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Renewable Energy vs Fossil Fuels

by | Jul 14, 2017 | Uncategorized | 22 comments

Energy is a very important part of everyday life. Anything electricity-related, gas-related and heat-related is connected to the world of energy and fuels.

Imagine a world without energy, electricity, and fuels—your car wouldn’t be able to move an inch, the Internet would cease to exist, and there would be no air conditioning or central heating. The world revolves so much on the use of fuels, that life just wouldn’t be the same without them.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are one of the Earth’s greatest energy sources. The process of creating these fuels began long before the dinosaurs walked the earth. Millions of years ago, tiny plants and animals lived and died in the earth’s oceans. As they died, their bodies would sink to the ocean floor and would eventually be covered by layers of rock, sand and mud. These layers would then be subjected to high pressure for millions of years, thus creating the fossil fuels everyone knows and loves.

The secret to the high-energy concentration that fossil fuels have, is their slow decay rate. The organic matter buried millions of years ago had very little chance to decay, enabling their energy to be stored and later converted to fossil fuels.

The abundance and relatively low cost of these fuels also supply power plants with enough energy to generate electricity for the world. Fossil fuels are also necessary for the production of numerous household products like paints, detergents, medicines, cosmetics, and many more.

Millions of households and businesses around the world use fossil fuels for heating, cooking, and other purposes. In fact, most of the world’s fossil fuel supplies come from the Middle East. It’s good for their economy and enables them to easily engage in business with other countries.

But while fossil fuels have many advantages, they aren’t perfect. They may be extremely helpful and valuable, but they can take millions of years to form and can’t be artificially generated in labs.

Furthermore, fossil fuels give off harmful green gases when burned. Large amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide are released into the atmosphere every time power plants burn fossil fuels on a massive scale. This greatly contributes to global climate change, and puts everyone at risk.

Is There An Alternative To Fossil Fuels?

If you’re wondering about whether or not fossil fuels are the be-all and-end-all of the fuel industry, they’re not. Renewable energy is a newfound alternative to fossil fuels.

While it hasn’t been in the industry that long, it’s a steadily developing science. Scientists from all over the world are developing new ways of producing sustainable energy from substances that are safe for the environment.

Nowadays, the most common sources of renewable energy come from natural resources like sunlight, wind, rain, tides, geothermal heat, and biomasses. All these are materials that are continually replenished and are safe to use as energy sources.

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Renewable Resource?

• Solar Energy

Solar energy is the most abundant and renewable form of energy there is. It’s cheap, you can literally find it anywhere during the daytime, and it can be used for a variety of purposes. Believe it or not, sunlight can be used for heating and lighting homes and buildings, for generating electricity, and more.

The main disadvantage of solar energy is that it’s limited to just a few hours of each day. Luckily, scientists are currently developing ways of storing solar energy so that it can be used even during the nighttime.

While there aren’t enough solar powered devices that could power up an entire society at present, the number of new solar powered inventions is steadily increasing. Soon enough, solar energy will be the world’s leading source of energy and will power millions of houses and power plants all around the world.

• Wind Power

Wind power is one of today’s fastest growing energy sources. It can be used to pump water, generate electricity, and power up wind turbines. The only problem that comes with wind power is the fact that it requires a huge operating area in order to produce large amounts of energy. Windmills take up a lot of space, which limits the usage of wind power on a global scale.

• Biomass

Biomass is the energy produced from organic materials like plants and animals. When these organic substances are burned, they give off energy as heat, which can in turn be used for producing fuels and heating. Modern forms of biomass energy make use of methane gases, ethanol, and biodiesel fuels to supply energy for electric power plants and to serve as fuel for automobiles.

The most unfortunate disadvantage that comes with biomass energy is the burning of trees for warmth. Wood fueled heating causes the cutting of millions of trees worldwide, which puts humanity at a disadvantage.

• Geothermal Power

Geothermal energy comes from the heat the Earth gives off. Hot springs and geysers are one of the most common examples of geothermal energy. While they were often used for bathing and heating homes in earlier times, modern technology has now created ways to generate electricity through the heat they give off.

• Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric energy comes from the movement of water. It’s one of the oldest and cheapest ways of generating power, and is a well-known competitive source of energy. A major advantage hydroelectric energy has is that it doesn’t use fuel. It also has the lowest lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for power generation.

Some disadvantages hydroelectric energy has, are major land losses and water evaporation. Large reservoirs also have the tendency to submerge and destroy large areas of biologically rich and productive lowland, which can greatly affect the lives of those who live in the area.

Which Is Better?

Fossil fuels have always been a main source of energy throughout the years. But since they can’t be replenished and can do the environment harm, renewable sources of energy are slowly taking their place.

Renewable energy is paving the way for an environmentally safer means of producing power and electricity. While the two types of energy do have their own advantages and disadvantages, one source definitely stands out. Given the state our planet is in, renewable energy is definitely the best choice when it comes to creating new technologies and ways to save our planet.

22 Comments

  1. Robert

    The use of fossil fuels has definitely taken its toll on our environment. A ton of greenhouse gases being released into our atmosphere and its ridiculous price will make you think about shifting to greener options like solar energy. I hope more people use these options in the near future.

    Reply
  2. Jessica Drews

    We need to find a solution for this fossil fuel problem and quick. Global warming is NOT a conspiracy people. It is really happening. Good thing, renewable energy is slowly taking over.

    Reply
  3. Larry Brink

    It’s obvious that the wise choice is renewable energy over Fossil Fuel energy. There are many sources we can go to for renewable energy, and they can be restocked, unlike those from Fossil Fuel, as the sources, we can get them from are limited. Millions of years of fossils. That’s what we’re waiting for if you think that fossil fuels are easy to replenish.

    Reply
  4. Dominic Horn

    There’s no doubt that we can all benefit from transitioning to solar power (except gas companies, of course). Harnessing the power of the sun to power all our appliances and gadgets. How cool is that!

    Reply
  5. Bradley Davenport

    We should be thankful that we have so many alternative sources of renewable energy. There’s the sun, the wind, and the sea. It’s almost unlimited, we just need to know how to harness them. Imagine all the cities in the world being powered by renewable energy. Sounds like utopia to me.

    Reply
  6. Alvin Phelps

    Harnessing the power of nature will surely help us in the future due to its abundance. It’s almost infinite. I wonder why we still stick to the conventional way (fossil fuels) to power up everything. It destroys the atmosphere and the health of those who are exposed to its noxious gases. Time to make some changes.

    Reply
  7. Susan

    Fossil fuels just take a second to use, a lifetime to replenish. Sooner or later, we will be forced to find a way to replace them. Why do it now? Solar energy is cheap and also eco-friendly. Anyone can install it on their home. Hope that more people use this instead.

    Reply
  8. Harry

    Just saw a video on Youtube about the natural wonders that will be gone in this century, and I saw that most of them are affected by the climate change that’s happening to the world. Maldives, Tuvalu and other low-lying islands will be submerged because of the rising sea levels. Also for Mt. Kilimanjaro, there will be no snow in 30 or 40 years time. We need to act fast and use green energy, especially solar energy. This will help us a lot to slow down the effects of global warming or maybe even reverse it.

    Reply
  9. Tracy

    It’s a no-brainer that renewable energy is better than its counterpart. Petroleum, coal and other fossil fuels will soon run out and where do we go when that happens? Solar and other renewable sources, of course. So why not start using them today? Global warming is not a conspiracy, people.

    Reply
  10. Holly

    We need to find a more efficient and more affordable alternative to fossil fuels, and quick. We also need to open more opportunities to the guys that work for petroleum companies to balance things out. Our economy is important, and so is our environment. I hope that our journey to renewable energy will be a smooth sailing ride in the future.

    Reply
  11. Angela Smith

    It’s amazing how humanity destroyed our environment in just a span of a couple of centuries. We can’t avoid industrialization, but we can prevent the negative effects of it on our planet. Renewable energy is definitely the way to go.

    Reply
  12. Amy Mengel

    Fossil fuel energy vs. Green Energy? We all know which one’s better, but it’s not that simple to replace fossil fuels from the market. We use them to power everything that we use daily. Cars, stoves, etc. It’s a good thing that solar panels and chargers are becoming more popular today due to the decrease in the price and the increasing environmental awareness around the globe. I hope this trend will continue in the future.

