We all know about it. Wind, water and sunlight are three of the best renewable alternative energy sources that we have–in abundance and for free! But one fact remains, we’re not utilizing them to their full potential.
Energy is a very big deal. We use a lot of it, and we get most of it by burning fossil fuels. The world has a limited supply of fossil fuel. It takes millions of years for oil, coal, and natural gas to form in the depths of the earth. Fossil fuel is NOT a renewable energy source. It’s finite. We WILL run out.
Burning fossil fuel for energy is not a good thing for either our health or our planet’s health. The emissions caused by burning fossil fuel are polluting our air – that’s the air we breathe! We’ve got to do better. We have simply got to come up with a way to harness renewable energy sources like wind, water, and sunlight that will provide the energy we need and none of the pollution that we don’t need.
Using wind, water, and sunlight to provide power isn’t a new concept. People have been using wind, water, and sunlight for thousands of years. Wind, water, and sunlight are renewable energy sources; there’s plenty of all three, and none of them add anything bad to the air we breathe. There’s no toxic waste, either.
Refineries must buy crude oil to produce the gasoline and diesel that we use in our cars and trucks. Utility companies must buy the gasoline and diesel that’s used to create much of the electricity that powers our homes. But if we just put the technology that’s already been developed to use to power our cars, our trucks, our homes, and all of the thousands of little conveniences that we rely on and improve on the technology, we can have our power and our clean air both. We won’t have to choose. And wind, water, and sunlight are all free!
Of course, it’s easier said than done. But unless we make a step towards that direction, we will always rely on the fossil fuels to power our lives. Plans have been laid out, technologies are being created, all that’s missing is our will and determination to keep at it until we accomplish our goal.
Click here to see : http://www.environmentalsciencedegree.com/terrific-renewable-energy/
A new report states New Zealand is already well on the way to reaching its ambitious goal of 90 percent renewable energy by 2025. However, more needs to be done to reduce heavy emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the island nation.
Commissioned by the Royal Society of New Zealand, the report was written by a panel of climate experts led by Victoria University Professor Ralph Sims.
The report notes Kiwis’ GHG emissions per capita are “well above” those of other developed countries and outlines a range of actions for policymakers to transition the country to a low-carbon economy.
It argues renewable electricity generation in New Zealand is already at 80 percent capacity, giving the nation a head start on many countries, and finds it is “technically and economically possible” to reach New Zealand’s 90 percent target by 2025.
An even higher percentage of renewables is feasible, but would require an upgraded, more flexible grid, energy storage and backup generation solutions, particularly in dry years when hydropower is impacted.
The main sources of CO2 emissions came from heating and electricity, transport fuels, logging and cement production.
The NZ transport sector is 99 percent reliant on fossil fuels. This, Professor Sims says could mitigated better fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, better urban design to encourage walking, cycling and public transport, and shifting freight from roads to rail or sea.
“As an example, the transport of one tonne of freight by diesel-powered rail produces less than a third of the emissions than transport over the same journey by road,” said Professor Sims. Further gains could be made by additional rail electrification.
The report states farming also has a massive impact on New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, with half of all gross GHG production coming from methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. This could be reduced by employing best practices, selectively breeding sheep and cattle for low carbon agriculture.
Professor Sims also recommends strengthening New Zealand’s Building code to include higher energy efficiency standards, along with a national policy of retrofitting buildings to improve energy balance and replace power-hungry with smarter appliances.
In order to keep emissions low whiles changes are enacted, the report recommends large-scale planting of new forests in un-forested area over the medium term.
“… [B]ut it should not be viewed as an alternative for reducing emissions in other areas, as there are limits to how many forests can be planted due to the availability of suitable land. It is an effective strategy in the short to medium term while other sectors transition to low-carbon technologies,” Professor Sims said.
The report, Transition to a low-carbon economy for New Zealand, can be viewed here (PDF).
by Energy Matters
1. Renewable energy is environmentally more friendly than fossil fuels.
2. Renewable energy sources cannot be depleted
3. Renewable energy industry can create many new jobs
4. Renewable energy helps against climate change
5. Renewable energy helps against pollution.
6. Renewable energy offers variety of energy sources to choose from.
7. Renewable energy sources are available in all countries of the world.
8. Renewable energy can help improve energy independence of many countries in the world.
9. Renewable energy can improve our future energy security.
10. Renewable energy can help decrease expensive foreign fuel import.
11. Renewable energy can stop fighting over oil resources.
12. Renewable energy can move science forward by opening the way for scientists to discover new ways of harnessing energy.
13. Renewable energy can improve many of our current technologies.
14. Renewable energy sources such as solar energy have almost unlimited potential.
15. Renewable energy can build strong domestic energy industry.
16. Renewable energy is long-term energy solution because world will eventually run out of fossil fuels.
17. Each country can choose renewable energy source that best suits their needs.
18. Strong renewable energy development will reduce the impact of powerful fossil fuel lobbies.
19. Renewable energy sources are becoming more and more efficient.
20. Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
21. Renewable energy sources can not lead to environmental disasters such as the one in Chernobyl.
22. Renewable energy can transform our economy and provide new business opportunities.
23. Renewable energy sources will soon become more profitable than staying with fossil fuels.
24. New scientific research opens the way for new discoveries that could have positive effects in many other fields and industries.
