Important Role of Fossil Fuels and Replacement with Renewable Energy

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The consequences might not be visible in our daily lives but it does not mean they are not present. Look around and evaluate the numerous changes in our environment lately. The weather has changed drastically since the 19th century and will continue to do so inevitably. Only lately, have organizations and individuals paid attention to the way humans consume. With profit and market share representing power, companies are moving at light-speed to develop and market new products. Most of these manufactured out of the precious “black gold” otherwise known as petroleum.

As demand increases, companies must also look into their logistics and figure out the best way to make those products available to consumers. Usually, they are shipped to specific warehouses or large retail stores, while other times, they are shipped directly to the consumer’s home. Nonetheless, producing and distributing the product entails using some form of fuel to get the project running. The cheapest and most widely used form of energy are fossil fuels, isn’t it time for society to begin using renewable forms of clean energy?

However, what exactly are fossil fuels and why do they play an important part in our society? According to Kopp, fossil fuel is any class of hydrocarbon-containing material of biological origin occurring within Earth’s crust that can be used as a source of energy. Fossil fuels include: coal, petroleum, natural gas, oil shales, tar sands among others. Fossil fuels are used to produce electricity to power industrial plants, homes, schools, stores and almost anything that requires an electric current. Petroleum is widely used to produce vehicle fuel, plastic products or lubricants. When burned, aside from producing electricity or another derived material, they produce carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide released into the air acts as a greenhouse gas – it absorbs infrared radiation emitted from Earth’s surface and reradiates it back to the surface (Kopp, 2018). This abundance of carbon dioxide and the re-radiation contribute to a man-made global warming.

Alternatively, renewable forms of energy are emerging quickly. Renewable energy by definition are sources of energy that do not have a dramatic carbon footprint on Earth. These sources of energy, in contrast to fossil fuels, are not easily exhaustible given that there is not a limited reserve. Energy can be obtained via various sources, the most common and widely used is solar energy. Nonetheless, energy is easily obtainable by harvesting the natural power of wind, water, geothermal and chemical bioenergy. Obtaining energy from these sources is relatively easy once a plan has been placed into action. Energy can be obtained continuously and with little to no supervision; attention to detail and strict supervision is required when sourcing energy from fossil fuels.

It might be surprising and utopic to imagine a world where only clean forms of energy exist, nonetheless, it is not always the case. Even with the implementation of renewable energy, contamination is present. Consider the solar panel as an example, in order to harness the sun’s energy, it is critical to select the best medium. One of the most common forms of gathering the sun’s energy is through the use of solar panels. These panels are specific in nature and only work with the use of silicon found in sand. Silicon is an abundant mineral present in Earth’s surface. Solar panels require a high-purity silicon to function properly. The process to purify silicon is labor and energy intensive because high temperatures are needed to melt the sand. The furnace in which sand is melted to extract silicon is heated with the use of coal; a fossil fuel.

At first glance, it might be easy to think that the best choice to move forward is to implement the use of renewable energy. Nonetheless, a deeper consideration and a cost-benefit analysis must be conducted to see if renewable energy is the best option. When laying out the benefits of using renewable sources of energy like reduced carbon dioxide emittance, continuous supply, reduced supervision, it is necessary to also take into consideration the consequences of using them as well. The solar panel is a magnificent example to discuss at a round-table considering the process behind its production. Both sides of the spectrum are present through the solar panel; the fossil fuel used to extract the essential mineral and the lack of carbon dioxide emittance once in operation mode.

Fossil fuels play an important role in the use of renewable sources of energy for the future and breaking totally free will is not foreseeable in the eminent future. Yet, they lay down the foundations necessary to begin the exploration to make the transition one step at a time. Hopefully, in 20 or 40 years the necessary skills and analysis are gained to reduce the need to depend solely on fossil fuels and begin cutting the chain towards energy freedom. For a healthier and livelier home, the movement towards clean energy production is now!


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Important Role of Fossil Fuels and Replacement with Renewable Energy. (2021, Jul 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/important-role-of-fossil-fuels-and-replacement-with-renewable-energy/

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