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Are renewable energies the future? What is happening in your country?
The underlying factor in this debate is environmental friendly energy sources. But the options in the third world are few. Partly because the safer sources have been looked down upon.
Let's go back to solar, wind and tidal waves forms of energies. They are available to all nations and will never be depleted. Let's compel our governments to adopt energy policies that will work for even those in the lower echelons. Those that are using carbon-fuels have a responsibility of maintaining carbon balance. Lest we do that, humankind will suffer.
Renewable energies can not only provide you with alternative energies, cutting on running expenditures, but can also prevent the world from being further polluted.
In India, though there are technologies available, but only a minimum effort is being taken to harness the power of renewable energies fully.
Much more can be done, in this sector, if better co-ordination and a will to transform is there. This should involve local people, make them realize the power of renewable energies and the benefits, they can get -- cost savings, pollution control.
Tamil Nadu is one of the states where wind power is exploited well. But India, being a nation getting a lot of sunlight, can better harness solar power.
I'm 13 and I don't want to have to grow up with global warming and other pollutants destroying our Earth, and when I have kids I don't want them to have to suffer because of what we have done now an in the past. Any solution to this problem is fine with me.
Renewable energies are the only future. Not much progress is being made, too much bickering on the political level, narrow-minded thinking on how or what forms of alternative energies are the most effective.
I feel ethanol is the wrong approach and more concentration should be put on buildings, using solar, windmill power.
Nuclear is too dangerous, especially now, and what are you going to do with the waste?
Communities should create programs (starting at the lowest level) and concentrate on better and more effective conservation methods. There are so many available tools in the conservation areas, it's just a matter of people from all walks of life getting together and getting the job done.
Simply, wind and solar and conservation. No need to complicate the issue with impractical solutions such as expensive -- and taking up earth space as well as pulling nutrients out of the soil -- massive plantings of ethanol. Also, this goes for witch grass too.
Some geo-thermal projects could work but I fear that would be very expensive and would be limited to certain areas. However, it should be looked into. Ocean wave, methane gas, coal; too many problems, coal and gas with emissions and expensive as well. The ocean wave concept -- expensive, and most impractical for many reasons which I could get into but I wont bore you any further.
Yes, renewable energies are the future. It makes us sick that people don't even think about the fact that in doing what we are doing we are destroying our planet and ourselves.
We need to act now, because the evidence is there. We can see what's going to happen.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that global warming caused by our addiction to fossil fuels is having a severe impact on our planet, from massive species extinctions to extreme weather events. Read the news - it's happening now.
Yet, by making small changes to our own lifestyles - investing in solar or wind power, hybrid cars, bicycles etc, we can cut our carbon footprints by 50% - easily!
Governments have proved they are too slow with too many vested interests and business leverages to make the changes needed in the time required. They will not solve the problem. Individual people, making small adjustments can and will.
I believe we have to take personal responsibility for our lifestyles and by so doing, collectively, we can make a HUGE difference. One person at a time. One step at a time. What are you waiting for??
In my country, the U.S., there is a very low percentage of energy from the wind. In the country of my birth, India, there is a lot more sensitivity to such things.
Al Gore had eight years to change things. We expect less from Bush. The governor of California is somewhat more interested in this. But I think that a recognition that the Third World is doing more than its fair share is needed.
I can't understand why governments aren't taking any action before it is too late. I think this is a serious subject.
I have been working since 1975 in the field of renewable energy sources, but am very sorry to say that in my country this subject has become a fool's paradise. The only solution is if affordable, cheap manufacturing for such technology to be made available.
With all this warning we are having about climate change, and with burning fossil fuels liable to be the cause, I just can't understand why governments aren't taking any action before it is too late!
Certain parts of our country seem to be more worried about extracting oil from the soil than about finding alternative energy sources. There are efforts in other parts of our country to push forward with hydroelectric and wind energy sources. Critics say this is not viable. But neither was oil at one time.
It is really time now to pour money into research into alternative energies. And it is also time for local governments to take the bull by the horns and force developers to build alternative energies into their infrastructure. If the federal governments won't do it, then it's up to the local authorities. Just because a few of our so-called "leaders" (Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US George W. Bush) seem to believe Kyoto is not viable, it doesn't mean the rest of us can't pull our act together and do what's right.
Current alternative energies are a poor replacements for oil. The only one that is really viable is nuclear. Solar is the most abundant but collection technologies for it are so poor, it's almost pointless. Nuclear energies are the only way to supply power to things such as space flight.
I live in the heart of the oil Industry in Canada. I keep reading day after day how the "big bad oil companies" did this and did that, all because they make lots of money.
