As and silicon metal. Natural gas, yet another nonrenewable

As a human race, we
have gained access and used a wide variety of energy resources since
we first began our existence on this planet. We’ve used fossil fuels
primarily, a nonrenewable source of energy that seems to be favored
over other sources, but many places throughout the world have used
many types of renewable energy in an attempt to stop bleeding the
Earth dry from taking all of it’s nonrenewable energy sources. Many
countries have even been able to use renewable sources more than
nonrenewable sources, or even have been getting the majority of their
energy from renewable energy rather than toxic nonrenewable sources.
Even if renewable energy sources are considered leaps and bounds
better than nonrenewable sources in terms of environmental impact
both short term and long, each renewable source still has their own
shortcomings compared to nonrenewable sources.
Oil, a nonrenewable
resource, has been used for a wide variety of useful things
throughout the world. Oil has been used as fuel for transportation
vehicles (namely cars, planes, and trucks), it is used in many
pesticides (or its byproducts have been), and its byproducts can be
found used in the process of making many plastics, lubricants,
chemicals, waxes, tars, and asphalts. Coal, also a nonrenewable
resource, can be found being used in steel production, power
generation, alumina refineries, paper manufacturers, chemical
industries, pharmaceutical industries, the creation of carbon fibre,
activated carbon, and silicon metal. Natural gas, yet another
nonrenewable resource, is used in houses as a primary source of
cooking and heating fuel, can be used to generate electricity, heat
buildings, fuel vehicles, heat water, bake foods, power industrial
furnaces, and run air conditioners. Solar power, a renewable energy
source, is used for powering road signs, heating water within a home
(rather than being converted into electricity), power satellites in
space, and power quite a few calculators that are used in everyday
life (or math class). Wind, a renewable energy resource, is
transferred into mechanical power which can then be used for certain
tasks, such as grinding raw materials or pumping water from sources,
or even be turned into electricity to power buildings like your own
home or the schools within your town.
While each and
every type of energy resource has their own advantages to being used,
they all have disadvantages as well. Oil, for example, is available
world-wide and has a low cost per unit of energy. However, it is a
finite resource and it is getting progressively harder to find oil
and other fossil fuels. Coal, similar to oil, is abundant throughout
the world and is relatively cheap to build power plants for it. Coal
unfortunately produces carbon dioxide upon its use and its extraction
process is considered dangerous, which would put human life and
machinery used in danger. Natural gas has been shown to produce less
pollution compared to other fossil fuels such as oil and coal,
natural gas is considered easy to transport and the use of natural
gases in cars makes them more efficient. Despite these pros, natural
gas is considerably flammable and not sustainable whatsoever.
Pipelines used to transport this energy is not cheap, and natural gas
is just generally not an easy resource to use. Solar energy, the
first renewable resource on this list, is very sustainable and
happens to have a low impact on the environment. However, solar
energy can only be collected and used when the sun is visible to
solar panels, since the sun is the direct source of this type of
energy. Areas used for solar panels are also quite large and can
disrupt the wildlife in the area it was built in, as well as cause
land degradation. Lastly, wind energy, the other renewable resource
being discussed in this essay, has quite a few pros. It’s a clean
energy, renewable and sustainable, the cost to collect this type of
energy is low and continues to decrease with time, there is an
abundant supply of this energy source, once the turbines are built to
collect the energy it’s pretty much free as you wouldn’t need
constant supervision over a turbine (except perhaps the occasional
check-up to make sure it’s operating correctly), and can be used
practically anywhere in the world. Some issues that come across with
using this type of renewable energy source include that wind is quite
unpredictable, as you wouldn’t be able to know for sure if a certain
area would produce enough wind to justify the building of wind
turbines, the noise and location of wind turbines are considered
noisy and and eyesore (respectively), and flying animals could easily
die from the blades of the turbines built.
From the five
different sources shown in this essay, I believe that the renewable
resource that will be used the most will be wind compared to the
other sources, as it has been shown that from 2000-2013, wind energy
is the only renewable energy source in America that has noticeably
increased in usage, as the others either haven’t changed or haven’t
increased a larger amount than wind energy (as shown in the chart
found on this website:
However, on this same webpage it is shown that natural gas has risen
even more than renewable resources all together, so when it comes to
any resource, renewable or not, that will most likely be the most
used resource as time continues, it looks to be natural gas. When it
comes to what source will most likely be used the least in the coming
years, coal looks to be the most likely candidate as the previously
mentioned website shows coal’s continuous decrease through the time
of 13 years.
Overall, each type
of energy resource discussed in this essay has their own pros and
cons that makes them either a good or poor choice for our energy
needs. Nonrenewables are cheaper as we have already set up necessary
plants to get them, but they do more environmental harm than any
renewable resource discussed. Renewable sources are more expensive to
begin to collect and maintain, but they do minimal damage to the
environment and generally would be considered better than
nonrenewable energy sources in the long run. As time goes on, the US
itself most likely won’t make a sudden switch to focus entirely on
renewable energy, but we definitely seem to be using coal less and
using natural gases more.