The total amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface is tremendous and in order for us to replace carbon dioxide emitting sources we must first start by reducing our own energy demand. There are several ways of becoming energy-efficient such as better lighting, appliances, windows, and insulation. Synergy is a concept of renewable energy and energy efficiency and we see this illustrated in net-zero energy homes or buildings. (Turk and Bensel) Outside of our homes however, there is an entire world out there that has yet to catch up with the renewable energy revolution. Wind and sunlight are two forms of flow-limited energy, meaning, the wind is not always blowing and the sun is not always shining. To harness the immense amount of energy, I believe that Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) is the most beneficial resource currently available to limit our dependency on stock-limited resources such as oil and coal. Continue reading
Coal and Natural Gas are two possible alternatives that could replace our dependence of oil in the near future, but both have severe environmental consequences. Coal is more abundant than oil and it is assumed to exist in nearly inexhaustible quantities. It can be used to produce electricity, sustain a cleaner environment than oil, and drive production for electric transportation.” (Turk and Bensel, 2014) Acidification however, is a fundamental drawback to dirty coal and its poisonous levels of CO2 on the environment are slowly choking our oceans and everything in it.