Renewable Energy And Its Pitfall.
By Jimoh AbdulGaniy ADISA
Simply put, renewable energy is the energy that is gotten or deployed from any naturally occurring processes which could be restored and is hypothetically limitless even when it is being used without any limits from human sequence.For example, Sun light/solar energy and wind are renewable energy,because they are constantly being replenished.Though renewable energy was used naturally, for example, sun radiating heat for functioning the ecosystem services, the use of renewable energy needed to be mechanized along with human civilization.However,it is very unfortunate that renewable energy is giving less than 16% of the entire energy that are currently being consumed in the universe.Be that as it may,this share is incessantly proliferating, especially in developed nation that have the supportive policies.For example,the UK has planned to increase its renewable capacity from 47.16 GW in 2019 to 86.21 GW by 2026.Hence, this article attempts to justify renewable energy and its pifalls.
Renewable represents any form of energy available in the natural habitat and can be restored recurrently.It is gotten from natural sources that are replaced at a higher rate than they are used.For example,solar energy is naturally available and it is unavoidable,due to its constant use.Be that as it may,the sources of renewable energy are numerous and very common around us.On the other hand,Fossil fuels , coal, oil and gas are non-renewable sources,and they require hundreds of millions of year to be formed.In another sense, there are other two names ascribed to renewable energy— ‘green energy’ & ‘sustainable or eco-friendly energy’— due to the positive environmental aspects of renewable energy compared to non-renewable energy.In a similar vein, there are other twobnames given to renewable energy —’green energy’ ‘sustainable or eco-friendly energy’ due to the positive environmental aspects of it compared to non-renewable energy.Along the same lines, controlling energy from renewable does not require emitting green houses responsible for global warming and deriving fossil fuels at a perturbing rate while simultaneously serves as an option to deal with climate change.All in all,this treatise attempts to serves as justification for Renewable Energy and its pitfall.
WHAT IS RENEWABLE ENERGY?
The learned authors of Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary( New 9th Edition) explain it as ‘types of energy that can be replaced naturally such as energy produced from wind or water:renewables such as hydro-electricity and solar energy’.They further assert that ‘Renewables’ are commonly referred to as renewable energy.’In another sense,Wikipedia posits it as the energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale.It includes sources such as sunlight, wind, the movement of water, and geothermal heat.
BRIEF HISTORY OF RENEWABLE ENERGY.
The history of renewable energy will be viewed and justified in six phases to wit:
2000BC-1499: During this era, research avers that Chinese developed natural gas as a last resort for renewables while Europeans commenced the use of waterwheels in power mills as stated by Philon (around 225BC),which finally decreasing human and animal muscle power and it aids productivity.
1500-1799:Written source states that Enormouswindmills developed by the Dutch as its fullest possible degree and equally depicts a chief agent for land reclaiming and power generation.
1800-1899:It is authoritatively asserts by a written source that in this period,first natural gas was well installed in the windsmill operated water pumps to reduce the problems of water shortage in the western US reaching up to six million in number as traced by the authorities.In the year1882,the installation of a first hydroelectric power plant in Appleton come into limelight—Wisconsin—for private and commercial customers.In the same vein,the windmill to generate power was introduced in 1888 by Charles F.Brush.
1900-1950: It is vividly justified by a research that the theories of photoelectric effect explained by Albert Einstein, studies of Ethanol as a better option than fossil fuels led to the development of renewable energy technologies.Moreso,another remarkable steps in this period include: development of world’s largest hydroelectric plant,the hoover dam in Colorado River, Arizona’s world’s first large scale solar thermal plant installation in California,construction of Acts from the judiciary in the energy sector.
1951-1999: This period is embedded with first commercial wind turbines sold to remote farmers all in a bid to generate power,first nuclear power reactor built in Idaho, first commercial wind turbines sold to remote farmers to generate power.
2000-present: A written source avers that IPCC reports reveals the anthropogenic rationales to dominate the climatic change, American recovery and reinvestment act pledges huge amount of money for energy sectors—world’s largest concentrated power generation plant (Ivanpah),— withdrawal of investment from fossil fuels by 800 global investors in 2014.In a similar fashion,New Mexico deliberate on going for 100% renewable energy by 2050.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY.
Ecological perspective provides that, sustainability is one of the main highlight of renewable energy
TYPES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
Succintly, renewable energy is available in various forms depending on its seasons and locations.Having a distributed network at one’s disposal will ensure sustainable and clean energy.Be that as it may, an online written source avers that there are 7 types of alternative energy sources,and they include the following:
ELUCIDATION ON THE SEVEN SOURCES
Solar Energy:It simply represents radiant light and heat from the sun that is controlled using a range of technologies such as solar power to generate electricity, solar thermal energy (including solar water heating), and solar architecture.In another sense,it is the only type of renewable energy that can easily be harnessed at home,and it is carried out by purchasing solar water heaters or solar panels for solar’s uses and reduction of energy bills.
Wind Energy:It is meant to produce electricity by converting the kinetic energy of air in motion into electricity. In modern wind turbines, wind rotates the rotor blades, which convert kinetic energy into rotational energy.The rotational energy is transferred by a shaft which to the generator, thereby producing electrical energy.
Hydroelectric: It means the electricity generated from hydropower (water power),and it supplies one sixth of the world’s electricity, almost 4500 TWh in 2020, which is more than all other renewable sources combined and also more than nuclear power.It can provide large amounts of low-carbon electricity on demand, making it a key element for creating secure and clean electricity supply systems.It is somehow similar to wind energy technology except for the working liquid, which is water instead of air.
Geothermal energy: It portrays another clean and renewable energy that can be regarded as a sustainable source of power.Along the same lines,it is the heat within the planet earth that can be harnessed in some areas.
