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  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Green Energy Sources

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Green Energy Sources

    The United States produces 6 billion metric tons of CO2 annually. Yes that is Billion! Forty percent of carbondioxide (CO2) generated in the US comes from the generation of electricity. We are certainly not the only offender, but we are one of, if not the largest, contributor to the greenhouse gas problem. 

    The accumulation of greenhouse gasses is causing the earth to warm, reducing the size of ice deposits in the Arctic, Antartica, and Greenland. this has aready caused severe problems for small Pacific Island nations and threatens costal areas all over the world. The reduction of CO2 emissions is critical and needs to start with the production of electricity.

    The Advantages of Green Energy seem obvious:
    - Green energy is clean and can slow the effects of global warming by reducing CO2 emissions.
    - Green energy is renewable unlike the natural gas and coal that are our primary sources now.
    - It requires less maintenance that conventional equipment. Although the initial investment may be high, the long term savings would be significant.
    - It can provide economic benefits to certain areas. For example, the leasing of land for wind farms could provide economic relief to many rural areas.

    There are a few disadvantages that critics can point to.
    - we have no control over the weather. The wind must blow and the sun must shine to use wind and solar technologies.
    - The type of green energy used is to some degree determined by the geographic location, particularly for energies such as hydrothermal or geothermal.
    - Some have even objected on aesthetic grounds, objecting to the site of a wind farm off shore.

    It seems to me that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. According to the Dept of Energy, if we increase the percentage of electricity produced by wind to 20% by 2030, we can reduce CO2 emissions of the electric sector by 25%. This is equivalent to taking an estimated 140 million vehicles off of the road.

    We don’t really have a choice. If we don’t take action now, there will be a time when it will be too late.

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