“Time to think Hydropower” Non-renewable sources of energy are the cause of many modern dilemmas, such as global warming, or costs for fuel. However, prior to the second world war, the sources of energy for Americans were renewable sources. The primary source of energy back then was hydro-electric generation, and many of the structures used to create the energy (dams) were constructed during the Great Depression. The construction of these dams not only provided people with energy, but with jobs as well, and the “inexpensive power modernized the rural South and helped to industrialize the West.” However, once the war ended, Americans began to use non-renewable sources, such as coal. oil, or uranium, the need and usage of hydropower diminished to a great extent, and many people believed that it would no longer be used, though this is far from the truth. Hydro-electric generation provides about 8% of the energy used in the United States. According to statistics, this amount may double within 30 years, which is very similar to the estimated development of nuclear energy, only much cheaper. The FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) is reviewing hydro-electric generation projects that will produce over 30 000 megawatts, about a third of the amount created by hydropower already. Only about 3% of the 80 000 existing dams in the country are presently used to create energy, however, power- generating turbines could be simply built into many of these, increasing the amount of energy by hydropower. Many power generating dams’ turbines are being replaced by more energy efficient turbines, which also increases the amount of hydro-electric generation used in America. These new turbines are not only more efficient, but more environmentally friendly as well.
The American federal government has began to pay attention to the projects and advancements of hydropower, and hopes are that officials invest in the research and development of hydro-electric generation.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=modern-wind-turbine-and-wind-farm “Air Power: The Making of a Modern Wind Turbine and Wind Farm” The amount of energy created by wind generation in America has increased 13 times more what it was 10 years ago, providing the country with 2.3% of the energy used. Wind turbines have been constructed constantly in order to “take advantage of the uneven heating of Earth's surface that creates air currents.” Turbines have been built in Oregon, Massachusetts, and many in Texas. Although wind generation is environmentally friendly, the only way it would be able to counter global warming is by building enough turbines to cover 400 000 square kilometres- which would be able to provide the United States with 20% of their energy needs.
Culminating Electricity A new neighbourhood is being built at the edge of the city, and it needs a way to generate power for the electrical needs of the people living there. Either a nuclear reactor, a solar farm, or a wind farm is to be built on the surrounding land. As I have been given the privilege, I propose that a wind farm is to be built in order to supply the community with the necessary power. There are a few reasons to why I prefer a wind farm rather than a nuclear reactor. Nuclear reactors utilize radioactive materials as a source of power, which although produces a lot of energy, is a definite health hazard to the community. Radioactive materials are capable of causing mutations and various health calamities. Nuclear reactors are also a grievous environmental risk- they can destroy surrounding habitats and wildlife; wind farms, however, are not a health hazard, nor do they have many environmental predicaments. Neither wind farms or solar farms pollute the environment, threaten wildlife, or hold potential health hazards for the growing community.