Trends in Renewable Energy

I am fairly positive that the majority of those reading this know what renewable energy is from all the publicity it has gotten over the years.  Those of you who do not know what this form of energy is I will be happy to explain. Renewable energy comes from a source that is not permanently depleted.  Some of these sources include solar power, wind, geothermal, and plant energy.  I also have a little history lesson for the United State’s use of energy.  In the past water, wood, and animal power were important for the function of the country.  That was the main energy source until an industrialized United States came into existence.  Even then, until better methods of transportation developed the use of water, coal, and gas centered around mines and wells.  Since the 1970’s renewable energy has only taken up 5-7% of the United State’s energy.  It has received a lot more attention since then but according to statistics, in 2009, renewable energy made up only 8% of U.S. energy consumption.

Fossil fuels are being depleted, a fact that most of us are aware of.  The coal that was first mined were of good quality and it were close to the surface of the earth.  The more we mined the less quality the coal became.  It is also more dangerous to excavate as new challenges arise to find ever more coal.  The same problems are associated with oil deposits.  The largest and shallowest deposits were found first. Now we have to try and extract oil from deposits in the ocean.  This requires deep mining in the ocean for smaller and smaller deposits.  It also means that we need to drill in more challenging places like the Artic.

Governments have recognized the necessity to stop the burning of fossils fuels.  Tax incentives, grants, and other initiatives that support renewable energy have been put into place.  The cost for manufacturing wind turbines, solar panels, and geothermal systems have been historically high.  Now fossil fuels and renewable energy sources are switching positions.  With government support, it may be even faster then presumed.  Mass production of renewable energy sources help drive down prices.  The ability to integrate this source of energy into buildings, vehicles, and other projects has become increasingly easier to do.  This has, of course, led to the increase in use.  The biggest increase in renewable energy sources has occurred in the United States is wind power which has grown over 2000%.  Unfortunately this accounts for then .3/4 % of U.S. energy.  Solar power has risen by 55% and geothermal by 27%.

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1 Response to Trends in Renewable Energy

  1. willdogg10 says:

    I guess my comment would have to be this: is it really necessary for us to drill for oil in the Arctic? Is that not counterproductive to the goals we’re trying to achieve? The leaps and bounds we’re making in the field of renewable energy are remarkable, yes, but can still be improved. It’s up to our generation to figure out effective, practical solutions to problems such as global warming and depletions in fossil fuels and other natural resources. The most reassuring part though is that we have much to do, and many hands to do the work with.

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