Course Name and Number
- Describe the social, economic, and environmental pros and cons of each of the energy sources we’ve covered in this chapter, as well as the energy sources covered in chapter 3. Some things to consider: CO2 emissions, reliance on the electrical grid, ability to be used on-demand, knowledge to be used large- or small-scale, existing infrastructure, etc
Trees are cut down, and crops are also grown to produce some biomass energy. The use of food crops for fuels may cause an increase in food prices, which impacts the way of life of the people. Most times, when trees are cut, they are not replanted. Forest and grasslands help take the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, and cutting the trees and crops mean that there will be no photosynthesis taking place. An increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere may contribute to global warming.
Solar energy has a minimal impact on the environment. Solar energy does not emit toxic substances into the air, which can be very damaging to the environment and human beings. Solar energy helps fight climate change. One disadvantage of solar energy is the high cost of material and installation. There is no solar power at night, so there is a need for a large battery bank.
- Please rate the following electricity sources for their contribution to climate change from the most to least: biomass, coal, solar, wind, nuclear, natural gas, oil, geothermal, hydroelectric, MSW.
Coal, nuclear, oil, MSW, natural gas, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass,
- Define the term “carbon neutral” and describe how biomass-based sources have the potential to be carbon neutral, which biomass-based sources have the potential to be carbon neutral. Which biomass-based sources are most likely to be carbon neutral?
Carbon neutral results in no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is caused by the offset of the carbon produced during burning. Biomass-based sources such as corn and sugarcane can be carbon neutral because they take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis when growing. When burnt, the CO2 may be offset. The corn, sugarcane, soybeans and palm oil trees have the potential to be carbon neutral. Biomass is most likely to be carbon neutral.
- Consider the energy sources primarily used for transportation, as opposed to electricity generation. What are some of the challenges and benefits of each of these sources?
Petroleum products amount to 90% of the primary energy sources used for transportation. The blends gas used up by the vehicles in the United States amounts to (10% of ethanol, 90% of petroleum gasoline) and (85% ethanol,15% petroleum gasoline). The use of flex-fuel vehicles lowers the percentage of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere because the amount of ethanol used is greater than that of petroleum gasoline. Ethanol- gasoline mixtures burn cleaner than pure gasoline, but they can easily evaporate into the atmosphere, which may contribute to the formation of harmful, ground-level ozone and smog.
- Describe the environmental and social concerns associated with biofuels, especially the corn-based ethanol prevalent in the United States.
It was not ethical to cut down food crops to produce a fuel, which affects prairie ecosystems. The United States reduced the exports of corn and other crops, which lead to the rise of prices of other commodities. These ecosystems and environmental implications of corn ethanol have led to increased concerns over global warming, sea rise, and potential threats to life on the planet earth.
- How could alternative energy sources help increase access to energy and electricity in less-industrialized nations?
Renewables like solar and wind energy are becoming increasingly viable alternatives to fossil fuels. The use of wind energy will be effective in the less-industrialized nations since it is cost-effective. More people may now be able to access electricity through wind energy projects.
In the usage of solar energy, there will be lower bills to pay in the less-industrialized nations. Many people in the less-industrialized nations have adapted to the use of solar-equipped lamps to provide electricity.
Hydropower plants can generate power to the grid immediately. They provide essential backup during a major electricity disruption which is very common in the less-industrialized nations. This is a suitable energy source.
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