The EU has
the intention to lead the global fight against climate change. Global warming
is an urgent threat, because of the Earth warming, extreme weather occurrences
like floods, hurricanes and droughts are becoming more common. In order to
escape the worst, we need to keep the global temperature rise to bellow 2 or
even 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Africa made a movement “The solar
romance story”. “Greenpeace is calling on South Africa’s most loved
supermarkets (Woolworths, Pick n pay, Spar…) to take the lead and show the
country some love by committing to 100% renewable energy.”
comes form moving water and is the largest renewable energy source for electricity
in the United States, it generates about 10% of the nation’s energy. The most
frequent power station uses a dam on a river to store water in a reservoir. Just
like everything else, hydropower has advantages and disadvantages. Water is
clean and safe alternative for fossil fuels and nuclear power, considering that
hydroelectric dam do not use any fuel, they do not produce any greenhouse gases
or toxins into the environment.
renewable sources which can be replenished in the same amount of time as it
takes to use it up. Water power, sun, wind power, and geothermal are renewable
sources of energy. We have considered replacing fossil fuels with renewable
sources, and yet, renewable energy still provides only about 13% of our needs.
That is because reaching 100% requires renewable energy that is inexpensive and
accessible. Since our technology is advanced enough to capture all energy from
the renewable sources, and there is an adequate supply. Considering that the
sun continuously radiates at about 10,000 more than we need. It has been
estimated that a surface that spans several hundred thousand kilometres, would
be needed to power humanity at our present usage levels. In order for this to
come to life, we need efficiency and energy transportation. To maximize
efficiency, solar panel must be located in areas with a lot of sunshine all
year round., like deserts. But there is a problem with that, they are far away
from densely populated, which is where demand for energy high. There are other
renewable sources that we can draw from, such as hydroelectric, geothermal and
biomasses, but they also have limitations based on availability and location.
it is still accountable for 27% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
“Methane, the main ingredient of natural gas, is the second
most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide” –
according to greenpeace.org
“Natural gas also releases nearly 30% less carbon
dioxide and 43% less than coal.” – according to EESI
is mostly used for providing heat and electricity for buildings and industrial
processes. Just like oil, combustion of natural gas makes greenhouse gas
emissions, fuelling climate change. The gas that was not burned represents a
big problem when it escapes. It is not commonly used as a transporting fuel,
only about 2% of the U.S. uses it as transporting fuel. Natural gas can be utilized
to make fertilizers, paint and plastic. Combustion of natural gas is much
cleaner compared to coal and oil, it releases almost zero sulfur dioxide emissions and far less nitrogen oxide.
The electric power supply primarily comes from
coal. China is the main coal producer in the world, with responsibility of 45% of
world’s supply. The combustion of coal releases air toxins such as acid rains –
rising the levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and
mercury. It also creates smog which is putting our health in danger. Emissions
from burning coal for electricity and heat powers global warming, and that
makes coal a considerable threat to our climate. Open-cut coal mining can
interrupt landscapes on larger scale, destroying forests and dragging away
soil. Australia is the leading coal producer in the world, but following are
Indonesia, Russia and USA, according to EIA.
EESI and Environmental Protection Agency, the combustion of fossil fuels is
accountable 79% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. Most of the world
uses oil for transportation and most of the oil is pumped out of the
underground reservoirs. U.S. is the world’s main petroleum user with 19.05
million barrels per day as of 2014 and net petroleum ship ins from the U.S.
were 4.5 million barrels per day. Oil causes major environmental issues, and
the world’s reliance on oil for transport makes it harder to reduce the
consumption. It is also one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions,
in fact petroleum is responsible for about 42% of greenhouse gas emissions in
the U.S. Oil extracted from tar sands and shale is much heavier, which requires
the usage of very in-depth energy methods, which leads to more emissions. A few
of the crucial exporters are to the U.S. are Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia,
Venezuela and Nigeria. Scientists estimate that we have consumed about 40% of
the world’s oil. According to present estimates, at this rate, we will run out
of oil and gas in 50 years or so and in a about a century for coal.
are non-renewable sources of energy that cannot be replenished. Fossil fuels
are coal, oil and natural gas. Other than fossil fuels, there are nuclear
fuels, which are also non-renewable. Two of the main nuclear fuels are plutonium
and uranium. To get energy from fossil fuels we must burn them, and that creates
CO2 , which is
creates greenhouse gas effect and global warming.
What if we could exchange our fossil
fuel dependence for an existence based solely on renewable energy?
are not aware of how dangerous and toxic fossil fuels are. For decades
geopolitics of energy has been mostly equivalent with geopolitics of oil, natural
gas and coal. The emphasis on how coal, natural gas and oil shape the way
states develop and interact with each other has made certain amount of sense.
Oil, natural gas and coal compose for more than half of global energy usage. On
the other side renewable energy comes from sun, wind, water, biomasses and
geothermal resources and we cannot use them up over time. We can say that they
are a gift for nature. Meanwhile prices of renewable resources have dropped in
the past years, helping renewable resources develop and these alternative
sources could be the solution to climate change and lead to healthier lives.