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Renewable Energy - Blown out of Proportion? Introduction In light of the recent Kyoto summit - a conference between the worlds leading

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Robert Hicks Study Skills Research Unit. Renewable Energy - Blown out of Proportion? Introduction In light of the recent Kyoto summit - a conference between the worlds leading nations on reducing Carbon Dioxide (co2) emissions - many governments across the globe have organised new guidelines and targets on the minimisation of the so said emissions. A form of energy which will and has already proven to be a major contributor towards this ever growing problem is renewable energy. In fact some forms of this energy have already been implemented for over twenty years, but only on a relatively small scale. Renewable energy is the use of energy that is naturally present in wind, water and sunlight within the environment or atmosphere. This energy is continually replenished as quickly as it extracted and used up, therefore it will never run out. These natural resources are crucial to the ongoing projects that deal with lowering co2 emissions, they are natural and therefore don't fill the atmosphere with particulates and pollutants. The most common method (at the moment) is wind power. This is the use of large or small Wind Turbine Generators (WTGS). ...read more.


In spite of this; Scottish and southern energy are hoping to install over 1,500 units over the next couple of years. Questionnaire Results The aim of the questionnaire was not only to attain a primary source of information, but also to see the results in the perspective of different age groups; Whether or not the younger generation, middle aged or older generation knew about the most important issues that can be raised when discussing this topic. The results were somewhat startling, considering the emphasis that has been put on the problem, by world leaders over recent years. For the full list of questions; See enclosed questionnaire. It appears that the younger (16 - 30) and older people (52 - 60) who were questioned have a higher knowledge of the implications of renewable energy. The people of middle age range (31 - 50) were more inclined to go for a more diverse response to the survey, with one of them thinking that electricity was a form of renewable energy! Also within that age range (who made up 30% of the group) 66% thought that fossil fuel was a form of renewable energy! ...read more.


The larger oil companies are working in line with their respective governments and are researching the possibilities of renewable energy. Deep down though they know that this will ultimately cost them money and together they have become lethargic and slow in meeting their commitments. They would rather use the much aligned nuclear power systems to create its power because it is still a means of making them money. This along with an army of public motorists on their side all looking for cheaper fuel means that they are very hard to convince. Britain hasn't kept up with the rest of Europe because of the above mentioned and along with a public that loves its cars, its cheap air travel means that they are unlikely to turn their backs on a carbon economy. Voting in a government that is 100% behind its energy policy would mean major changes to people's lifestyles; that simply won't happen over night or as proven, over several generations. Our society must do more to acknowledge the problems of oil and coal consumption and renewable energy can be brought in gradually as a replacement. As the questionnaire showed; at least the young of this generation are more aware and in the future could be in a stronger position to implement the desired changes. ...read more.

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