The statistics from U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that China now accounts for 47% of global coal consumption—almost as much as the entire rest of the world combined. As the coal combustion is the leading source of the smog, Chinese government has to find a balance between them. To reduce the coal consumption with minimal impact on energy supply, new clean energy substitution can be an appropriate strategy. It seems like China has already begun to transform the way it grows for good. “China’s renewable energy investment rose to $110 billion in 2015 and overall low-carbon electricity generation, including solar, nuclear, wind and hydro-power, rose by 20% last year.” (Dettoni).
America’s per capita emission of heat-trapping gases is 21 tons. (“Ten Personal Solutions”) This is four times the global average and it is twice the standard living in similar countries, like France and Japan. This does not mean we should make drastic changes to show improvements. Making smart choices and understanding the areas that produce the most carbon emission, will show impact in reducing global warming. Transportation produces 30 percent of all U.S. global emission.
Oil consumption is at 25 billion barrels per year and increasing at 1.5% per year. At current rates of consumption, measured against known reserves, there is only a 30-year supply of oil in the Earth’s crust. Even if the reserve estimate were doubled, it is a moral imperative that the population takes immediate action to develop a sustainable energy economy. Solar Energy 2.0 Solar energy is quite simply the energy produced by the sun and collected elsewhere, normally the Earth. The sun creates its energy through a thermonuclear process that converts about 650,000,000 tons of hydrogen to helium every second.
However, “The price of wind and solar power continues to plummet, and is now on par or cheaper than grid electricity in many areas of the world” (Randall). From this many demonstrate that the cleaner alternative could be the future for mankind. A recent survey was done, and out of 103 votes approximately 71% of the votes agreed that renewable resources were a cheaper alternative. At this moment approximately 97.5 quadrillion BTU’s or British thermal units, are consumed in the United States each year while only ten percent of this number consumed is a renewable resource (U.S. Energy Facts - Energy Explained, 3). This means that ninety percent of the United States energy bill is spent on non-renewable resources that will eventually become a back stabber.
For example, a $1 billion manufacturing company with total procurement spending of $570 million can spend up to $348 million on non-production goods and services. Reducing this spending by only 15 percent would mean savings of $52.2 million each year! Market Growth Expectations As of September 16, 1999, Investment banking firm Goldman, Sachs & Co. said it expects a five-year $1.5 trillion boom in business-to-business e-commerce in industries ranging from automobiles to medical equipment. In a report on the sector, Goldman says that the retail sector, with sites like Yahoo! Inc and eBay Inc, has gotten most of the attention, but the business-oriented side "is poised for equally explosive growth."
Even though the solar energy movement is increasing, out of all of the 9.23 million megawatts, it only produces .23% of total US electricity. (Energy.gov) There are over 550 major solar projects across the US. Now under the Obama Administration, 16 more projects have been approved and they will provide 6,000 megawatts of power. (SEIA) However, the concentration of the biggest and most powerful plants are located in the Southwest. (SEIA) In fact, the oldest solar energy plant, the SEGS thermal power plant resides in California and generates about 354 megawatts of power.
A possible reason is that atomic energy has a higher efficiency than fossil fuel. Shah (2011) revealed that nuclear plants in the USA can covert 87% of all the heat generated into electricity while coal plants and oil power plants can only have an average of 85%. Hence, the high generating efficiency of nuclear plants has changed the world’s tendency on source of electricity. Lasting Impact Nuclear power reactors generate electricity at a lower cost, attracting countries to start using atomic energy. According to McDonald (2008), there are currently 30 countries using nuclear power as one of their electricity source, some of them such as France and Belgium even use atomic energy as their main way to produce electricity.
Coal and natural gas are the United States’ main fossil fuels used as energy sources. These fossil fuels both contain mixtures of hydrocarbons, which is a chemical compound of carbon and hydrogen (Olah, 2005). Currently, fossil fuels provide eighty-five percent of commercial energy, such as businesses, worldwide and this eighty-five percent does not even account for residential use. Imagine if the residential energy use was accounted for in that eighty-five percent (Davison, 2007). According to Goodell (2006), “Between 1950 and 2000, the world population increased by 140 percent and fossil fuel consumption increased by 400 percent.
If just 20 percent of cars used full cells, we could cut oil imports by 1.5 million barrels every day. 10,000 fuel cell vehicles running on non-petroleum fuel would reduce oil consumption by 6.98 million gallons a year. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that if a mere 10% of automobiles nationwide were powered by fuel cells, regulated air pllutants would be cut by one million tons a year and 60 million tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide would be eliminated. DOE projects that the same number of fuel cell cars would cut oil imports by 800,000 barrels a day which is about 13 percent of total imports. Fuel cells could create new markets for steel, electronics, electrical and control industries and other equipment suppliers.
For instance, the E.P.A. estimates that emissions of toxic material like these “oxides'; cause some 2000 cancer deaths a year (Information 61). The rainwater that falls through this polluted air also poses a major risk. Industrial plants and automobiles emit chemicals that mix with the moisture in the atmosphere and form acids that eventually fall to the Earth (Information 89). The same sulfur and nitrous oxides that cause the smog at ground level form nitric and sulfuric acids in the atmosphere (Burning www 1).