25 May 2022


Alternative Energy Sources

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1979

Pages: 7

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According to Hansen et al., 2000), global warming has been considered as the overall rise in temperatures of both the earth’s atmosphere and the ocean. It has received greater attention majorly as a result of the massive impacts and various risks that are posed by it both on the plants’ environment. According to Hansen et al., (2000), there are clear indications that global warming is a reality such as the melting of the ice, rising sea and land temperature, permafrost, the increase of the sea level and even increased the acidity of the ocean water. The anthropogenic climate change entails emission of the greenhouse gases due to various activities that human beings engage in such as construction, the use of fossil fuel and industrialization. Approximately two-thirds of all the CO2 emission comes from different anthropogenic activities especially from the burning of fossil fuel and petroleum. In the contemporary world, human beings heavily depend on the industries and the use of fossil fuel for energy activities that have contributed to huge volumes of carbon dioxide that have caused global warming (Saber & Venayagamoorthy, 2011). When one focuses on the increased industrial revolution globally and the fossil fuel quantity, it becomes clear that man is to blame for the increased global warming experienced today. For many years, man has been burning massive amounts of fossil fuel which releases a significant amount of CO2 that escapes back into the atmosphere. Taking into consideration the increased industrial revolution globally and the fossil fuel quantity, major blame tends to fall on human races’ head. According to Panwar, Kaushik & Kothari, (2011), alternative energy sources include all forms of energy that does not consume the fossil fuel and are environmentally friendly. Therefore, these sources of energy do not pollute the environment. Throughout the world, numerous energy projects are running in various states to lower human dependence on the traditional fossil fuel.

Reasons for Alternative Energy

Alternative energy means that the alternative sources of the fossil fuel among them including the coal, petroleum and even gas (Socha et al., 2017). An alternative source of energy is thus considered as a safe and promising source of energy that most of the proponents have argued that it can replace the traditional fossil fuel. In the contemporary world, alternative energy has become essential for the following principal reasons. The US heavily depends on the fossil fuel for approximately 85% of the country’s need for energy. Further, the nuclear energies have been reported to account for about 8 % and less than 7% of the energy that is used originates from the alternative sources of energy. To preserve their present living standards throughout the industrialized world and at the same time promote economic and human development, there is the need to develop alternative sources of energy.

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First, the fossil fuels are among the nonrenewable sources of energy; therefore, after some time they will get exhausted. The US has recently experienced a decline in the overall production of petroleum. Around the year 1950, the US was highly self-sufficient in the production of fossil fuel where the country was generating about 32,562,667 billion Btus of energy. In addition to this, the Americans were reported to have consumed approximately 31,631,956 billion Btus of the fossil fuel (Hansen et al., 2000). It has been argued that the US enjoyed the trivial surplus of the fossil fuel. Currently, the consumption of the fossil fuel throughout the US exceeds overall energy generation. By the year 2005, the US had generated fossil fuel of approximately 56,032,329 billion Btus, however, at the same time they consumed about 84,760,343 billion Btus. The majority of the proponents of substitute sources of energy believe that these sources of energy should be developed immediately so that in case the fossil fuel become depleted, the world will have various alternative sources that are clean (Panwar, Kaushik & Kothari, 2011).

Secondly, most proponents of alternative energy have argued that with the decline in the oil production, the Americans and other people across the globe heavily depend on oil and gas from other states. In such a case, the country will require massive investment within their military to make sure that the fossil fuel continues to be generated particularly from the states that experience political instability such as the parts of the Middle East. Thirdly, these sources have gained greater awareness as a result of the scientific agreement that the earth’s temperatures have risen rapidly. Researchers have argued that one of the principal causes of the global warming is greenhouse gases emission like methane, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and hydro-fluorocarbons (Socha et al., 2017). 

Scientists have argued that the increasing use of fossil fuel has led to a massive concentration of methane and carbon dioxide which have further increased global warming (Saber & Venayagamoorthy, 2011). According to a report by NASA, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increased by approximately 35 percent around the years 1750 and 2007. The ocean waters have absorbed a higher level of the global heat to the extent that the topmost layer of about 700 meters of the ocean has seen a greater standard of warming of approximately 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. Sea water often absorbs the massive amount of heat that rises its temperatures, and the resend records have been reported to the highest ever in history. A steady growth in the earth’s temperatures was reported to be the largest around the year 1970s and 2000s. The strong El Nino was said to have contributed significantly to the high surface temperature in the year 2015 which surpassed the hit recorded in 2014 by about 0.1°C. The rise in the surface temperature is a clear individuation of the global warming that has continued to affect plants.

Alternatives to Fossil Fuels

Wind Energy

The energy source has been used for a long time to power sailing ships that enabled explorers to sail across trade routes. One windmill has been reported to have the ability to power crop irrigation, water pumping and family energy needs (Hansen et al., 2000). Today, numerous windmills have been established for the generation of huge amount of energy used for industrial operations. Therefore, wind power is an efficient alternative source of energy and can help to lower the country’s alliance of foreign states for the supply of the gas and oil. Wind power does not pollute the air. The technological advancement has further lower overall cost for the establishment of the wind power plant. However, it is suitable in regions experiencing high winds and often creates noise disturbance hence the need for it to be established far from the residential areas (Panwar, Kaushik & Kothari, 2011).