25. Renewable energy offers cheaper energy solutions for isolated and remote areas.
26. Renewable energy sources are much cleaner compared to coal and other fossil fuels.
27. Renewable energy sources are responsible for far less greenhouse gas emission than fossil fuels.
28. Renewable energy sources are becoming more reliable.
29. Renewable energy sources can help diversify energy portfolio of many countries in the world.
30. The number of people who work directly or indirectly in renewable energy industry grows all the time.
31. Strong domestic renewable energy sector equals to lesser dependence on oil.
32. Joint renewable energy projects could help connect people from different countries.
33. Renewable energy can help in electrification of many rural areas.
34. Renewable energy offers quick energy solutions for many developing countries that do not have enough money for expensive foreign fuel import.
35. Renewable energy can build bridges among countries by sharing technological know-how.
36. Renewable energy can lead the world to safe and clean energy future.
37. World currently uses only a tiny fraction of totally available renewable energy resources meaning that there is almost unlimited future potential.
38. Some renewable energy technologies like for instance hydropower are already proven technologies.
39. Renewable energy can be stored. Adequate energy storage is the solution against intermittency of some renewable energy sources.
40. Solar and wind industries are among the fastest growing industries in the world.
41. Renewable energy can help solve the global waste issue. With the adequate technologies waste can be turned into useful form of energy.
42. Renewable energy offers new social perspective and has contributed heavily to go green mindset of many people all across the globe.
43. Renewable energy can help preserve our planet clean and healthy for future generations.
44. Using renewable energy technologies is modern thing. Solar panels and wind turbines are often described as “cool” by many people.
45. Even if fossil fuels were to become inexhaustible they would still be far to environmentally damaging to compete with renewable energy.
46. Renewable energy industry offers scalability of renewable energy solutions.
47. According to one Greenpeace study world could save around $180 billion a year by making a switch to renewable energy sources.
48. Renewable energy investment continues to rise on national and global level giving excellent opportunities to many domestic and foreign investors.
49. Renewable energy is simply the “go to energy option”. No matter when, but at some time renewable energy will become the only available energy option once world starts running out of fossil fuels.
50. By using more renewable energy sources we can show we care not only for our planet but for our children, grandchildren and the future of humanity in general. Renewable energy is one of the bright lights our civilization should stream for.
By Ned Haluzan
The Galapagos Islands are most famous for the unique animal species studied by Charles Darwin and it’s those species that have been the driving force behind the archipelago’s quest to derive all of its energy from renewable sources instead of imported diesel fuel which still meets the majority of its energy needs.
Back in 2001, a fuel tanker bringing diesel fuel to San Cristóbal, the provincial capital, struck a reef and spilled about 570,000 liters of diesel oil which threatened the plants, birds and marine life that only call the Galapagos home. After that event, an international group created the $10 million San Cristóbal Wind Project which saw the installation of three 51-meter-tall wind turbines and two sets of solar panels in 2007.
That project, operated by the energy company EOLICSA, has managed to cover 30 percent of the electricity needs of San Cristóbal, the second largest island in size and population, and replaced the use of 8.7 million liters of diesel fuel since it began operation. A new planned expansion would boost renewable energy to covering 70 percent of the island’s electricity needs on the way to hitting 100 percent. The new project would also serve as a blueprint for how to get the rest of the island chain to catch up. Currently, renewable energy only supplies 20 percent of energy demand for the other 18 islands, most of which are uninhabited.
The wind power project on San Cristóbal is notable not just because of how it has slashed fossil fuel usage, but because it has actually helped boost the health and numbers of the endangered species there. The project included an Environmental Management Plan when it was created that outlined ways to protect the unique bird populations, especially the Galapagos Petrel which is critically endangered.
The turbines are located on a hill far away from Petrel nesting sites and where there is little of the endangered Galapagos Miconia plant. Three kilometers of transmission lines were buried to avoid interfering with Petrel flights between their nests and the sea. The group has also carried out programs to reduce invasive species like feral cats, rats and plants that threaten the endangered species.
All the work has paid off. No Petrels have been harmed in the wind project’s lifetime and the efforts to control pest species have led to an increased hatching success rate from 85 to 96 percent and the Petrel population seems to be growing. The environmental management portion of this project has shown that bird populations can be protected alongside wind turbines if the right precautions are taken.
The next stage of the project will see another wind turbine added, more solar power installed and an energy storage system to make the renewable energy more consistent and reliable
Megan writes for the Technology section of Treehugger. She has been covering clean technology topics since 2008, previously acting as Managing Editor of EcoGeek.org, and she also writes about positive parenting ideas at LightBulbParenting.com. She received her degree in print journalism from the University of South Carolina. She loves being amazed everyday by how technology and human innovation can protect our earth.