The Future of Energy in California | Free Essay Example

The Future of Energy in California

Words: 887
Topic: Environment
Updated:

Introduction

Human beings require energy for survival. This energy is obtained from different sources. However, some sources of energy pollute the natural environment. This situation explains why renewable energy has become common today (Trefil & Hazen, 2012). The American government should use modern technologies to produce alternative sources of energy in order to address the problem of environmental degradation. This essay describes the major sources of energy in California. A powerful energy conservation strategy is also identified in the paper.

My Energy Use

I am currently relying on different forms of energy. Coal is currently the major source of energy in the United States. The second source is natural gas. Nuclear power is also a major source of energy in the country (Spellman, 2014). Hydroelectric power produces less than 10 percent of the country’s electricity. Solar energy is also used in our home for heating. Wind energy is also used in our learning institution.

Coal and natural gas are non-renewable sources of energy. The government should therefore identify new sources of energy in order to protect the natural environment. Nuclear power is also non-renewable and unsustainable. Solar and wind energies are renewable. This means that they are sustainable in nature. Hydroelectric power is effective and renewable (Trefil & Hazen, 2012).

Some renewable energy sources can be used appropriately in California. Hydroelectric power is one of these energy sources. The other appropriate energy source is wind. The local government can construct different wind turbines to generate enough energy. Solar energy is another potential source of energy. However, solar power “can be unsustainable due to unpredictable weather patterns” (Spellman, 2014, p. 62). Different arguments can be used to support these decisions. For instance, the occurrence of prolonged winters in California can affect the amount of solar energy produced. The state should therefore be ready to use wind power. The other possible source of energy is water.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Above Energies

Coal Power

Coal is capable of producing enough energy. Coal power is currently sustainable. It supports many industries and cities in the United States. However, coal plants “generate million tons of greenhouse gas” (Mosino, 2011, p. 5). Coal also produces toxic compounds such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. Coal also emits dirty air that can cause different health complications (Spellman, 2014).

Natural Gas

It is agreeable that natural gas supports many vehicles and machines. Natural gas is also a reliable source of energy. Natural gas emits less carbon dioxide (Trefil & Hazen, 2012). Natural gas is beneficial because it supports many economic activities. Natural gas emits methane gas thus causing climate change. According to Mosino (2011, p. 7), “many producers of natural gas do not account for their greenhouse gas data”.

Hydroelectric Power

This energy source is sustainable (Spellman, 2014). Hydroelectric power does not pollute the environment. However, it can be expensive to construct the required water reservoirs. The ecological impacts of such reservoirs cannot be underestimated. Dams can result in environmental degradation (Mosino, 2011).

Renewable Energy Sources

Wind Power

This energy source is reliable and environmentally-friendly. Farming and grazing “is done in regions with wind turbines” (Kelly, 2007, p. 65). Wind power has numerous economic benefits. Wind power also happens to be intermittent. Large wind mills have the potential to affect the natural environment.

Solar Power

Solar power is widely used for lighting and heating. Solar energy is also used for spas, water tanks, and heat pools. It is also sustainable and cheap to produce (Kelly, 2007). Solar power is also cost-friendly. However, solar power plants can be expensive to construct. Solar energy “does not pollute the natural environment” (Trefil & Hazen, 2012, p. 64).

Geothermal Power

This energy source does not produce harmful compounds. Geothermal power plants have little impacts on the natural environment. This energy source can result in numerous economic benefits (Ghosh & Prelas, 2011). Geothermal energy also produces several pollutants. Such sites “can run out of natural steam” (Kelly, 2007, p. 94). Improper drilling can also produce hazardous gases. Such gases will eventually affect the ecological system.

Use of Technological Advancements

Human beings use powerful technologies to produce different renewable energies. For instance, engineers are using advanced technologies to produce wind energy. These energies are used in different houses and regions. Modern technologies are used to produce powerful electric trains and vehicles. Such vehicles consume less natural gas thus resulting in energy conservation. Geothermal power is also being harnessed using modern technologies. Such technologies are used to distribute these energies to different consumers (Ghosh & Prelas, 2011).

Reducing Energy Use through Conservation

I have identified three unique ways to reduce my energy use. The first practice is switching off every gadget that is not in use. This simple practice will reduce the level of energy consumption. The second practice is using a bicycle instead of a car. This practice can reduce the amount of natural gas consumed by vehicles (Ghosh & Prelas, 2011). The other practice is using cold water whenever it is necessary.

Conclusion

Conservation is a powerful practice that can change the nature of energy consumption. The above conservation strategy will reduce my energy use. Modern technologies should be used in order to promote the use and distribution of different renewable energies (Trefil & Hazen, 2012). This approach will address the disadvantages associated with different non-renewable sources of power.

Reference List

Ghosh, T., & Prelas, M. (2011). Energy Resources and Systems: Renewable Resources. New York, NY: Springer Shop. Web.

Kelly, R. (2007). Energy Supply and Renewable Resources. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing. Web.

Mosino, A. (2011). Producing Energy in a Stochastic Environment: Switching from Non-Renewable to Renewable Resources. Web.

Spellman, F. (2014). Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy. New York, NY: CRC Press. Web.

Trefil, J., & Hazen, R. (2012). The Sciences: An Integrated Approach. New York, NY: Wiley. Web.