SCI 204: Dependence of Man on the Environment
Prof. Michael Jackson
July 3, 2012
The world’s population is increasing exponentially while the supplies of resources are decreasing at a similar rate of acceleration. World leaders, such as the World Health Organization amongst others are searching frantically for an answer to more effectively manage the present resources without inadvertently causing more damage to an already growing devastation. One resource that reflects a great separation of our landscapes of power production from our landscapes of power consumption is the present provision of energy or the energy crisis. Current uses of energy are from electricity and oil, fire or wood but very few use alternative energy reserves such as wind power, something that has by far been tested to be a definitive possible replacement if the long range effects could be easily assessed. The question now being played before world leaders are; Is Wind Energy or Power Green as well as cost efficient? This paper will attempt to address the above listed questions and explain the pro’s & cons of how renewable energy in the form of wind power, offers hope for long term sustainability. What is Wind Powered Energy? Wind powered energy is wind that is generated into power and used in place of electricity or oil and gas as a renewable resource.
Both minerals and fossil fuels are considered nonrenewable resources, however wind can generate power without depleting the availability of those resources (Turk & Bensel, 2011). With electric generation responsible for 41 percent of U.S anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use, development of clean energy sources is essential if the United States is to reduce release of greenhouse gases and slow global warming. Many proponents of sustainable energy anticipate that electric generation from renewable sources would thrive in a deregulated market, driven by consumer demand for" green" energy and the end of incentives to build large central power plants under the cost-plus profits guaranteed by state utility commissions (Power to the People: Electric Utility Restructuring and the Commitment to Renewable, March 2004).
Natural gas currently meets roughly one fourth of America’s energy requirements and is especially important as a home heating fuel and for electricity generation. Concerns over global climate change have made natural gas even more important in the electric power sector since it emits roughly half the greenhouse gases per unit of electricity generated as does coal (Turk & Bensel, Unconventional Fossil Fuels-Shale Gas, 2011). The $250 billion electric utility industry’s, the nation's largest in terms of investment and revenues. It is also responsible for one-quarter of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) released from energy use, two-thirds of all sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, 41 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) release, and is the leading source of mercury contamination (Clemmer, Paulos, and Nogee 2000). However, Wind Powered energy which originated on farms in America, as a form of electrical producing energy in the years of 1850 to 1950 (Righter, 1996), was deregulated by the Government and Industry Decision makers over a period of 40 years until urgency caused them to begin the process of Energy Reform through the Federal Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 (Power to the People: Electric Utility Restructuring and the Commitment to Renewable, Vol. 94, No. 1 (Mar., 2004),).
However there are some minor disadvantages relating to Wind being used as a renewable energy source and one of the major disadvantages is Resources and time.
In the European Industry alone, member states are required to have 20% renewable energy resources by the year 2020 and this is a huge investment. In UK, one of Europe’s largest Islands, there are more than 700 turbines installed off the British shore and it is not only the world leader in generating