Though it’s relatively easy to extract, use and store non-renewable energy which are the biggest advantages, there is one major disadvantage. Non-renewable energy cannot be replenished for millions of years. That means eventually the earth will run out of non-renewable energy which is acquired from fossil-fuel, natural gases and petroleum. One of the many ways to embark on a sustainable journey which will help us to store this non-refundable form of energy for another million years is switching to renewable energy from non-renewable means.
Non-renewable Energy Sources
The major resources of non-renewable energy are fossil-fuel, natural gases and petroleum. Over hundreds of millions of years ago the earth had a different landscape that it is today. The surface was mostly wet and was covered with shallow seas and swampy forests. Different kinds of plants, algae, phytoplankton, zooplankton grew in these wetlands. They used photosynthesis to make food using sunlight and as plants do, used to store the energy in their body. When they died their organisms got composited into the seabed and soil and a huge amount of energy got stored. Today the earth is filled with hundreds of such underground pockets called reservoirs. This energy is known to us as non-renewable energy.
The Pros and Cons of Using Non-renewable Energy
Mining energy from underground energy reservoirs is not very difficult. The mining industries all across the world is cashing on this business. The extraction process is also considerably easier. Non-renewable energy can be stored and converted in any convenient form. So usability can be considered as the biggest advantage. The amount of energy earth still holds can meet our electricity and energy needs for thousand more years.
But this is also true for a fact that the earth reservoirs are declining by each passing year. The human population is rapidly growing, with that increasing the need for more energy and resources. Our dependencies on non-renewable energy can lead up to an earth where producing sufficient energy can be the biggest battle for humanity.
Most non-renewable energy sources are made of carbon. Whenever we burn this kind of energy to use them this carbon reacts with the oxygen existing in the atmosphere forming carbon-di oxide thus causing greenhouse effect and increasing carbon-footprints. All these are effecting the delicate atmospheric balance and earth’s ‘carbon budget’.
What Are the Alternative Energy Sources
Scientists and climatologists have been working for years to find ways that can lessen our dependencies on non-renewable energy and preserve it for the future generation. Populating the usage of renewable energy, solar energy, recycled materials, conservation of energy are some of the widely adopted means of alternative energy usage movement. Millions of dollars are being invested in many projects throughout the globe on solar plants, wind mills, hydropower plants, nuclear energy plants.
The Tech Industry is coming forward
Though this movement has going on for decades, only recently it has gained momentum. Many big names like Microsoft co-founder Gates, Facebook co-founder Zuckerberg, Virgin Group head Branson, founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman are coming forward to invest on climate and environmental issues. Tesla motors have recently changed their motto from “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport” to “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”.
The authorities are more concerned about energy efficiency and carbon pollution now than they were anytime before
Governments of various countries have proposed and passed laws to minimize the usage of non-renewable energy, reduce the overall energy consumption, awards and recognition for sustainable homes that runs on renewable energy to encourage the citizens in efficient energy consumption. For example, in Australia the government has made it compulsory for all the new homes and residences for have a 6 star energy rating certified by an energy rating accessor. In the UK they rate their residences on the band of A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
The world will not run out of it’s fossil fuels and energy resources in a day. It’s more like a slow poisoning which will lead us to the ultimate disaster. By being a little more conscious and putting a little effort can save us all from that and ensure a green, healthy planet for our future generation.
Tesla Motors made a handsome profit this quarter for the first time while the US oil industry is in the red.
Tesla Motors, the American automaker and energy storage company, made $22 million in profits last quarter, handily outdoing the entire US oil industry who managed to lose $67 billion last year due to the major instability in oil prices. This is great news for Tesla, who has frequently been maligned by Wall Street analysts as permanently unprofitable.
Tesla had previously stated that last quarter was their last opportunity to show investors that the company, which embraces alternative energy, could be profitable and have a positive cash flow. Tesla’s recent growth shattered even the company’s own expectations as they were able to open 17 new stores and service centers and delivered nearly 25,000 vehicles. However, doubts have been raised as to whether Tesla’s recent successes were enabled largely by the massive government subsidies it receives.
Tesla Motors, along with CEO Elon Musk’s three other companies, have benefited fromover $4.9 billion in government (i.e. taxpayer) support, only half a billion less than that received by the entire fossil fuel industry. In a recent example, the state of Nevada decided to offer Tesla $1.3 billion in benefits for the construction of a Nevada battery factory after a year of tense negotiations. Musk also secured $126 million in California subsidies for the development of its energy storage technology.
