Renewable Energy

Green power, renewable energy, solar power, wind power, electric/hybrids. What is this? What can I do? Many may not know these terms, what they actually consist of, and how we can all do our part and help. What can any ordinary person do in our everyday lives to help care for Mother Earth? Renewable energy sources; solar, wind, and power these small changes can ensure a cleaner, safer and longer sustaining environment for our children’s grandchildren.

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Can renewables really be the way of the future? Some do agree that yes, it can. Solar power for instance, due to the fact that energy from the sun is clean, free, abundant, and infinitely renewable. It does not emit fumes, not dangerous to produce, and definitely does not need to be extracted at the expense of human, financial and environmental cost from below the surface of the ground.

In the article, State Solar Plans Are As Big As All Outdoors states, “The expectation is that renewables will transform California’s electricity system,” says Terri O’Brien, who helps vet sites for new facilities for the California Energy Commission. The way to have solar power is provided through solar panels they can be placed on rooftops or buildings, on the sides or just on stand in an open area. When looking at Solar Thermal facilities to power cities with energy, like the one owned by Palo Alto based Ausra Inc, this is where the unsightly comes into play, rows of gigantic mirrors covering an area as big as 2 football fields. This poses a question of, “How can these solar panels work when the sun doesn’t shine?” No power can be generated and there’s no way to store. “Climate change is the greatest challenge that mankind has ever faced,” said Peter Darbee, President and Chief executive of PG & E and head of its parent S.F. PG&E Corp. “It’s imperative to seek out the most cost effective solutions.” Cost effective possibly but at the price of wasted land.

A second renewable source; wind power. A small town in Denmark known as, “renewable energy island.” It is the first of it is the first of its kind. Showing the world its positive prospects on one end, yet natures devastation on the other. We have all seen those big turbines way up in the hills, as a child I often wondered what they were but I remember thinking how big they were and just watching them spin in the wind. Wind power seems as genuine and legit as solar power, having as many advantages as disadvantages. Both are clean renewable energy sources, again neither are extracted from the earth, raw materials are free but neither solar nor wind power can generate enough electricity the way fossil fuels or nuclear power can. Just as the sun does not always shine for the panels, the wind will not always blow for the turbines. Unless you are from Samso AKA “renewable energy island” where in fact the wind off the Kattegat blows continuously.

The town of Samso is more like a big family. It took the entire island in cooperation to achieve their status. Taking into consideration the pros and cons of wind powered turbines, where the ability to generate power to all the homes outweighed the environmental impact of the killing of birds and bats due to the turbines spinning. Mr Hermansen of Denmark’s, “renewable energy island,” stated that, “one reason to live here can be social relations,” he said, “This renewable energy project could be a new kind of social relation, and we used that.” They show that anyone can have wind power one does not need to be special, well educated, or rich to accomplish renewable energy, one just has to have the drive to make a difference.

Lastly, electric vehicles, sounds interesting and fun as it rolls off your tongue. EV’s or not to be; once again it seems to be the question. The notion of EV’s has been brought back to the table, yet again. In 1976, Congress approved funding for “electric and hybrid” research. That same year Forbes reported that, “the electric cars rebirth is as sure as the need to end our dependence on imported oil.” EV’s have been around for some time now though personally never gave them a second thought, that is until I read the article The Great Electric Car Experiment by Daniel Yergin. Yergin discusses the need for EV’s to not only reduce pollution and to offset the carbon emissions. EV’s have come a long way since its first debut between 1996 & 1999 to today’s Nissan LEAF (Leading, Enviromentally friendly, Affordable, Family car) batteries are smaller, cars are more compact, more miles to battery ratio, eye appealing, and cost friendly.

Honestly I myself had been thinking of purchasing a Hybrid, rather than a EV due to same concerns many other folks have. Is it really affordable or too good to be true? How many miles can I drive before recharging? Where do I recharge? Will it just die and leave me stranded? All these questions are slowly being answered, but these questions and concerns will way heavy on whether how quickly EV’s will be accepted and learned as “the way to go.” By 2020 there will be more EV’s/Hybrids on the road. “An automobile revolution is coming, but it’s traveling in the slow lane.”

I found Green Power to have many interesting articles. It was very eye opening. It has made me think about how I and family use energy. Turning out the light upon exiting a room, using energy efficient bulbs, buying energy star appliances – all of which we have done. My perspectives did indeed change a bit since reading more on renewable sources. If I could afford to I would install solar panels on my home yet I do not fully support solar farms or wind turbines, I definitely would not put a turbine near my home. I love nature too much and could not stand to see birds dying by flying into the turbines. Bottom line is we all need to do our part in helping save our earth. If I must sacrifice and by an EV, pay more in taxes, by better appliances and/or update my home. I would do so. I currently try to make little by little changes since every little bit counts for a better tomorrow. I’m happy to say that I’m pulling my own weight.

Works Sited
Kolbert, Elizabeth. “The Island In The Wind.” Article in Behrens, Laurence and Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 12th Ed., Brief. New York: Longman, 2013. 514-520. Dickerson, Marla . “State Solar Plans Are as Big as All Outdoors.” Article in Behrens, Laurence and Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 12th Ed., Brief. New York: Longman, 2013. 505-508. Yergin, Daniel. “The Great Electric Car Experiment.” Article in Behrens, Laurence and Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 12th Ed., Brief. New York: Longman, 2013. 525-534.

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