Balance in getting green energy id badges
Renewable energy sources remain a hot topic for a good couple of years. Climate change is a fact that nobody questions but whether human factor is to blame has not been proven beyond doubt yet it seems very possible. Everyone should feel responsible for the environment without a doubt and more and more people do.
The way we think is right way discussion seem to have to no end though.
For example getting a hybrid or electric vehicle sounds like a very Earth friendly choice, many companies subsidize the cost of purchase and government offers a tax credit, mpg is great so is there any reason against? There is as matter of fact, the most important part of of an electric or hybrid vehicle is a battery. The cost of manufacturing high capacity energy cells stays expensive despite the progress that has been made in the area. Manufacturing process requires a couple of very rare chemical elements in which case digging up or refining process or both tend to be intensive and dirty for the environment. It may sound cynical to choose a hybrid and clean air in the United States at the cost of water, soil and air contamination somewhere in Africa.
This may stop some consumers from buying hybrid cars yet remember without demand for this kind of vehicles the industry would not invest in research and we won’t get any closer to find a cleaner way of making batteries. The comparison of very early cell phone batteries with the current ones allow to hope for spectacular development. You could get more power from your smartphone candy bar size battery than early adopters could get from brick size units in late 1980ies.
Production of energy for the industry and households is a similar matter in many ways as it is with hybrid vehicles. Germany is a great example how difficult it might be to switch to green energy. The country electric energy production was heavily based on nuclear power plants when Chernobyl disaster occurred in 1986. It was a huge shock for the entire world and first nuclear plant disaster for such a scale. A wave of discussion was sparked by that tragic event and the enthusiasm towards nuclear energy started to fade. The direct cause of the disaster in the Soviet Union was series of human errors and the argument was that it could never happen in the western world however people comfort of having a nuclear reactor nearby was no longer there. Nuclear energy lost its safe ID badges.
Fukushima was quite another story, it happened to a country with excellent engineering, management and work ethic traditions, kind of Germany in Asia. Despite the fact that the disaster has been caused by a natural disaster and earthquakes in Germany are extremely rare the anti nuclear hysteria was all over the place leaving no room for rational dialog. Once Angela Merkel, head of German state announced a program to close all nuclear plants the discussion actually began. It turned out the cost of green energy is much higher than anticipated and it might hurt the energy intensive economy which relies on competitively priced power as one of the supplies.
In the meanwhile Chinese made quite a bit of progress with thor based reactors that are much safer for the environment due to quick natural fission process when compared to uranium used in most plants. I think what’s important here is to avoid the situation where you push the dirty part of your economy outside, claim yourself clean and demand that from everyone else. This is what happens with climate summits ignored by China and India who host the dirty but crucial segments of economy. Earth is a one planet and moving smelly chimneys from one place to another makes no difference in global scale.
Solar energy is the most desired among all renewable energy sources since it holds the cleanest power custom ID badges. It has been calculated that if we can catch just 1% of the energy that Sun sends us the entire planet pollution power needs would be addressed. At this point sun cells remain expensive but constantly raising energy prices make the calculations more and more tempting.