A Solar Powered Future?
Well the topic of non-renewable (Fossil fuels) energy sources versus renewable (Wind, Water, Solar, Fire) energy sources has been going on for decades. The argument as to why we should use renewable energy sources versus non renewable is as obvious as the category names they belong to. One might say, “Well Duh! A renewable source is always better than a non renewable source”. Even a child should understand that logic. But, here we are, 2013 and only 7% of energy used today comes from renewable sources… 7%! (http://www.ecology.com/ via Energy Information Agency)
No I am not going to sit back and be the guy that screams, “Stop all oil production! Sell your cars! Live in the trees and make clothes out of hemp plants, SAVE THE PLANET!” Nope, that’s not me. I like technology, I like nice cars, I like to flip a switch and get instant results and I don’t drive a Hybrid but I do believe we are missing out on the biggest opportunity to SAVE THE PLANET… and it doesn’t involve attacking oil companies and driving Toyota Priuses.
The answer is as old as the planet. And its not just Wind or the Water, Fire, Solar or even Fossil Fuels. The answer is ALL OF THEM! Everyday, I read things that say why we should use this and not that when a more logical answer is to use the correct energy source for the job. The sun puts off enough energy in one second to produce enough energy for almost 500,000 years of our current energy needs. (http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2005/09/05/how_much_energy_does_the_sun_produce/Dr Knowledge, via The Boston Globe, 9-5-05)
Now you might think, why would we need anything else? The problem is actually finding ways to absorb that energy and convert it to useable power. Currently the average solar panel absorbs and converts maybe 20% of the energy that it receives into useable power. So we may not yet be to the point of capturing all the potential energy out there. So does that mean we just shouldn’t use it? No. We can use that 20% to power appliances, computers, or anything with an electric motor. But how many homes and businesses have solar panels? Very few. A single full size wind turbine can generate enough electricity needs for at least 350 homes, (http://www.windenergyamerica.com/) and yet we have very few wind mill farms in production. And we all know the amazing amounts of power generated by moving water. But, we have yet to find or produce an energy source that is as inexpensive to capture and that delivers instant results the way fossil fuels do. But, they will run out.
As an energy consuming civilization we are on pace to run out of fossil fuels within the next 200 years. (some even say as low as 50 years). This time is so short because of the pace we are on and have been on for decades. But we can change this pace. We can extend that timeline. Fossil fuels are a great source of energy but we must learn to extract them without killing off ecosystems and wildlife and also respect the Fossil fuels as a convenient yet limited energy source that needs to be strictly managed and used for needs and not so much for pleasure. There are many items that can be powered by sources other than oil, coal or natural gas. If we as a civilization started utilizing all our options for energy production and stop simply going to the easiest route, we may just spare some of the fossil fuels for the generations to come.
But wait! One of our most popular items we deal in is Diesel driven Power Generators. You may ask why a company that sells diesel and natural gas products is writing a blog like this? It’s because Critical Power Exchange understands the benefits of having a diesel backup supply for instant power and backup needs. But we also respect our earth. We utilize pre-owned equipment, we breakdown, meltdown, and reuse the materials and equipment no longer able to provide service. We provide valuable energy to those who may not have had any at all. A single diesel or natural gas powered generator could be the key source for water and irrigation in developing countries, or it could keep that vital piece of equipment in a hospital running that may be keeping someone alive. There is a need for fossil fuels, we just need to realize they (fossil fuels) should not be our main source for power being that they are the only energy source that has a limited supply. Last time I checked the Sun had another 5,000,000,000 years of life or so left.
It’s not about finding or creating “the one” solution but utilizing the many solutions already available in abundance.