RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

 

 

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Energy for the Future                        

You might wonder why people still worry about an "energy crisis" - renewable energy seems to be readily available in more or less unlimited supply in a variety of forms.  In practice, there are problems - technical, economical and political.  One problem is that much of the technology needed to generate power from renewable resources on a commercial scale is still in its infancy, and research is grossly underfunded.

Up to this point, we have looked mainly at where our energy comes from.  The other side of the coin is how we use that energy.  Of the energy we use now, no less than half is wasted through generating and transmission losses and inefficient end use ... the equivalent of about 95 million tons of coal each year.  We need to learn to conserve and make better use of energy we generate, and even as individuals there are many practical ways to save energy ... and money! ... by reducing our consumption.

The best ways to improve energy efficiency will vary from house to house - from insulating roof spaces and lofts to double glazing, lagging hot water tanks and fitting draught excluders to doors and windows.  They all require a financial investment but in the long run they will save both energy and money.  

There's one easy way to save energy that everyone can have a go at.  These "low energy" light bulbs use 60-80% less electricity than ordinary incandescent light bulbs and they last ten to thirteen times longer ... but they do cost more.

We have to decide where our priorities lie - do we want to squander our fossil fuel reserves and risk leaving our descendents a polluted and impoverished world? ...

... or should we be trying much harder to conserve more of the energy we've got and generate the remainder with less impact on the environment?

The choice is ours, and our loved ones that follow us will bear the consequences of our irresponsible actions.

 

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