Energy engineering is a field of study that deals with energy minimization. This article mainly talks about how the United States has switched to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal to combat global warming and problems associated with fuel fossils. Being a person who majors in energy engineering and interested in renewable energy, this article has made me learn more about different sources of renewable energy and their impacts on the environment which is to increase efficiency and reduce energy loads.
Energy engineering is a field that helps in carbon reduction in the environment and the article clearly defines how solar energy, wind energy, biomass, and geothermal power reduce carbon emission in the environment if used properly. For example, wind energy does not pollute water or air and this means that no hazardous or toxic substance is exposed to the environment making the public safe. Despite the fact that wind turbines cause noise pollution, they are still sufficient. The wind turbines occupy a small portion of land leaving the rest of the land to be used for other purposes (Brower 1992).
When properly installed, manufactured, and disposed of, solar power systems cannot cause any health problems and environmental issues since no air pollution will be generated during the operation. The materials used in the solar system create safety and health hazards for the workers and those who come in contact with the system (Brower 1992). On the other hand, geothermal energy if properly handled reduces environmental impacts such as air and water pollution.
This involves, safe disposal of hazardous siting, waste, and land subsidence. New technologies are however developed that will help reduce environmental impacts associated with hydrothermal energy. If managed carefully, biomass power will have less impact on the environment. Biomass power usually raises serious environmental and health issues. This is because it involves the burning of plants whereby the derived fuels pollute the air (Brower 1992).
In conclusion, this article has made me realize that not all sources of renewable energy are good because of the negative impacts they have on the environment. Wind energy causes noise pollution if not properly handled, solar energy can cause serious environmental and health issues. On the other hand, biomass is a serious air pollutant while hydrothermal energy is a leading water and air pollutant if not properly handled. Hydropower also has serious environmental concerns.
Michael, M. (1992). Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy Technologies. Cambridge: MIT Press.