These are hydrocarbons including coal, oil, and natural gas that is formed over the years due to the remains of dead plants and animals. It is the result of these fuels that led to the rise of living standards of mankind. The increase in use of fossil fuels has left an impact in the environment.
Some of the disadvantages of using fossil fuels include:
Co2 emission: The Co2 gas emitted when fossil fuel is burnt increases the temperature of earth leading to global warming and climate change problems.
Ocean acidification: Burning fossil fuels makes theoceans acidic in nature. Facts say that oceans at the present date have become30% more acidic since the start of industrial revolution.
Air pollution: Burning fossil fuel also generates sulfur dioxide which contributes to acid rain.Fossil fuel also produce harmful gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. (Denchak M, Fossil Fuels: The Dirty Facts)
On the other hand, renewable energy sources are more likely to help sustain the environment. It is also more cleaner and costs less than fossil fuels. By 2022, the renewable electricity capacity is aimed to increase by 43% which is about more than 8000 Terawatt hours. (Renewables 2017 : Key Findings)
Man has used fossil fuels over several years which made life easier,however the big question that arises is that how long these fossil fuels willlast? Moreover, problems of climatechange and global warming has made Man investigate other alternative green energysources.
Renewable energy is that energy that is retrieved from renewable resources including sunlight, wind, water waves, geothermal heat from the earth. All renewable energy resources are sustainable. About 17% of Canada’s total primary energy supply comes from renewable energy. Canada ranks 7th in the globe in terms of renewable energy utilization. Canada produces more than 80000 MW (megawatts) of hydroelectricity as stated in a 2016 report. (Renewable energy facts, 2018)
Types of Renewable Energy
This is the type of energy that is generated from solar power. China and USA have the highest solar energy capacity. The process of electricity production is quite simple. Photo voltaic cells in solar panels excite the electrons in silicon cells using photons from sun-rays. This energy is then stored and supplied to households. Some of the largest solar plants in the world include Noor complex solar plant in Morocco which has a capacity of 580 MW, a power plant in India can produce up to 648 MW. ( 5 largest solar farms in the world, n.d)
With the limited capacity of solar panel to only function in sunlight,researchers are now looking into ways to harness energy when it is raining.This idea involves converting the kinetic energy of the rain drops to electricity.These solar panels are called hybrid solar panels that operate in both sun and rain. (Nichols, 2018)
The solar impulse 2 airplane successfully flew around world and proofed potential of renewable energy in the future. To watch the video click on the link https://youtu.be/dnhL8fiTYoY
Hydro power is generated by taking advantage of water cycle; like falls, rivers, spring etc; and gravity.Moreover, we have been generating the energy of moving water form thousands of years. From the statics, in 2015 it is generated 16.6% of the world’s total electricity and 70% of all renewable electricity. Nowadays, more than 150 countries are producing hydro power and china dominate as a largest hydroelectricity producer with 920 TWh of production in 2013, representing 16.9 percent of domestic electricity use. ( Renewables 2011, n.d)
Apart from this, the age of hydro power does not produce air contamination or ozone harming substance emanations, it can have negative ecological and social results. Blocking water sources with dams can debase water quality, harm oceanic and riparian living space, square transitory fish section, and uproot neighborhood networks.hydro power can be a feasible and nonpolluting wellspring of power that can help diminish our reliance on non-renewable energy sources and lessen the danger of a dangerous atmospheric deviation. (How Hydroelectric Energy Works, n.d)
This energy involves the use of air flow in a turbine to produce electricity. Wind turbines are of two types Vertical wind turbine and Horizontal wind turbines. Wind power as an alternative to fossil fuels is renewable, clean, produces no pollution, and sustainable. The manufacturing, maintenance, and operation also lead to increase in jobs in the country. Canada produces 5 % of the total electricity from wind power. Some of the disadvantages of implementing wind power is high cost of maintenance, less energy produced, energy depends on wind. ( Renewable energy facts 2018, n.d)
Geo means earth and thermal means temperature. We found one more renewable source of energy by taking advantage of the internal energy of earth. It is thermal energy generated and stored in the earth and determine the temperature of matter. Geothermal energy is not only used to heat buildings, but also to grow plants in greenhouses, drying crops, heating water at fish farms, and several industrial processes such as pasteurizing milk. Geothermal energy releases very less amount of Co2 in the environment. ( Geothermal Energy , n.d.)
Biomass energy is alsoknown as bio energy which is the stored energy in biomass substances that isvegetable oils, wood, waste from forestry, municipal solid wastes, agricultureindustry. Bio energy works on the photosynthesis process that energy stored inplants from sun. If we talk about the usage of renewable sources by Canada,then biomass contributes 4% to total energy supply and second largest renewablesource used by Canada after hydroelectricity. In Canada, most of the biomasscapacity is found in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta. While Manitobais the leading province in biomass energy.
There are some fuels produced from biomass such as methanol and ethanol which is going to be useful as an alternative fuel for transportation. However, methanol and ethanol is produced from wood and forest waste. In addition, ethanol has potential to meet the cost requirements with methanol and gasoline. If we look into the possibilities from forest biomass, then some areas in Canada (British Columbia) has been estimated that biomass wastes could provide solid and liquid fuels that can reduce or replace oil consumption. ( Biomass Energy, n.d.)
Denchak, M. (2018, August 22). Fossil Fuels: The Dirty Facts. Retrieved from https://www.nrdc.org/stories/fossil-fuels-dirty-facts#sec-disadvantages
Renewable energy facts. (2018, September 12). Retrieved from https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/facts/renewable-energy/20069
Renewables 2017 : Key Findings. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iea.org/publications/renewables2017/
5 largest solar farms in the world. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.originenergy.com.au/blog/lifestyle/5-largest-solar-farms-in-the-world.html
Nichols, M. R. (2018, October 09). Hybrid solar panels to capture energy from rain. Retrieved from https://www.euroscientist.com/scientists-design-new-solar-cells-to-capture-energy-from-rain/
How Hydroelectric Energy Works. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/how-hydroelectric-energy.html#bf-toc-3
Geothermal Energy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/geothermal-energy/tech.html
Biomass Energy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/biomass-energy