For the past three decades, there has been a major improvement in the use of green energies. Renewable fuels supplied about 23% of the world’s overall fuel production as of January 2016. The acceleration of the depreciation of available nonrenewable sources is primarily responsible for the transition. Increased climate change awareness has also resulted in increased incorporation of environmentally sustainable initiatives into conventional energy use, further increasing green energy uptake. During the same time frame, there was a 413 percent rise in renewable energy usage initiatives. The study discusses renewable energy sources and the critical role they have assumed in today’s domestic and industrial environments. It explores specific sources such as solar power, wind, and geothermal energy, and provides a detailed account of all dynamics influencing their adoption. It utilizes descriptive research to collect and analyze data.
Key words: non-renewable energy, carbon emissions, fuel, power
Renewable Energy Source
The synthesis papers reviews the use of renewable energy as a substitute to traditional non-renewable fuel sources. Renewable energy presents an adequate alternative to the world’s quickly depreciating power reserves. It offers an avenue with which humanity can realize sustainability and efficiency in its quest to satisfy its energy needs. Since time immemorial, human beings have always endeavored to explore more efficient power sources. The demand for energy has always existed, inspiring the employment of sophisticated schemes to help them realize extended use, reliability, and sustainability.
As Akhmetov (2015) explains, early civilizations utilized basic energy sources such as charcoal and firewood. They had limited technical knowhow. As such, the improvement of their systems was often minimal. The early man’s needs were also fairly elementary. They created simple fires for basic functions such as cooking, warmth, keeping wild animals at bay and hunting. They did not exhibit any renewability concerns as their fuel source was abundant. However, with sophistication in man’s lifestyle came the need to reconfigure his energy uses. They moved from living in clusters in the wilderness to staying in secure stick or stone houses. They could no longer comfortably light big fires to stay warm (Herzog, Lipman & Kammen, 2001). At night, they simply could wander off to sleep. A new need was introduced. The homes would be lit at night to increase the volume of their daily output. Then they realized winter had become intolerable and that they needed some form of internal heating mechanisms so they built fireplaces and other artificial atmospheric conditioning systems.
The article explores the concept of renewable energy with special focus on its constituent fuel sources. It places a great degree of insistence on the factors that has constituted towards the need for this energy alternative as well as explains the various processes authorities engage in to ensure production and widespread adoption of green energy.
The advent of industrial evolution has heralded a new dispensation in energy use. Suddenly, there was a need for the production of energy at a greater scale. The production of power gave rise to a huge industry with a colossal demand for fuel sources. This inspired an improvement process giving rise to the exploration of modern sources such as petroleum, coal, and electricity. The subsequent increase in access to the energy alternatives led to the significant upsurge in usage. The demand for energy was insatiable. With each new discovery or advancement in efficiency technologies, the demand appeared to increase exponentially (Akhmetov, 2015). With time, the available resources began to deplete. Oil wells showed signs of drying up with the reserves running dangerously low.
The use of wood threatened to eliminate the meager forest cover the world so desperately clung on. And for a moment, humanity appeared destined for a serious disaster. It was at the juncture that the concept of renewable energy efforts was rejuvenated. Throughout the years there were discussions as well as attempts to explore more sustainable energy sources with minimal success. However, the new reality forced authorities to reconsider their position on the subject and actively campaign for the expansion of renewable energy efforts. The most common renewable energy sources include solar, wind, ocean currents, and geothermal energy.
The method utilized in the development of the study is descriptive research. This technique was assumed as a result of suitability in the analysis of data from secondary sources. The subject of renewable energy sources have been explored by previous researchers. As such, a massive amount of data on the subject currently exists. The data is varied and multifaceted hence, critical in the development of the study. Descriptive research allows the collection and analysis of data from different professional standpoints, hence; provide a great degree of reliability and validity.
After extensive research, the article was able to identify several key renewable energy sources. It was able to provide the different context in which the fuel sources were utilized as well as develop an explicit understanding into the various intricacies that inspire the adoption of these alternatives.
There has been a tremendous increase in the use of solar energy for contemporary power requirements. At 1995, a marginal 0.6 Gigawatts of electricity was produced. It is incomparable to the 100GW consumed in 2012. The change is as a result in the growth in investment in solar energy infrastructure. Clean energy campaigns have served to present solar energy as a fitting alternative to other non-renewable energy sources hence, improve their use. In the study, solar power was discovered to be the most prevalent renewable energy source. Regions that experienced extended periods of sunlight exhibited a greater propensity to adopt this approach as compared to other electrical energy sources (Elvidge, Zhizhin, Baugh, Hsu, & Ghosh, 2015). Its uptake was also greatly inspired by the reality that no additional recurrent expenditures were to be realized after the installation of the associated infrastructure. Solar insolation was free and readily available, further encouraging the use of this method.
The second source explored in the research expedition was wind energy. Over the last twenty years, the use of wind energy has increased by over 2400%. In 1997, wind energy was mostly utilized by select national grids as a supplement to their key fuel sources. All this changed when a deliberate effort by governmental and international authorities identified wind energy as a suitable alternative to petroleum and other non-renewable sources.
Large wind turbines were placed regions that experienced strong winds. The amount of energy received was found to correspond with the strength of the wind as well as the amount of time the turbines were exposed to strong winds (Johansson, 1993). The fuels source is largely preferred in areas that experiences very high draft. They commonly used to compliment the other energy sources. The fact that they require minimal additional recurrent resources makes them all the more alluring as an alternative to other mainstream energy sources.
Geothermal energy was adopted as a principal energy uses in the late quarter of the 20th century. Initially it was assumed to be difficult to harness and with little potential, hence, was largely unexploited. However, it changed with the increase in investment of clean energy by major electricity producers all over the world. Varying climatic conditions resulted in a decrease in water levels hence, hydro-electric sources could not be utilized. Geothermal energy is majorly utilized in regions prone to high volcanic activity. Geothermal wells produce steam at very high velocities shooting through surface of the earth great force. These steam jets are the utilized to rotate turbines to establish the necessary flux interaction hence produce electrical energy. While geothermal source were an excellent alternative to traditional electric production techniques, it was fundamentally limited as it only occurred in select locations. The research established that ocean currents were also utilized in the production of electricity through at a very limited extent.
The research explored the phenomenon of renewable energy production as an alternative to the drastically depleting traditional energy sources. It concluded that human activity had led to the reduction of non-renewable fuels hence, created a huge sustainability problem. Activities such as large scale deforestation, industrialization, environmental pollution are just but some of the events to blame for this unfortunate situation. It established that the most common renewable energy sources included geothermal, solar, wind, and ocean current processes. The studied noted that recent efforts to pursue renewable energy as a mainstream source for industrial and domestic power has further encouraged the expansion of the industry is likely promote the transition of the world into a greener most sustainable position.
Akhmetov, A. (2015). Decomposition analysis of industry sector CO^ sub 2^ emissions from fossil fuel combustion in Kazakhstan. International Journal of Energy and Environment, 6(1), 37.
Elvidge, C. D., Zhizhin, M., Baugh, K., Hsu, F. C., & Ghosh, T. (2015). Methods for global survey of natural gas flaring from visible infrared imaging radiometer suite data. Energies, 9(1), 14.
Herzog, A. V., Lipman, T. E., & Kammen, D. M. (2001). Renewable energy sources. Environment, 43(10), 1-17.
Johansson, T. B. (1993). Renewable energy: sources for fuels and electricity. London: Island press.