But that's the root of it isn't it? Money? Here is a simple idea...Create a market. Buy lots of solar cells. If lots of people buy lots of solar cells, it will create a successful business model and draw the attention of companies with the resources to create/produce/innovate on these products. Cell phones are an excellent example. They started out not very effective/efficient and now every day they get better and last longer. If there is a way for somebody to make money doing something they will, and so will their competitors, creating more and better options for everyone.
Are renewable energies the future? True, it is so. but certain lobbies do not want to be sidelined -- I mean the petro lobby.
Here is the problem with renewable energy. Our present day energy use is so large (about 907 gigawatts in the USA each day) that no amount of renewable energy will ever be able to replace the conventional power sources without energy conservation on a massive scale.
It is not that RE systems (wind/solar) are so ineffective, just that we are relying on the wrong parties to oversee the implementation of these systems along with the tendency of Western and emerging Asian load centers to equate a particular lifestyle (the term I hate most - our American way of life) with unlimited energy which never existed.
Wind generators are nice but sometimes the wind is not available; solar panels are nice but the sun does rise and set, leaving large load sectors without alternative power sources for significant periods of time.
The only solution is to abandon large grid schemes and concentrate on removing all coal fired plants (if we want to save our planet) and replace them with distributed low-scale generation while mandating home and business PV systems with energy storage (batteries) to cover the night time loads and mandate energy efficiency everywhere.
If we can do this with cars why not our homes. Large systems only concentrate wealth and do not benefit all. I can prove this anytime to anyone.
The destruction of the environment is a human rights issue of epic proportions. All of humanity must take responsibility, and endeavor to restrict our use of energy, unnecessary products from it, wastage etc.
This should be individual decisions by all of us, don't help governments go for power grabs. Boycotting companies and products who do damage would have a powerful effect.
Solar power-generating satellites are the way to go. Once built and placed in orbit, there is no longer an urgent requirement to search for more energy sources until either the sun diminishes in its old age, or our civilization has expanded enough to require more energy than the sun outputs. I dare say this will not happen for many millennia.
They say hydrogen is the future of fuels since the only pollutant it produces is water vapor. If the majority of vehicles and factories used hydrogen, we will get other environmental problems that we have not yet discovered due to too much water vapor in the environment. Will hydrogen production/extraction cause pollution?
I believe that renewable energy is the key to sustainable development. In the Philippines, our country is very rich in natural resources that, when harnessed properly, can address the energy needs of the Philippines.
And yet due to lack of funding in research and development and the lack of political will, our country is heavily dependent on conventional sources of energy, primarily coal-driven power generation, whose fuel we import. Thus the Philippines is not self-sufficient and is heavily dependent.
Alternative energy is the only way to save our environment from global warming and eventual destruction.
Renewable energies are definitely the future.They will not only foster cleaner and better technologies, but in developing countries like India offer a huge avenue for fresh investments, especially in the manufacturing that takes place in countries like China and India.
Technology and investments respond to what markets and prices signal, so if the legal and regulatory climate in India is changed such that it encourages such technologies, these will prosper.
In the long run, the environment is a safer investment than fossil fuels.
Alternative energy is the obligatory future, not only because of the greenhouse effect, but because oil and gas will eventually run out. There are many other considerations but we won't go into those now.
So what are the alternatives? Wind, sun and water are the obvious ones to the simple eye, so why are we not getting on and doing something about it? I'll tell you. The oil companies have been too lazy to develop them and even worse, greedy about letting go of their control of the world's energy and subsequently, the big bucks they collect. Have you ever had a good look at the homes and cars that are owned by the presidents of oil and electrical companies?
There.are other options such as nuclear power, and nuclear waste isn't really such a problem as there is very little nuclear waste from a large amount of energy. There is enough space and depth in the Southern Pacific to use as a nuclear cemetery for a couple of centuries until NASA can find us a planet that will fit the bill!
The real danger comes from war, and a nuclear attack by some irresponsible country. Then there is the danger of another Chernobyl from countries or companies that are sloppy about the maintenance of their nuclear plants.
Another option is bio energy such as ethanol from crops. The trouble with this is that it could eventually make crops more financially viable for energy and we will see food prices go through the roof.
I envisage cars guzzling sunflower oil and zero space for beef which could hit $100 a pound! We live in a market economy which is great until it gets out of control, which isn't too far away from reality.
So let's get on with developing something so simple as wind, sun and water -- incidentally, when I say wind, I don't mean planting windmills all over the countryside.
Fossil energy must be replaced asap!
People have forgotten the advent of the nuclear fusion reactor. All reactors today are currently based off of nuclear fission, the generation of energy from the breaking down of radioactive materials.
However, nuclear fusion involves the same process of the sun, the generation of energy from the fusion of hydrogen atoms to form more complex compounds.
The first prototype reactor is already under construction in France, and should it prove successful, it will be clean, efficient energy, without the stigma of fission reactors.
