Sample Essay on Sustainable Energy
Sustainable energy is a term used to refer to provision or development of energy that can be used by everyone without compromising future generations. Different kinds of technologies have been developed to promote production of sustainable energy. These include renewable sources like solar energy, hydroelectricity, geothermal energy, tidal power, wind energy, wave power and artificial photosynthesis.
There are also technologies which have been developed to improve the efficiency of energy. Thirty years ago, sustainability of energy was nothing more than availability of energy relative to rate of use. Today though, when looked at the context of ethical framework, sustainable development includes particular concerns such as global warming and other aspects.
Now, whenever people think about sustainable energy, they must also think about environmental effects as well as question of waste even when there is no environmental effect. Safety is another issue that must be looked into when talking of sustainable energy.
The essential contributors to sustainable energy are renewable energy technologies. It is such technologies that contribute towards creation of energy security, reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and provision of opportunities for mitigation of greenhouse gases. Conceptually, there are 3 renewable energy technologies that date back to 100 years. These include:
- First generation-These emerged during the industrial revolution towards the end of 19th century and they include biomass combustion, hydropower, heat and geothermal power. Some of the technologies in this category are still widely used in today’s society.
- Second generation technologies-These include wind power, solar heating and modern forms of solar photovoltaic and bioenergy. Because of research, demonstration and development investments made since 1980’s these are currently entering the markets. Initial investments were promoted by energy concerns that were linked to oil crisis in the 1970’s. However, the continued development of these sources of energy is because of environmental benefits. Many of these technologies are a clear reflection in advancements made especially in terms of material used.
- Third generation technologies-These are still undergoing development and include biorefinery technologies, ocean energy, advanced biomass gasification, dry hot rock geothermal energy and concentrating solar thermal power. Advancement in nanotechnology also plays a significant role on this kind of technology.
First and second technologies are already in the market while third generation depends heavily on long term development and research commitments and the public sector has a role to play.
In order to achieve sustainable energy goals, changes need to be made in the manner energy is supplied, how it is used as well as reducing the amount used to deliver services and goods. There are numerous opportunities for improvement on the demand side of the energy equation as well as the supply side in order to ensure economic benefits are enjoyed.
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