energy is an umbrella term that refers to any
source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the
undesired consequences of the replaced fuels. Typically, official uses
of the term, such as qualification for governmental incentives, exclude
fossil fuels and nuclear energy whose undesired consequences are high
carbon dioxide emissions, the major contributing factor of global
warming according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and
difficulties of radioactive waste disposal.
Over the years, the nature of what was regarded alternative energy sources has changed considerably, and today because of the variety of energy choices and differing goals of their advocates, defining some energy types as "alternative" is highly controversial.
The term "alternative" presupposes a set of undesirable energy technologies against which "alternative energies" are opposed. As such, the list of energy technologies excluded is an indicator of what problems that the alternative technologies are intended to address. Controversies regarding dominant forms of energy and their alternatives have a long history.
The alternative energy consultants tell us that the transition from the petroleum-driven economy and society will not be a smooth one, on the whole.
The amount of new technologies and infrastructures that need to be developed and built is staggering - even as Germany achieves powering 10% of the entire nation through the use of wind turbines and solar arrays, even as corporation after corporation is springing up, helped by various governments' tax breaks and rebate incentives, to drive forward the alternative energy mission.
We have lain dormant on alternative energy on the grand scale for so long that we now have to scramble to play catch-up as access to cheap oil lurks ever closer to being a thing of the past.
Consultants on alternative energy also tell us that we need multilateral, international efforts in concert with one another in the direction of getting away from the heavy - almost total - dependence on fossil fuels.
They are poised to become too expensive, burning them is polluting the atmosphere, and digging for them is disrupting the natural environment. We have about 30 years left of reasonably cheap oil and gas - and consultants say that within 20 years beyond that point, we had better be at least 90% independent of them.
Unfortunately, at the present time the world is mostly not acting as if this is the case. The thirst for oil is growing, not slaking, and it is growing faster now than it did even in the 1970,s.
One of the major problems of transition, the consultants point out, is that higher oil and gas prices stimulate the economy (This flies in the face of what many energy so-called “experts” and many members of the public believe, but the fact is that oil and gas are found and manufactured and transported by huge corporations who employ multitudes of staff workers and contractors; and from their huge profits their stocks remain lucrative on Wall Street.).
Alternative, or “green” energy has to become more marketplace friendly, more profitable to investors and would-be employers. Wall Street does not like change; so there is resistance to this much-needed economic transition.
It is because of this that many consultants are saying that we need an international, governments-backed initiative put into place; we are told that we cannot expect the new economy to spring forth overnight, all clean and polished and perfected, from the black ashes of the fossil fuel economy phoenix.
It is most imperative that the wealthy, big-production nations such as the US, Japan, Western Europe, and others be the ones to spearhead the effort to get off of the fossil fuel dependence.
Smaller, poorer nations are very simply never going to achieve the level of energy production through coal and oil that these nations have - for by the time they would be ready to, the cheap access to the fossil fuels will be gone, and they will never be able to sustain their newly-risen civilizations at that time as we have been able to do. The time for transition from black to green is now.
More ArticlesAlternative Energy Development In Japan
... per kilowatt-hour is competitive against other sources of energy, go the words of Svend Sigaard, who happens to be president and CEO of the world's largest wind turbine maker, Vestas wind systems out of Denmark. Vestas is heavily involved in investments of capital into helping Japan expand its wind turbine ...
... far less expensive than the continuous mining and drilling for fossil fuels. If we do not invest in our future now, catastrophe awaits us. We are going to need to consume more energy than ever in our history as we sail into the 21st century and beyond our dependency on foreigners for meeting these energy ...
... need to be taught about the hidden cost of fossil fuels: pollution and environmental degradation. Air pollution from burning fossil fuels has been shown through studies to increase incidences of asthma attacks, heighten the effects of allergies, and even cause cancer. Switching over to clean, green energy ...
... mankind (in short, it's a natural cycle and there's nothing we can do about it except prepare for the effects of it), we certainly do contribute at present to the destruction of the environment and to things like air pollution with our energy sources as they are. Coal is another source of energy that ...
... tantalization rise in the minds of investors. As investors become more interested, there is more money available for companies to start up or expand, and that leads (of course) to more job opportunities. The US government is unquestionably involved in promoting the idea of new jobs as being readily available ...
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