Biomass energy:It is the energy generated or produced by living or once-living organisms. The most common biomass materials used for energy are plants, such as corn and soy. The energy derived from these organisms can be burned to create heat or converted into electricity.In another vein,Biomass energy is the heat we can derive from organic waste by burning them. It’s regarded as a renewable energy source because we always regenerate organic materials, mostly plants.
Tidal energy:Tidal power or tidal energy is harnessed by converting energy from tides into useful forms of power, mainly electricity using various methods.It is the hydropower energy that can be gotten from tides. This energy is sometimes sorted under the category of hydropower, not in a separate one.Albeit, it is not yet widely used, but it has the potential for future electricity generation. Tides are more predictable than the wind and the sun.All in all,it is otherwise known as tidal power.
Hydrogen:It is a clean alternative to methane, also known as natural gas,it is the most abundant chemical element, estimated to contribute 75% of the mass of the universe.In a similar vein, research asserts that, it could be produced from a variety of resources, such as biogas and renewable power like solar and wind,natural gas and nuclear power.The challenge is harnessing hydrogen as a gas on a large scale to fuel our homes and businesses.In the light of the foregoing,on earth,vast numbers of hydrogen atoms are contained in water, plants, animals and, of course, humans. But while it’s present in nearly all molecules in living things, it’s very scarce as a gas – less than one part per million by volume.
PITFALLS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY.
An eminent scholar—Harry— once asserts that “sometimes it’s an advantage to be disadvantaged.”Pursuant upon this assertion,renewable energy is also prone to pitfalls/disadvantages/shortcomings,and justification on it is aptly captioned below:
1.RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVICES REQUIRE RECYCLING: Electricity generated from renewable energy sources yields lower levels of pollution.But renewable machines are restricted to some concerns because producing them,and their disposal processes might discharge pollution.For instance,solar cells may not able to perform well after some period which may requires throwing them away.Albeit, these devices might be poisonous and toxic which will definitely need of undergoing recycling processes for them.
- THE EXORBITANT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY: The amount of energy that could be gotten from renewable technologies is very and at times unaffordable.Truthfully,the installation and manufacturing processes of renewable energy devices like PV panels are too exorbitant.
3.ENORMOUS SPACE REQUIES BY RENEWABLE ENERGY:For the sole aim of controlling and harnessing nature’s energya lot of space is in dire need.This will cause many problems for renewable energy in the long-run.In a similar fashion,in comparing with traditional power stations,more land will be needed for establishing renewable.energy farms.
- NON-AVAILAIBLITY AS AND WHEN DUE: Renewable energy sources are natural forces that depend strongly on weather circumstances.Be that as it may,when there is bad weather conditions, renewable energy technology like solar will be redundant.Example for this is that, during rainy season,PV panels won’t generate electricity,and as a result of this;one has to resort to traditional power sources.
- LOW LEVEL OF RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES: Each energy needs a specific technology for easy conversion into electricity.The effectiveness of energy conversion is very important during the prioritization of energy sources.Alas,the effectiveness of renewable energy is not as high compared to traditional energy conversion machines.For example, a written source avers that,the availability of solar panel efficiency, in the market, is between 15% and 20%. On the other hand,traditional technologies that utilize natural gas or coal can respectively get to proficiency levels of up to 40% and 60%
6.HIGHER CAPITAL COSTS: Vividly, renewable energy requires no fuel and can deliver useful long-term savings,and their main cost could still be prohibitory For example, installing a solar system on your home may cost $10,000 – $20,000, and despite your desire to power your house with renewable energy, the price tag may push it out of reach.
7) NON-RELIABILITY ON ELECTRICITY: Apparently, renewable energy relies solely on natural sources such as sunlight, water, wind.So based on this,their electricity generation could not be forseen like the weather.An instance of this is that, solar panels lose it effectiveness in a normal weather,and during cloudy days.In a similar fashion, hydropower systems require consistent snow and rainfall to sustain reliable production.
8) ENERGY STORAGE: Due to the irregular nature of renewables, they need different forms of energy storage to capture and release electricity in a consistent, persistent and controlled way.
9) POSSESSION OF CARBON FOOTPRINT:While solar panels and wind turbines produce no carbon emissions as they make energy – their manufacturing, transport, and installation still creates a carbon footprint. Renewable energy components are typically made in large factories that consume high amounts of electricity, in addition to the diesel and gasoline vehicles needed for their transport and installation.
10) INFLUENCE BY ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS: The effectiveness of renewable energy also depends largely on their location, and their environs.For example, wind turbines are only effecual and effective in large, open areas with strong and consistent wind, which limits their viability to specific regions.And while solar panels generate some electricity even on cloudy days, they are most productive in locations with consistently bright and sunny climates.
By the by, renewable energy emanated from naturally occurring processes which could be replenished and supposedly limitless,with numerous pitfalls and they Include:high cost, instability, possession of carbon footprint, ad infinitum and this treatise has equally justified them all.
About the Author
Jimoh AbdulGaniy Adisa,is an LL.B 200 Student at Faculty of Law, Bayero University, Kano, a Writer and a legal researcher,He is a member of Al-Maslaha Chamber, Equity Chamber,and a Law Clinician, In a similar fashion,a legal intern at Primus Partners,Ikeja, Lagos,He is the Current Director of Media and Publicity, National Association of Kwara State Law Student,BUK chapter,and the 1st runner-up at the just-concluded Oratory Paper Presentation contest of an essay titled : ‘IP Rights for AI-Generated Inventions:Legal issues and Prospects’, organised by National Association of Kwara State Law Student, head at Headquarters Chapters, Ilorin, Kwara State, on 2nd of January, 2023.
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