Abstract: Fossils fuels are diminishing. Other, possibly more environmentally safe,
energy sources are needed to replace them. The purpose of this study was to
examine closely the three most common renewable energy sources—solar,
wind, and hydroelectric power—as a solution to the “energy problem” of today
and possibly the energy crisis of the future. However, solar and wind energy
account for a very small percent of the energy used by the U.S. (nearly 2
percent), and the possible technologies being developed to increase their
efficiency won’t be able to seal the gap between energy supplied by these
renewable energy sources and the energy demanded. These sources will have to
act as complements to another more powerful energy source, as they will in fact
not be able to replace fossil fuels on their own.
One of the most pondered questions in today’s fast-paced society is how long fossil
fuels—namely oil, coal and natural gas—are going to last. The increased demand for fossil
fuels, and therefore their increased price has worried many Americans into remembering that
these fuels are not renewable and will one day run out. For this reason, it is important to
consider whether the alternate energy technologies that we possess today can replace fossil fuels
when the time comes.
My study explores whether solar, hydroelectric, and wind power (alternate forms with
very few harmful byproducts) used together can act as substitutes for oil, coal and natural gas.
Apart from the ever-increasing price of oil these days, there are more theoretical reasons
suggesting a shortage of fossil fuels. One, known as Hubbert’s Theory, p...
... middle of paper ...
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Knier, Gil. (2005). How do Photovoltaics Work? Science @ NASA. Retrieved from August 1,
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