Even then, fission reactors are still extraordinarily decent. Most people do not seem to know that Chernobyl was the result of not only ancient nuclear fission technology, but the technicians were doing an experiment which resulted in the explosion. One must be responsible with nuclear fission, and the Chernobyl incident is where everything went wrong.
In addition, it may be our only option as it is being found out, and feared, that wind, tidal, and hydro-electric power plants tend to affect the natural enviornment in a negative manner.
Ethanol? What an ethical solution! Let's grow food that could feed billions and burn it!
If the U.S. spent $20 Billion of its $400 billion defense budget on finding renewable energy sources, it would eliminate many reasons for war, save the environment and be a model for the rest of the world. But alas!!!Nobody wants to take the road least travelled.
This section seems to focus too much on the supply side of the energy equation. What about energy efficiency? Perhaps a 'Daughter of Kyoto' agreement could set minimum standards for efficiency of energy consuming devices.
One can also think of regulation of advertising in connection with energy-related products. Too many people bought SUVs because of the sales pitch rather than out of direct need.
On the subject of advertising, I am very skeptical about claims for 'clean, safe' nuclear energy. How do they measure safety, what design are they using to zero-base their comparisons, what percentage improvement have they achieved, and how have they solved the disposal problems associated with long-lived radioactive waste products? And how will we handle the thorny issue of uranium enrichment for fuel rods?
The only 'clean, safe, nuclear energy' that I am aware of is cold fusion!
Battery technology has not kept pace with the other technologies. Solar energy is free and with the proper batteries, we can have transportation that will be, at least, partially electric.
The only way renewable fuels will become a reality is to ban the burning of fosil fuels for energy and see how quickly renewable fuels appear when the "big money" goes into their production.
Suggestion: I would love to see a segment focusing on Brazil's use of ethanol since the 1970s to show that it is possible to use alternative energy on a large scale. Furthermore, Brazil is now following the same process to introduce biodiesel in the country and is succeeding.
Why isn't propane gas implemented on vehicles and public transportation as a must? it contaminates so much less than fuel (gasoline) and if we think about it, at the end of the day money isn't going to buy us better weather....
I'm always interested to have information on all kind of issues in relation to alternative energies.
Venezuela is rich in energies, especially petroleum, but this will not last forever. Welcome all renewable energies, drop bad thoughts against the human race and Mother Earth.
Of course renewable energies are the future and they HAVE to be.
Progress that could be made is being hampered by those who lack vision, have no comprehension of the urgency and who would rather see their great-grandchildren choke than live free. 'Nimbys' we call them here - not-in-my-back-yarders.
I will lobby for wind farms until my last breath.
These are my thoughts of solar power as a main power source for the planet -- solar power is very clean and safe, but let us not forget that it depends on sunlight, something we don't have during the NIGHT. Night is the time when the most energy is spent.
I see a few options that allow the use of solar power during the night:
Fossil fuels and our over-dependence on them is a direct result of the power play and politics post-1967.
The development of solar energy was retarded by the very same 'big guns' simply because they needed time to gain control over anything and everything to do with its production and distribution.
I simply cannot comprehend why countries should even consider allowing themselves to be compromised by allowing those dependent on fossil fuel energy to dominate them. I also fail to comprehend why they willingly choose not to invest, now that they possess that kind of wealth, to further develop solar energy if only to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and better still completely do away with it and/or keep it as a reserve resource for other areas.
I would like a country like India to allow individuals and/or groups to set up energy alternatives like wind and solar generation for householder use, and be given subsidies to create R&D initiatives in order to develop more efficient storage devices tapping energy from the forenamed natural free resources.
I know that if people in this country are allowed to create private energy/power grids for small areas, it will lead to a direct reduction of many types of energy losses suffered during distribution on a national level.
Why have those facts not been researched ? Would it not benefit the country as a whole to have an energy surplus as opposed to a deficit ?
I am amazed when people who otherwise claim to be highly qualified simply turn a blind eye to the most obvious and simple solutions staring them in the face for well over 40 years.
In order for sustainable energy to be developed, we must deal with the power of the invisible hand of capitalism. In order for renewable energy to work there has to be demand AND supply.
The problem is that this is not entirely a technological issue. Oil prices have been climbing steadily for years now and will continue to do so in the future because of geological depletion and increasing demand from India and China.
This will be the best thing ever for renewable energy technology. The future is bright (literally).
Plans for environment-friendly vehicles have been made for years. We have to ask: 'WHY haven't they been realized yet?'
It is thanks to the lobby groups being so close to their friends in politics -- it's always money that makes the world go round.
Everybody's talking about renewable energy -- the power of wind, sun and water. So far, there has not been much progress. Or why do you think some states in the world refuse signing the protocol of Kyoto?
