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Alternative Energy Sources

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[TYPE THE COMPANY NAME] Alternative Energy Sources Chemistry Essay 9/27/2009 Alternative Energy Sources What makes the world what it is now? The scientific era, the new technological breakthroughs, the industries and luxurious facilities created; they are all nothing without one important building block. The energy from fuel. Everything that you use takes up energy to run it. Coal was an alternative to wood, petroleum to whale oil and alcohol to fossil fuels. But now, when costs of living are so high, fuels are more expensive which calls for cheaper and more effective alternative energy sources. What is Alternative Energy? Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels. Generally speaking, alternative energy is that which does not produce high carbon dioxide emissions and does not produce unwelcome waste like the radioactive waste by nuclear reactions. By definition, alternative energy is energy that can replace fossil fuels and does not harm the environment.1 Hydrocarbons Alkanes: These are saturated hydrocarbons which are also called paraffin. In alkanes, the basic formula for a compound in CnH2n+2 where n is the number of carbon atoms. The first four compounds in the series are in gaseous form, the middle are in liquid and the later compounds are either semisolid or solid compounds. Petroleum contains a great variety of saturated hydrocarbons and petroleum products consist principally of mixtures of paraffin hydrocarbons. ...read more.


But with current energy demands and consumption of the rapidly increasing population, it may be time for people to consider other alternative sources of energy.7 The world oil reserves are more specifically located but renewable energy sources are more likely to be situated where and how the geography, the location and the climate suits them. For example, wind energy reserves would be in a high altitude or at a windy location and geothermal energy reserves would be along the plate faults where the most thermal energy is trapped.8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Energy The reason for the usage and the hunt for alternative energy sources is because of its advantages. Alternative Energy is known to cause quite less pollution and it is cheaper than fossil fuels. Alternative energy is environmental friendly, renewable and is a good substitute to fossil fuels. These are the only reasons why alternative energy is so popular now, besides the fact that oil reserves are going to run out soon.9 There are more disadvantages for alternative energy than benefits because of the low energy input to energy output ratio. It takes more energy to actually harvest the energy than to use it. Other disadvantages also include that sometimes a type of energy like wind can only be in windy areas and the geography affects the climate very much. This is the reason alternative energy is only popular for its ability to replace fossil fuels but not so for its low ratio, its difficulty in harnessing and the geography that affects it. ...read more.


It is the role of the industry to dispose of High-level waste, which is spent fuel and low-level waste which includes all radioactivity contaminated articles. This can only be done by the method NRC has stated which states the hazards and safety procedures to be followed.14 Economical Factors Geothermal Plants are able to produce enough electricity to charge $0.05 to $0.08 per kilowatt hour (kWh). If people switch from fossil fuels to solar (photovoltaic cells) energy, then they would have to pay a hefty sum for the entire thing. After minimizing energy costs, the entire price to pay for 15 kWh is $57,900. That is a lot to pay for, considering the electricity bill people get at the end of the month after a usage of 25 kWh of energy per day. This just show that some types of alternative energy is cost effective will some aren't.15 Conclusion The problem of alternative energy does not come from the expenses or the difficulty in extracting it, but from us. We demand for energy in such high quantities that it calls for desperate measures. If oil, like experts predict, does run out in the maximum of 20 years, then the alternative energy sources would have to keep us going for the time to come. The world has always used carbon as a fuel and it is difficult to imagine a post-carbon era. Alternative energy only supplies 6% of the world's energy. With such high dependency on fossil fuels, alternative energy would have to make a major breakthrough to actually provide for us. But that we can worry 15 years later. ...read more.

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