Assess The Potential Of Three Sources Of Renewable Energy As Alternatives To Using Fossil Fuels

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After experiencing the replacement of manual and animal labour by steam engines in the Industrial Revolution, cheap fossil fuels then became the main source of energy. However, faced with the notable increase demand for energy, fossil fuel, as a non-renewable resource becomes scarcer and more expensive nowadays. To solve this problem, the world needs to replace fossil fuels with other sources of energy which are relatively low-cost and more secure. Renewable energy is such a potential energy. This essay will give an outline of three sources of renewable energy to be used in developing nations, which are solar energy, wind power and biomass. First, it will give a definition of fossil fuel and renewable energy, then it will move to analyse these three sources, evaluating them in three criteria: technology, cost and reliability to see whether they have great potential helping the developing world moving upwards in the future development. Firstly, it is important to make clear the definition of fossil fuels and renewable energy. Fossil fuels can be defined as solid, liquid, or gaseous fuels formed in the ground after millions of years by chemical and physical changes in plants and animal residues under high temperature and pressure. According to Franchi (2005: 72), “renewable energy is energy obtained from sources at a rate that is less than or equal to the rate at which the source is replenished”. Compared with conventional energy, renewable energy has an impressive long-term potential. Undoubtedly there are environmental concerns with the usage of non-renewable energy. Massive combustion of fossil fuels leads to serious air pollution and global warming, thus posing major health risks coupled with the quick and wide migration of di... ... middle of paper ...> [13 March, 2008] Fanchi, J.R. (2005). Energy in the 21st Century. USA: World Scientific Company. Middleton, N. (2003), The Global Casino: An Introduction to Environmental Issues, 3rd edn, London: Oxford University Press. Seitz, J.L (2002), Global Issues: An Introduction, 2nd edn, Malden: Blackwell Publishing. Sundance, (2006), UK Renewable Energy. [Online] Available at : [6 March, 2008] United Nations Environment Programme, June (2007). [Online] Available at: [13 March, 2008] Volker, Q. (2005), Understanding Renewable Energy Systems. Toronto: Earthscan. “Wind power and the environment – benefits and challenges” (2006), Wind directions, pp26-40.

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