    Reply
  13. Roderick

    The majority of the energy we consume comes from burning of fossil fuels. Transitioning to green energy sources is a great feat to accomplish, but it’s possible. We have no other choice but to do it. Our planet is not getting better, quite the opposite. There are a lot of factors that came into play; deforestation, use of CFCs and of course, the excessive use of fossil fuels. Thanks for posting on this blog, hope that more people realize the value of renewable energy.

    Reply
  14. Corinne

    Fossil fuels provide us with quick and reliable energy, just go to the gas station and fill up your tank and that’s it. That’s one of the reasons why we still rely on them. We just need to find more reliable ways to harness the energy from the sun, wind, and seas. The energy from these sources is almost infinite. The government should allot more budget in building solar panels and wind turbines. Lower monthly bills, pollution and greenhouse gases.

    Reply
  15. Terry Wilson

    Wiping out the use of fossil fuels is easier said than done. It takes a lot of planning and funding from the government in order for it to be successful. It will have an enormous economic impact on the oil-rich nations if we stop using fossil fuels altogether. But for the sake of our environment, it’s necessary for us to transition to renewable sources of energy. I hope that day comes much sooner.

    Reply
  16. Marquita Kelley

    The industrial revolution is one of the most important events in history. It modernized transportation, production, printing and many more things. A lot of life changing advantages, but there are also disadvantages to it. Carbon emissions from the rampant use of fossil fuels is constantly turning our planet into a greenhouse. Deforestation also comes into play, because we replaced our forests with factories. Good thing, we found ways to replace fossil fuels with green energy sources like tidal, wind and solar. Hope that everything will be better for us in the future. I know it’s not easy to entirely stop the use fossil fuels, but everything is possible if we all work together.

    Reply
  17. Maria Green

    The industrial revolution is one of the most important events in history. It modernized transportation, production, printing and many more things. A lot of life changing advantages, but there are also disadvantages to it. Carbon emissions from the rampant use of fossil fuels is constantly turning our planet into a greenhouse. Deforestation also comes into play, because we replaced our forests with factories. Good thing, we found ways to replace fossil fuels with green energy sources like tidal, wind and solar. Hope that everything will be better for us in the future. I know it’s not easy to entirely stop the use fossil fuels, but everything is possible if we all work together.

    Reply
  18. Rochell

    It’s a no-brainer that we should definitely pick green energy sources over fossil fuels, but it’s easier said than done. It’s like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. As of today, most of the energy we use is from fossil fuels, don’t forget about the cars. But of course, we are hopeful that someday, we can replace petroleum products with a more cost-effective and environment-friendly source. Global warming is NOT a conspiracy. It’s happening. We should act soon before everything’s too late.

    Reply
  19. Lori Gaynor

    Sadly, fossil fuels are here to stay for centuries to come. It’s not simple to transition everything to green energy sources, because we know that their reliability is not that great, as of today. But I’m pretty sure that scientists all across the planet are working double time to find a more reliable solution. Our environment is not getting better, we need to act fast if we still want the next generations to live normally.

    Reply
  20. Claire

    I love what Elon Musk mentioned about the future; workers will be replaced with robots and everything will run using green energy. I think this can happen within the next century or so. But for now, we need to embrace the use of green energy before it’s too late. The future depends on what we are doing today.

    Reply
  21. Arthur Redd

    I’m sure that we will find a way to replace fossil fuels, although it’s about a century or two to go. Better late than never. But the thing is, are we still capable of reversing the adverse effects that we caused to our environment? Being optimistic, of course I want it to happen. But we should all take part in this revolution for it to work.

    Reply
  22. Stephanie Merriman

    Looking from an economic standpoint, if we get rid of fossil fuels today, a ton of people will lose their jobs and it will severely affect our economy and their families. We need to find ways to make the transitition as smooth as possible. I know, green energy sources are the better option for the environment, but we still need to keep in mind the consequences of the disappearance of fossil fuels. That’s just my opinion though.

    Reply

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