, solar or wind?
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We also have a long way to go in making the solar panel more cost effective, lighter and able to harness more of the sun’s energy. We need to make continued strides in our engineering and design of solar panels. We do have some flexibility in that we an install solar panel on a house or a large solar field. Another issue with solar energy according to the Livestong.com (2013) Solar thermal power plants causes serious harm to ecology and the environment, according to the United State Energy Information Administration. These plants must be managed properly or animals can be maimed or even killed. Many of the plants utilize dangerous fluids in order to transfer heat, which often are not disposed properly.
Wind energy also has its own positive and negative criteria. Wind energy creates no greenhouse gases thus having a low carbon impact. There is flexibility in the size of the turbines so that you can have one turbine at a single home or have a turbine field. Some of the negatives are that the turbines do create a noise that can be disruptive to humans. In addition, Wind turbine blades batter birds, killing 20,000 to 37,000 a year in the U.S., according to a 2007 National Academy of Sciences study, "Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects."
So now that we have determined that both solar and wind energy have minimal impact on humans and both have a slight impact on animals it is time to do an impact analysis or a Resource Plan Guide. For both solar and wind energy we need to partner with local, state, and government offices of environmental services. An analysis on do we meet the criteria for being in a good location to operate either/or solar or wind energy. Moreover, key is looking at the cost effectiveness both short term and long term. In a 2008 report, the U.S. Department of Energy said Arkansas has the potential to generate 1,000 megawatts of wind power by 2030. That's a small slice compared with the leader, Texas, which already produces more than 8,000 megawatts. The wind energy industry is on track to become a big business in Arkansas. Since 2007, four companies tied to wind energy manufacturing have said they would spend $271.6 million and employ about 2,500 workers over the next four years in Arkansas (Friedman, M., 2009). But new customers are hard-pressed to make the investment, even with the federal rebate still available until 2016. As far a solar energy is concerned, the Arkansas rebate program has funds have dried up al though the federal rebates are still available until 2016. But, very few people are willing, without incentives, to wait for a 20 year payback (Jones, L., 2012).
So let us break this down a little, solar energy for the Arkansas is a viable solution based on location, we have the maximum sun exposure. This should be easy, but the cost is our obstacle. We need local, state and federal governments and environmental services to support rebates and incentives to encourage business and homeowners...