Why we should switch to renewable energy sources

Oil and natural gas soon will require replacements to satisfy our needs. From an environmental standpoint, coal begs for replacements, too. Although coal is abundant, its use is bound to increase dramatically as oil and natural gas production peak. Our oil and coal reserves will soon get depleted following the intense extraction and demand. So there is an immediate need to switch from fossil fuels to non conventional or renewable energy resources.

Coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. Coal combustion not only produces sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides that contribute to acid rain and snow, it generates millions of tons of particulates that cause asthma and other respiratory diseases. Coal combustion also yields millions of tons of ash containing an assortment of potentially toxic materials. Much of this ash is disposed of in ordinary landfills. Perhaps most important to our future, however, is that coal combustion produces enormous quantities of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide—far more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than any other fossil fuel in use today.

To switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, we need to understand the end uses of each fuel because, after all, it is these services that we want to protect, not the fuels themselves. If natural gas supplies are going to decline,we don’t necessarily need more gas. Rather, we need to ensure the continuation of the services natural gas provides. For many homeowners, natural gas is used to provide space heat; to heat water for showers, dishwashing, and laundry; and to cook food. It is these services that we need to ensure.

Most of the above mentioned services can be provided by using solar energy. Space heat can be achieved by installing active solar air heater systems. Solar hot water system generates hot water that can be used for a variety of heating systems.

WHAT IS RENEWABLE ENERGY?

Renewable energy is a form of energy capable of being regenerated by natural processes at meaningful rates. Wood, for instance, is a form of renewable energy. It’s produced by trees. Sunlight and wind. Flowing water are also renewable energy resources. Heat within the Earth’s crust is renewable, too, as are the tides. Sun is the biggest source of renewable energy that comes in the form of solar radiations. Solar energy has a huge potential.

MOST COMMON RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES:

Solar energy
Wind energy
Biomass
Tidal and wave energy
Geothermal energy
Hydropower

References: Wikipedia, The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy

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