A Hydropower Alternative For the United States
Today, there are many advances in renewable energy technology and technologies, which make it easy for us to utilize renewable energy resources and generate electricity for our own homes, cars, and businesses. With the widespread availability of wind and solar energy and other geothermal resources, it has become possible to generate electricity using renewable energy resources at a lower cost with high efficiency. However, it is important to note that not all sources of renewable energy are limitless. Not only are geothermal resources and solar power systems constrained in supply, but the number of potential electricity-generating coal-fired power plants and hydropower dams is severely limited. As a result, the demand for natural gas and oil continues to increase even as geothermal and solar energy resources continue to be explored and developed.
The limited supply of fossil fuels makes it difficult for countries
sectors, and communities to rely on imported fossil fuel, which significantly increases their import bills every year. On the contrary, the extensive exploration of non-conventional fossil fuels such as geothermal, solar, and wind energy resources have led to substantial diversification of the economy worldwide, making the countries that rely on them far more stable financially. Geothermal energy, for example, can be used to provide heat for homes and small-scale industries in remote areas and to produce electricity for commercial and industrial usage. On the other hand, geothermal energy can be tapped to generate power for industry, rural development, and heating and cooling. Hydroelectricity provides electricity for cities; however, dams need to be located in a way that does not impact wildlife and water quality. Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel, although still not fully explored, can further reduce dependence on fossil fuels and improve the economy by reducing the total consumption of petroleum.
Although renewable energy technology
and infrastructure continues to grow at a rapid pace, the impact on the global economy remains to be seen. One recent study by the Rhodium Institute of Chemistry at the University of California said that the use of fossil fuels will continue to have a major economic impact on the world after the deadline of this year’s expiration for carbon dioxide emissions, one of the chief greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The study looked at the demand for the electricity produced by biofuels like corn and that will also remain a key economic driver post-petroleum era.
Global economic issues aside
concerns about climate change have motivated countries around the world to switch to renewable energy sources as a means to mitigate global warming. The switch to cleaner fuel sources, more importantly, geothermal energy, has been made based on reports estimating the impact of carbon dioxide emissions released from burning fossil fuels. Estimates show that, by the end of this century, annual greenhouse gas emissions could reach up to four hundred billion pounds. This would mean that the average American would owe more than ten billion dollars a year in damages caused by greenhouse gas emissions, with the largest contributors being coal-fired power plants.
Many forms of alternative energy
can be utilized today and a wide variety of renewable energy resources can be used to meet the energy demands of both commercial and residential markets. From wind energy to solar energy and biofuel production there are multiple ways in which the world can shift away from using fossil fuels and embrace clean renewable energy resources. In the United States, legislation is being developed to make the transition towards green energy even faster, and experts are predicting that it could take anywhere from fifteen to twenty years for the country to eliminate its use of petroleum products.
Hydropower has been used in the United States
for decades and scientists are currently working on projects to bring this form of renewable energy to widespread use in the United States. Hydropower uses water to move a turbine and generate electricity. Projects in the southwest, where abundant water supplies exist, are currently under development. The use of hydropower for renewable energy in the united states and around the world can only benefit those who live on or near water.