Geothermal Energy

This form of geothermal energy has been in use for many years and is one of the clean and renewable energy. The molten rocks also referred to as magma fond in the earth’s surface produces heat. Below the 10,000 meters into the earth, the temperatures are very high and can be utilised in boiling water which produces steam that then turns the turbines used for activating generators. According to Hansen et al., (2000), most states have successfully trapped this energy for the generation of electricity through the use of the thermal mass flow meters and is used to power numerous homes. The US currently produces more of the geothermal electricity globally, and the majority of the geothermal reservoirs are found in Hawaii and Alaska. Such energy source is renewable because the earth continues to produce more heat hence the need for the resource to be trapped and used to generate alternative energy. This form of energy does not pollute the environment and further helps the country to lower their alliance on the fossil fuel.

Hydroelectric Energy

Therefore the amount of heat from the sun will use to drive the winds, and at the same time, the movement of the movement is harnessed to generate energy using wind turbine. According to Panwar, Kaushik & Kothari, (2011), both the sun and the wind often causes evaporation of water. Water vapor is then turned into snow or even rain and flows into the ocean via rivers or stream. The moving water’s energy will then be captured which is referred to as the hydroelectric power. The established hydroelectric power station captures the produced kinetic energy from the moving water and in the process generates mechanical energy to the turbine. The turbines further are used for the conversion of the energy to electrical energy using a generator. Today, hydropower is one of the largest producers of the alternative energy source globally and is highly preferred because it is renewable, controllable, and predictable. The energy released is environmentally friendly; however, it might cause a massive negative impact on the marine life and is expensive.

Ocean Energy

Based on the huge size of the ocean, the energy produced can be utilised in a wider scale compared to the rest of the alternative energy sources. The waves that are often generated by the ocean or the sea and the tides which frequently hit the sea shore tend to have massive potential in them, and when they are exploited they might be helpful; in solving the energy problem globally. According to Pelc & Fujita, (2002), ocean energy can thus be harness in various ways such as the tidal energy and even wave energy. The tidal power entails the use of kinetic energy from incoming and ingoing tides. According to Pelc & Fujita, (2002), the constant rising and falling of the tides can be captured using tidal energy generator which further can be used to rotate the turbines producing electricity. Therefore, in a simple term, the tidal power generator will capture the tide’s kinetic motion and then convert then to electrical energy which is predictable and safe renewable alternative source of energy.

Solar Power

Solar energy is one of the commonly used alternative sources of energy that has been used globally. Approximately 70 percent of the sunlight is often reflected back to space, and the remaining 30 percent is available to meet human energy demand. At one hand, passive solar energy is commonly used in homes to perform numerous roles such as drying of clothes, warming of the rooms or even heating (Panwar, Kaushik & Kothari, 2011). The heated water is utilised for various domestic purposes like cleaning, shower and even cleaning. On the other hand, the dark exterior on the roofs and walls of houses will help to keep their homes warm particularly during the winter day, and this will contribute to lower many greenhouse gases emitted because as a renewable energy its usage will help to offset the utilisation of the fossil fuel. In addition to this, solar power is used to generate electricity by using the photovoltaic cells. Such technologies entirely depend on the semiconductors that take direct sunlight and converting it into a clean electricity which is also renewable. However, the daily light’s fluctuation in addition to regional variation in the annual sunshine that is received creates a huge limitation to the use of this source of energy. Solar energy can easily be extracted through the utilisation of the solar thermal or even the Photovoltaic (PV) Cells.

Hydrogen and Biomass

Scientists have argued that hydrogen is one of the ultimate sources of renewable energy since it is a universal earth’s component. According to Shuit et al., (2009), hydrogen-based fuel cells work through the reaction of pure hydrogen with oxygen to produce a safe from of energy. The produced power is converted into electricity. However, pure hydrogen can only be generated by water hydrolysis which is very costly and depends on a large amount of the conventional energy sources. On the other hand, biomass can be utilised as an alternative energy source for electricity generation. There are three different sources of biomass including biofuel, wood and waste. Combustible biomass, on the other hand, can originate from the landfill gas, the solid waste or even industrial waste. The biomass might be utilised in creating alcohol fuel like diesel and ethanol fuel. Such energy can be used for transportation because they emit fewer greenhouse gases compared to the conventional fossil fuel. According to Shuit et al., (2009), biomass helps to reduce the landfills. However, critics have it that biomass also generates greenhouse gases and the increasing production of the soybean and corn for the production of soy diesel and ethanol might increase overall food prices.


The paper has focused on the numerous sources of alternative energy that can be used to prevent more emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It is one of the most efficient solutions to the problem of global warming. Numerous alternative energy sources are highly environmentally friendly and at the same time harness natural processes. They generate an alternative source of energy that is clean and in the process helps to reduce the impact of pollution. Typical examples of sources of alternative energy that have been described include the ocean energy, solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity, geothermal power and biomass.


Hansen, J., Sato, M., Ruedy, R., Lacis, A., & Oinas, V. (2000). Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 97 (18), 9875-9880.

Panwar, N. L., Kaushik, S. C., & Kothari, S. (2011). Role of renewable energy sources in environmental protection: a review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews , 15 (3), 1513-1524.

Pelc, R., & Fujita, R. M. (2002). Renewable energy from the ocean. Marine Policy , 26 (6), 471- 479.

Saber, A. Y., & Venayagamoorthy, G. K. (2011). Plug-in vehicles and renewable energy sources for cost and emission reductions. IEEE Transactions on Industrial electronics , 58 (4), 1229- 1238.

Shuit, S. H., Tan, K. T., Lee, K. T., & Kamaruddin, A. H. (2009). Oil palm biomass as a sustainable energy source: A Malaysian case study. Energy , 34 (9), 1225-1235.

Socha, L., Socha, V., Čekan, P., Čekanová, D., Hanáková, L., & Puškáš, T. (2017). Perspectives of Use of Alternative Energy Sources in Air Transport. MAD-Magazine of Aviation Development , 5 (1).

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