How Important Are Renewable Energy Resources?
The earth’s natural ability to produce energy for human use has been greatly depleted through the exploitation of fossil fuels and other pollutants which pollute the air, water, and land. These harmful byproducts of nonrenewable energies are commonly referred to as ‘pollutants’. The earth’s natural resources, on the other hand, are those substances that can never be exhausted and are therefore available for us to enjoy indefinitely. Some of these natural resources are water, air, rocks, ice, snow, and sunlight. These natural resources are widely used by humankind for a variety of purposes such as fuel, heat, illumination, communication, and scientific research.
The term renewable refers generally
to those energy resources and technology, whose common element is that they are naturally replenished or non-depletable. Examples of these energy resources are solar energy, wind energy, falling water, geothermal, plant life, thermal, ocean currents, and temperature variations in… Some of these energy resources are being exploited for their valuable metals, minerals, and other elements; these are referred to as raw materials.
The most important advantage of using renewable forms of energy
is the very low energy costs involved? In fact, the energy costs are so low that many developing nations are now using these energy sources to generate electricity. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy does not deplete the already limited supplies of oil, natural gas, and coal. On the contrary, harnessing renewable forms of energy allows a larger amount of energy to be produced with less energy input than would be required if we continued to use fossil fuels.
However, not all people are comfortable
with renewable energy due to its high cost of setup and operation. This is especially true in places where fossil fuel reserves are limited and it can take centuries for the earth’s natural resources to be depleted. One major setback in using renewable energy is the fact that fossil fuels have been depleting significantly. The other major setback is the environmental impact of increasing fuel emissions. While renewable energy produces no emissions, it does have some drawbacks as well. These include the following:
One of the most significant disadvantages of using renewable resources
is the effect it will have on the environment. As stated earlier, the earth’s natural resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. This process will accelerate as more nonrenewable resources become available. Thus, even though the start-up cost of a renewable resource is considerably higher than that of fossil fuels or nuclear energy, it has the potential to save the earth from further environmental degradation.
Some of the renewable energy facilities include wind farms
solar energy production, and geothermal power stations. Although these methods may not completely remove the need for fossil fuels, they will significantly reduce their demand. With this in mind, the need to drastically reduce fuel consumption can be foreseen for the near future. However, there is still a way to go – we can still utilize the remaining fossil fuel reserves and resources while using renewable energy generation systems to generate electricity.