A Case for Alternative Energy Generation: How Effective Is It?

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As the population rises, the demand for energy increases as well. Americans expect the convenience of electrical power to be there when they need it and their economy depends on it, but a lack of power might soon be a reality. A large amount of electricity in the United States is produced by burning fossil fuels. The national government, as well as individual states, are on a quest for less pollution, but with the energy demand so high it seems lower carbon emissions are impossible. Despite claims that the aging electrical grid is to blame for energy shortages, fossil fuel power generation plants simply cannot keep up with demand. While there is no question the electrical grid needs modernizing, alternative forms of energy production, such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric programs have the potential to significantly increase the production of electricity. These programs will not only satisfy demand, but decrease dependency of fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Many argue that increasing renewable energy initiatives will be ineffective without a modernization of our current electrical grid. Globally, 80 percent of electricity is lost between generation and consumption by the end user (Bernstein Global 162). Advocates for renewable energy, such as Tracy Crawford, CEO of Technical Green, are in agreement that “without rebuilding our grid, we won’t be able to move forward with any new power initiatives and that would not be smart at all”. To help reduce energy loss, companies and power suppliers are advocating for a Smart Grid, an automated power grid that communicates with buildings, appliances, and power distribution centers to increase operational savings, improve energy efficiency, improve grid reliability, and provide efficie... ... middle of paper ... .... 2009. Web. 9 May 2012. Kim, Myung. “Hoover Dam.” Our States: Geographic Treasures. N.p.: n.p., 2011. 1-3. EBSCO History Reference Center. Web. 9 May 2012. Pacella, Rena Marie. “Fish-Friendly Tidal Turbine.” Popular Science 1 June 2010: 44. EBSCO Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 May 2012. U.S. Geological Survey. “Hydroelectric Power Water Use.” Water Science for Schools. United States Geological Survey, 9 Mar. 2012. Web. 9 May 2012. Valenti, Michael. “Storing Solar Energy in Salt.” Mechanical Engineering 117.6 (1995): 72. EBSCO Military & Government Collection. Web. 9 May 2012. Wiser, Ryan H. The State of the U.S. Wind Energy Market: Wind Technologies Market Report: 2010. 7-9. Wind Powering America. U.S. Department of Energy , 26 May 2011. Web. 9 May 2012. Woody, Todd. “WIND VS. BIRD.” Forbes 1 Jan. 2012: 70-75. EBSCO Business Source Premier. Web. 9 May 2012.

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