ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES 8
Alternativeenergy sources refer to the renewable forms of energy whose useguarantees more efficiency in comparison to the use of non-renewableenergy sources. The various alternative energy sources include windpower, nuclear power, solar power, geothermal energy, hydroelectricenergy, ocean energy, and hydrogen energy (Budischak Et al., 2013).These alternative energy sources present many benefits such asreduction of the use of fossil fuels, less global warming and climatechange effects, their production is sustainable, and are convenientto use. Some of these energy sources come with disadvantages, forinstance, nuclear power plants are associated with high costs andchallenges in the disposal of the nuclear wastes during powergeneration. However, in the long-term, the benefits of usingalternative energy sources outweigh the disadvantages, henceefficient to use. This paper presents an argument in support of theuse of the wind and nuclear power as alternative energy sourcesbecause of the benefits alongside their use.
Theuse of wind power as an energy source has various benefits. The windenergy is a cost-effective energy source and is one of thelowest-priced energy form available in the modern day (Twidell &Weir, 2015). Depending on the wind resource and the projectfinancing, the generation of wind energy is four to six cents forevery kilowatt. This cost of production is evidently low making theuse of wind energy cost-effective. After installation, the generationof wind energy is free because it is relies on wind which isnaturally available.
Theuse of wind energy promotes environmental sustainability. To beginwith, wind power does not cause any form of pollution to theenvironment in comparison to other non-renewable energy sources suchas natural gas which relies on combustion to produce energy. The useof wind energy does not present any form of destruction to theenvironment because it does not release toxic gasses (Budischak Etal., 2013). The fact that the wind does not contribute toenvironmental pollution reduces the risks of the outbreak of diseasesand global warming hence the creation of a healthy environment. Theclean environment, in turn, promotes sustainability of theenvironment.
Thewind turbines applied in the generation of wind energy can beconstructed on existing farm or ranch (Twidell & Weir, 2015). Theturbines can also be constructed in areas that can still be used forother farm activities such as farming. The implication is that theuse of wind energy does not consume a lot of space and thuseconomical to use. The fact that wind turbines can be constructed infarms alongside other economic activities benefits the rural areassignificantly. The benefit is because most of the wind sites arefound in the rural areas, and the construction of the turbines doesnot affect the other economic activities in the region. The farmersare in a position to continue with other farm activities since theturbines occupy a small portion of the land thus, increasing theireconomic benefits from wind energy (U.S Government AccountabilityOffice, 2006). The wind turbines become additional income sources tothe farmers.
Thewind turbines in use today are classic, modern, and attractive to theeyes (Budischak Et al., 2013). The wind turbines are not similar toplain clunky mills that could be irritating to the eye in the farmland. Rather, the installation of wind turbines beautifies thegeneral outlook of the area. Besides, the wind turbines are availablein various forms and sizes, and the can be intermixed or used plainlydecorating the land. Additionally to the beautification, the windturbines can be used for personal consumption by the farmers or soldto make profits. Although there are speculations that wind turbinesresult to the death of birds and bats in close areas, research showsthat most of the kills result from other factors (U.S. GovernmentOffice, 2006).
Thewind energy is convenient for use in the rural areas where othersources of energy such as electricity are not readily available(Twidell & Weir, 2015). Due to the economic status of the peopleliving in the rural areas, accessing other energy sources is also achallenge since they are expensive. The installation of wind turbinescould solve the problem of accessing energy sources in the ruralareas since the associated costs are cheap. However, sources ofenergy such as electricity are necessary for the installation andfunctioning of the wind turbines making the process expensive andcould hinder the use of the wind as an energy source (U.S. GovernmentAccountability, 2015). Nevertheless, the building of transmissionlines from the city to the wind farm becomes necessary because thebenefits of the use of wind energy will outweigh electricitytransmission costs in the long-run.
Thewind turbines incorporate modern technology implying that they areavailable in different sizes and varieties making them suitable foreither personal or business use (Budischak Et al., 2013). Thissuitability limits the use of other non-renewable sources thusreducing costs. For business use, the farmers can sell the power tothe local grid tapping some profits from the energy source.
Theuse of nuclear power results in the reduction in the use ofnon-renewable sources of energy such as the fossil fuels. Thedecrease in the use of fossil fuels, on the other hand, imply reducedgreenhouse gas emissions. The reduction in the fossil fuel emissionsimplies that there is less harm to the environment and thus reducingglobal warming (U.S Government Office, 2006). Additionally, prominentenvironmentalists such as Stewart Brand and James Lovelock have astrong support for the use of nuclear energy as a practical means ofreducing greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time meeting thedemand for energy in the world.
Therequired amount of fuel is minimal while at the same time producingmore energy. The use of the nuclear energy thus presents asignificant reduction in the need for raw materials (Twidell &Weir, 2015). The transportation and extraction process of nuclearenergy is also economical and efficient.
Unlikemost of the non-renewable energy sources, the production of nuclearenergy is a continuous process. A nuclear plant can generate energyfor more that ninety percent of the annual power generation time. Thecontinuous production of energy reduces the use of othernon-renewable energy sources such as the fossil fuels thus reducingthe effects such as global warming associated with their use (Twidell& Weir, 2015). The reduction in the use of fossil fuels alsoimproves the quality of the air and consequently, the quality oflife. Again, with the continuous production, it is possible to haveproper electrical planning.
Nuclearenergy generation does not depend on natural aspects. In comparisonto other energy sources such as wind and solar that rely on the windand the sun to generate power, nuclear energy is produced in thenuclear power plants even during adverse weather conditions. Theproduction of nuclear energy is a continuous process and can takeplace throughout the year with the production stopping during themaintenance purposes. The maintenance is a planned process, and thusthe plant operators can produce enough energy to cater for energyneeds during the maintenance period.
Thenuclear energy presents an alternative energy source to the fossilfuels (Budischak Et al., 2013). Fossil fuels are the traditionalenergy sources that were in use due to lack of a better alternative.The introduction of the nuclear energy presents an alternative energyform to the fossil fuels. The implication of reduction of the use offossil fuels is a decrease of the effects of global warming andclimate change. The quality of air is also improved with the use ofnuclear energy in the place of fossil fuels because it does notresult in gas emissions thus reducing the prevalence of diseasesassociated with the emissions and subsequently improving the qualityof life.
Despitethe advantages of the use of nuclear energy, it results indifficulties in the management of the nuclear wastes. It may takeseveral years to destroy the emissions from the nuclear wastes whichare in many cases radioactive. However, the benefits alongside theuse of nuclear energy are far much more than the disadvantages, andthus their use is beneficial.
Itis evident that alternative energy sources are beneficial to use asopposed to the other energy sources. However, it is not easy toidentify the most appropriate alternative energy source since eachhas its set of benefits and shortcomings alongside its use. However,there are situations which would make an energy source more suitablethat the other depending on the underlying conditions of use. Theprevailing circumstances and the particular need for energy are thesignificant determinants in the selection of a particular energysource.
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U.S.Government Accountability Office. (2006). Wind Power can BenefitFarmers and Rural Communities. In D. Gunkel (Ed). Alternative EnergySources. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press.