Alternative Energy Supplies Must Be Implemented Essay

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Alternative Energy Supplies Must Be Implemented Essay, Research Paper The U.S. oil supply is rapidly diminishing. Alternative energy sources must be implemented because oil is a scarce and non-renewable resource. Each year the U.S. consumes 6.2 billion barrels of oil, equivalent to 17 million barrels of oil each day (Coastal 67). The undiscovered U.S. OCS and gas resources combined with onshore reserves would amount to only 81.5 billion barrels of oil, enough to last for 5000 days (Coastal 75). So the oil crisis is not entirely bad news, the U.S. still has time to implement alternative energy sources such as nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, solar power, wind power, and geothermal energy, as well as alternative fuels which may be used in existing power plants. Alternative

fuels can be used in existing power plants to conserve the oil supply. Many small plants in the United States, Canada, and some European countries now regularly produce power this way in coal burning power plants using alternative fuels such as garbage, tires, sawdust, and animal dung (Energy 87). Alternative fuels may be used as a temporary relief to the massive consumption of oil in the U.S. Although alternative fuels are not a pollution free choice, they require no new power plants to be built. This method of oil conservation can be used during the transition from oil to alternative energy sources, using existing power plants as new technologies are being developed and deployed. The first step towards implementing energy alternatives is efficiency. Technology exists for

electric trains, high gas mileage, efficient light bulbs, and efficient appliances, even electric cars such as the Hyundai Solara are hitting the market as of 2000. The U.S. is moving towards efficiency, and the oil shortage has caught the public?s eye. Efficiency is a primary concern because most of the U.S. energy consumed is created by oil. If the U.S. were to become as energy efficient as Japan, by the year 2020 we would save the equivalent of 45 billion barrels of oil (Energy 24). That is 7 additional years of energy that could be saved for the U.S. In essence it is a year saved, and a year earned, similar to the old adage a penny saved is a penny earned. Recently a number of projects have been approved for the development and implementation of alternative power sources. For

example, there are 35 bioenergy plants, 3 hydroelectric plants, and 15 photovoltaic plants currently in use by the state of Florida providing 1,069,917.1 kilowatts (State F). The most prominent examples of how the government has begun this quest for efficiency is the regulation of fuel efficiency standards. The transportation sector is the biggest consumer of oil in the country demanding nearly 4 billion barrels of oil each year (Coastal 113). Any regulation in the transportation sector creates massive reductions in energy consumption, amounting to less oil consumption. Massive research has been put into developing electric cars and consumers are beginning to see the resulting fuel/electric hybrids coming to the market. Consumers need to make a movement supporting this

alternative to ensure a bright future. Electricity is an excellent alternative to gasoline in automobiles, because by may be generated using any of the following methods. This is a starting point and definitely indicates the government is beginning to understand the need to venture onward to new energy sources, thus implementing regulations to extend the amount of time our oil supply will last for. A prominent alternative energy source the government has been implementing is the Nuclear power plant. By 1989 18 percent of the U.S. energy consumed was generated by nuclear power (Energy 39). Nuclear power is generated by fission which then creates heat to boil water, releasing steam and then powering a turbine, creating no hazardous pollutants. Nuclear power plants cause no harm to