Though there is reason to celebrate Tesla’s initiatives in the alternative energy sector, taking the first steps of weening the country off of fossil fuels, it appears that US taxpayers are already funding the “popular uprising” against oil and gas that Musk recently called for whether they want to or not. Yet, unlike Tesla’s share-holders, it remains doubtful that any of Tesla’s new-found profits and stock price increases will benefit US taxpayers in the short term.
Tesla’s success last quarter stands in sharp contrast to the state of the US fossil fuel industry. Oil prices, largely thanks to geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East and unsuccessful OPEC deals regarding production cuts. The sharp drops in oil prices last year, which at point reached less than $40 a barrel, left many oil and gas companies on edge, with smaller companies declaring bankruptcies and larger companies warning that oil storage will run out within the year.
Many fossil fuel companies were in risky positions anyway after investing in costly, last-ditch extraction efforts such as fracking and off-shore drilling, which become major liabilities with plummeting oil prices. Even the $5.5 billion in subsidies energy companies receive from the federal government couldn’t save them.
The fact is that peak oil – the idea that oil will someday reach its “peak” and will subsequently begin to run out – has already happened. Actually, it happened 5 years agoin 2011. The reason fracking and off-shore oil drilling are expanding is not because it is profitable, it’s because that’s all that’s left. Fossil fuel companies are on their death bed and instead of making the albeit painful but necessary switch to renewable energy, they clinging to their and the world’s fossil fuel addiction until there’s nothing left.
Though Tesla’s efforts prove that there is profit in renewable energy, it too could prove problematic due to the company’s addiction to federal subsidies. The real solution to this problem is for the federal government to stop covering up the greatest invention of Tesla’s motors namesake, Nikola Tesla’s free energy device. Tesla and other companies won’t touch it because there is no profit to be made in free energy. This just illustrates that the battle to end fossil fuel dependence is a key part of the battle to end humanity’s dependence on profits.
The wind is just one of the many free and renewable energy sources that this bountiful earth can offer us. With the right technology, we can harness the power of the wind and convert it into the electricity that we need. Other types of renewable energy are the sun for solar power, water for hydroelectric power, waves and tides for wave and tidal power, biofuel, biomass, and geothermal energy from the heat generated within the earth. All of these are viable alternatives to fossil fuel. Although windmills have been used since ancient times, it is only now that people are seriously considering wind as an alternative source of electric power.
When harnessing the wind to make electricity, turbines must be used to do the job. The mechanics of harnessing wind power are a bit different from the one that is used for harnessing solar power. Whereas solar power systems convert heat into electricity by way of photovoltaic solar cells packaged into panels, wind power systems use the power of the wind to push specially designed blades. The fiberglass or metal blades, usually two or three, are attached to a rotor shaft and on to a motor or generator. As the blades turn, the turbines do their work. This is what makes electric power for us. The whole system is composed of a rotor shaft, a gear box, and a brake assembly; and then there are the blades, the tail, the stop switch, the wires, the motor, the hub, the diode, the fuse, the ammeter, the charge controller, and the batteries.
How does wind become electricity? Inside a generator are strong magnets that spin around coils of magnet wire. The spinning action is what generates electricity inside a coil. From this point on, it operates the same way as a solar power system. In order to use the renewable energy generated by the turbine, you need to connect it to your house wiring. To do this, you will need a bridge rectifier, a charge controller, batteries, and an inverter. You need a little bit of knowledge on AC and DC electricity for this operation. Some people hire electricians to make the final connections. There are different kinds of wind turbines, as well as different kinds of blade designs and materials. Even tower heights depend on site, weather conditions in the area, and other considerations. The amount of electric power that a turbine can generate will also depend on these factors.
To be able to use the free, renewable energy of wind, this is the tool that you will need. Once you have set up your wind turbine, then you will have unlimited electricity. This is very useful if you are living in a remote area that is off the grid. It can also help lower monthly bills if you do live on-grid but want to augment your traditional power source with a clean, green, and renewable source. To help offset the initial costs of building a turbine to harness wind power, there are rebates and other incentives for people that use this kind of alternative power. Check your local authorities for such an offer.