Even worse: instead of investing in renewable energy, Germany (excluding me) seems to 'long' for nuclear energy. Such a strange world...
I still prefer nuclear energy as the base of modern energy. Yeah, if we keep thinking about the Chernobyl disaster, I'm pretty sure all of us want to avoid using nuclear energy. However, as point out above, modern reactors are safer and more efficient.
If nuclear technology can be used to lead to the destruction of the human race, why can't we utilize this powerful energy as an alternative energy? Perhaps in the few decades it will be our main source of energy.
I think it's a matter of paramount importance that our modern and industrialized world is continuing to exploit the Earth's natural resources, such as coal, oil, gas or even other forms of fossil fuels in a rapid way, without a single thought for the next generations.
It's high time we used other ways - for example, solar, wind and wave or geothermic power -- of producing more clean energy, protecting our fragile ecosystem from noxious gases such as CO2, which take a heavy toll on the environment.
People all over the world, especially industrialized countries, which use the most sophisticated technologies, ought to do whatever in their power in their research for renewable forms of energy.
When it comes to my country, I think there is a long way to go for my fellow countrymen to come to terms with a different environmental policy, concerning new ways of producing and using clean and affordable power.
I'm not in favor of using nuclear power on a worldwide scale to produce more clean energy, because there is still a lot at stake concerning accidents, as well as the looming problem of radioactive waste.
In order for sustainable energy to be developed, we must deal with the power of the invisible hand of capitalism. In order for renewable energy to work there has to be demand AND supply. The problem is that this is not entirely a technological issue.
The problems related to the disposal of old tires and indestructible plastic scrap can now be overcome through a process recently perfected where old tires can be used to produce refined diesel and plastic scrap to produce petrol/gasoline.
The technologies are there. Alternatives are available. The problem lies in an uninformed and uninterested public combined with a market dominated by capitalistic economies controlled by money machine corporations. Why would powerful oil companies allow or provide alternatives to a product that makes them so much money?
With alternative energy sources that are truly 'clean', it is shameful that so much money is wasted on 'curing' the symptoms of fossil and nuclear fuels rather than eliminating the source of the problem.
Proponents of the status quo claim that solar and wind power are more expensive, and economically impossible. Others do not wish to have their 'sunset views' riddled with the silhouettes of rotating windmills.
But if the trillions of dollars spent towards fossil/nuclear fuel technologies were used to promote environmentally responsible technologies, the relative costs for solar/wind would surely prove better than our current choices through supply and demand.
And the false thought that our vistas would be compromised would seem less obtrusive. Especially if we realize that many of our sunsets are tainted with smog, which is what creates those wonderful hues of purple and mauve, but also cause respiratory ailments like asthma or lung cancer.
At the rate that technology is increasing, along with the fact that the United States spends billions on importing oil, why can't that money go towards funding projects to invent more environmentally friendly fuel sources?
This is very possible with the minds that we have behind our government.
The best immediate energy alternative is to build thousands of nuclear fission powered reactors.
Nuclear power produces zero greenhouse gas emissions and can support a "hydrogen economy" that no longer uses large amounts of fossil fuels.
Not using fossil fuels reduces funding of hostile governments that control oil supplies, reduces the trade deficit, and reduces global warming and air pollution.
Solar energy is the most abundant form of all, yet we still rely heavily on fossil fuels.
While many countries around the world are converting to solar, wind, and geothermal sources for heat and energy, the U.S. is strides behind. We are the biggest polluters, and have the most selfish lifestyles.
The problem is that too many people don't know there is a problem, and if they do they don't realize its severity. I think it will turn around eventually, but hopefully sooner than later.
I have joined a CARE (Citizens Advocating Renewable Energy) group in town which has wind/hydro/solar energy facilities as its main focus.
We have less than 15 years before atmospheric CO2 levels reach levels at which the Arctic tundra will begin melting and decomposing. This will release unprecedented amounts of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, creating a runaway greenhouse effect
Take action today to prevent a disaster tomorrow: use compact fluorescent lights (our bill is only 350 kWh/month), buy an efficient car (a used Prius can be bought for $12,000 and I have gotten 45-60 mpg in a Generation 1 Prius). SUVs are only a symbol of waste if they sitting with one driver in traffic
Find out if your car has flex-fuel capacity for E85 fuel, use biodiesel for heat, compost your garbage (CO2 is better than methane which you get with landfills).
If your yard is not too big use a reel lawn mower (no motor - always starts!). Talk to your town/city about buying into renewable energy - it will save them money in the long run.
Ten years is not a lot of time to make such massive changes to our energy usage. Bush's research projects are only a delay in taking action. We have sufficient technology today, we only need to use it.
The whole concept of renewable energy seems like a distant reality. There is still too much dependence on fossil fuels. It will take many more decades before it becomes a part of mainstream society.