Compare and Contrast Essay on Two Renewable Energy

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With the increasing concern about climate change and the impact human actions have on Earth, the prospect of producing clean, sustainable power in large quantities from renewable energy sources instigates interest around the world, many developing countries have signaled their intention to transition their energy sectors to rely on cleaner sources of electricity generation to comply with their Nationally Determined Contributions(Paris Climate Agreement). However, renewable energy sources are normally intermittent, thus needing a storage system to effectively provide energy throughout the year. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the principal types of renewable energy -- including solar, wind, and hydroelectric power -- and explains the physical and technological principles of renewable energy, and examines the environmental impact of different energy sources. Also, it provides and explains different feasible electricity storage technologies.

Interest in renewable energy has always been dependent on the perceived risk of using fossil fuels. In the 1970s during the energy crisis, the risk of running out of conventional fossil fuels led to intensive development of programs related to renewable sources. These programs were forgotten after the supply met demand. In the 1980s, the risks related to pollution increased once again the attention over renewable source energies, but this time caused by environmental concerns. More recently, the risks associated with CO2 emissions and global warming have once again drawn attention to renewable energy. However, now the condition is more severe, and action is needed now.

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A common argument to justify the low use of renewable energies, only 15% of the energy worldwide is renewable, is the high cost but recently renewable energies have become more competitive with traditional fossil fuels and it is believed that by 2020 renewable energy will be consistently cheaper than all other sources of energy. Thus, it creates a great concern if there is a sustainable energy system that can supply a growing population with energy without environmental destruction, and if we have a way to store this energy if it is intermittent, like solar and wind.

Solar Power

The main principle behind solar panels is the activation of electrons by adding energy. The electrons are activated from a lower energy state to a higher energy state due to the energy of the sunlight. This activation creates many holes and free electrons in the semiconductor thus giving electricity.

The solar industry is developing steadily all over the world due to the high demand for energy as solar energy is a freely available source for managing long-term issues in the energy crisis. This industry would be one of the best options for future energy demand since it is superior in terms of availability, cost-effectiveness, accessibility, and efficiency compared to other renewable energy sources.

Solar energy could be the best option for the future world for several reasons: First, solar energy is the most abundant energy source of renewable energy as the earth intercepts approximately 1.8x1014kW. Studies revealed that global energy demand can be fulfilled by using solar energy, as it is abundant in nature and a freely available source at no cost. Second, the utilization and tracking of solar energy do not have any harmful impact on the ecosystem in which natural balance is kept consistent for the betterment of living organisms. The exploitation of fossil fuel leads to ecosystem damage which in turn damages natural balance. Third, solar systems can effectively be used for village systems, industrial operations, and homes, since it is easily affordable and applicable

One of the main obstacles that the solar energy industry has to overcome is that the performance of solar panels is highly influenced by several environmental factors, especially sunshine intensity, cloudiness, season, and wind speed. Although the energy generation would not be stable throughout the year many data show that the energy generated by solar panels during the year would meet the demand, thus a viable solution would be to store the extra energy generated during seasons with higher production rates – such as summer-- for seasons with low production rate – such as winter. Also, integrating other energy sources is essential to provide a consistent supply.

Hydroelectric Power

To generate energy, flowing water turns the blades of the turbine, transforming the kinetic energy to mechanical energy, then the turbine turns the generator rotor, converting the mechanical energy into electricity. Water is the initial source of energy and reservoirs/dams act like batteries as they store water and release it only when needed to generate power.

Compared to other renewable energy sources Hydroelectric represents the largest in the world’s energy production, representing 16.6% of the world’s total electricity and 70% of all renewable electricity. However, it is also the renewable energy that causes the most environmental impact.

Hydroelectric power plants have a significant effect on physical, biological, and human environments in and near the site area. The physical environment is affected by the construction of a hydroelectric power station. The river and ecosystem surrounding the site will be altered with the start of the construction. Another effect of dam construction is the impact on the microclimate level. Tropical climates tend to reduce convection, limiting cloud cover.

The biological environment is significantly affected by dam construction. The large-scale flooding destroys many habitats for animals and destroys an equally large number of plants.

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Compare and Contrast Essay on Two Renewable Energy. (2024, March 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/compare-and-contrast-essay-on-two-renewable-energy/
“Compare and Contrast Essay on Two Renewable Energy.” Edubirdie, 27 Mar. 2024, edubirdie.com/examples/compare-and-contrast-essay-on-two-renewable-energy/
Compare and Contrast Essay on Two Renewable Energy. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/compare-and-contrast-essay-on-two-renewable-energy/> [Accessed 20 Jun. 2024].
Compare and Contrast Essay on Two Renewable Energy [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 Mar 27 [cited 2024 Jun 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/compare-and-contrast-essay-on-two-renewable-energy/
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