Andrew Chase
Opinions Editor

The earth is taking a horrific beating from all of us.

Animals choking on trash that human throw into the massive landfills throughout the planet, entire ecosystems are becoming wiped off the map due to forest fires and deforestation and massive amounts of plants dying off because of a shifting climate. While not all these issues are directly related to the over-usage of fossil fuels, I firmly believe that clean and renewable energy is the best idea for improving the overall health of our planet.

According to the NCSEA, clean energy is defined as “energy derived from renewable, zero-emissions sources (“renewables”), as well as energy saved through energy efficiency (“EE”) measures.” According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, renewable energy is defined as “energy from sources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited; renewable resources are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time.” In my opinion renewable energy is currently our country’s best option when it comes to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

The major renewable energy sources are biomass, hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar. Biomass energy sources are any animal or plant material that is used as fuel. Hydropower energy is achieved by using the force of the flow of water to create mechanical energy. Geothermal energy is from heat within the earth. Geothermal energy is produced by drilling wells into the earth’s crust and taking the hot water from there and using its steam to produce electricity. Wind power is generated by using the natural wind to turn these big blades that are connected to a drive shaft which turns an electric generator and creates energy off of that. Solar energy is generated by using solar photovoltaic cells to capture the naturally occurring sunlight and transfer into energy. I believe that our country should be using a lot more of these renewable energy sources because of the fact that the large majority of these renewable energy sources are a lot cheaper than using fossil fuels as energy sources. Ironically, I believe that the main reason why fossil fuel companies oppose the mass usage of renewable energy is because it would threaten their business since people would quickly realize that renewable energy is way cheaper than using fossil fuels.

Personally, I would prefer for our country to use more clean energy sources instead because of the fact that some renewable energy sources are not clean. The primary renewable energy source that is not clean but is renewable is biomass.

Biomass energy is produced by burning biomass which the combustion process creates greenhouse gases. While I completely respect the fact that burning biomass for energy is a lot more renewable than using fossil fuels, I just feel that it is in the same sort of vain as burning fossil fuels. I would love to see more people using wind power as a source of energy due to wind power being incredibly effective if put in the right area and it’s fairly cheap to build. The main reason as to why many people are opposed to installing wind turbines is because they claim it’s an “eyesore.” I dislike people who do this because it’s not like they are living right next door to a windmill.

At the end of the day, I absolutely believe that clean energy is the best next step to helping our planet heal from the wounds we have created.


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