Your Questions About Renewable Energy

Joseph asks…

Why is important for business to use renewable energy?

Why is important for ‘business’ to use renewable energy? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Do you know a company that uses renewable energy and has reduced its carbon footprint? And one that doesn’t and is considerably contributing to global warming etc

admin answers:

It’s important because fossil fuels are a finite resource. Global oil production is beginning to decline as old oil fields reach their peak, (the Gwhar and Cantrell giant oil fields for example,) and their production curves begin the inevitable slide downwards. Although new oil fields are being discovered, they are not very large, and for every new barrel of oil found, eight are being used at the same time.

A report from the UK Energy Research Centre published in August said that there was a ‘significant risk’ that the peak of conventional oil production would happen before 2020, and that means we will soon be staring down the barrel of the ultimate oil crisis.

Some governments and corporations are waking up to this and beginning to develop alternatives to keep the worlds transport systems moving when cheap oil runs out, such as more energy efficient – or electric cars, bio fuels (which put the world’s food supply under pressure,) and hydrogen (which is too dangerous for public use at present,) but none of these is likely to make up the shortfall in time.

Many point to the tar sands and oil shales and the trillions of barrels of oil that are locked up in them, but even if investment in them poured in and everything went well:

‘oil sands might produce 6 million barrels of oil per day in 20 years’ time, but by then we’ll need to add at least 10 times that much capacity – without allowing for any growth in demand. It’s very hard to see non-conventional (oil sources) riding to the rescue.’ (Steven Sorrel, lead author of the UKERC report.)

There is also the problem that extracting non conventional oil supplies is very environmentally destructive, and if they were fully exploited, would hugely increase CO2 emissions, before they were even burned as fuel.

We must also remember that many of the rare earth metals that are needed to develop fuel efficient technologies are only found in China, and they have decided to limit or even ban the export of these metals, leaving all the other countries that wish to expand their use of such technologies at a disadvantage.

So the only businesses that can secure energy supplies are those that invest in renewable energies now, before the oil price rises, (due to demand outstripping supply,) and before the costs of making such renewables rises too as a result of resource depletion and the constrained supply of raw materials.

Betty asks…

What would be the advantage to the USA of a thriving, high tech Renewable Energy Industry?

China’s investing in production and implementation of Renewable Energy, and is a big player in solar panel manufacture and installations, so is Japan, Germany, Spain. Why not the USA?

admin answers:

It is generally accepted that we can prevent earth’s deterioration if we achieve a renewable energy world. When we hear the word renewable energy we normally think of state-of-the art equipments and high-end technology. But, we can start today. Simple acts can help jumpstart the initiative of saving our planet.

Because renewable energy sources like solar and wind do not require the use of fossil fuels, they do not emit carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a bi-product of burning coal and gas. By reducing the amount of fossil fuels we burn, we are decreasing the amount of pollutants and chemicals being emitted into the atmosphere.

Pollution coming from power plants taints our air supply and causes asthma. Through the use of renewable energy, we could eliminate these harmful substances in the air, leading to a healthier population.

Once the solar panels are installed and the windmills are put up, renewable energy is essentially free. It costs nothing to use the suns rays, and taking advantage of a windy day is free. Furthermore, the supply of wind is not going to diminish. The sun’s rays are also prevalent and will exist for millions of years.

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