Sunday, June 2, 2013

BENEFITS OF ENERGY SECURITY THROUGH CLEAN RENEWABLES

It is not for nothing that a large number of philosophers and analysts are raising their voice for achieving energy security on our globe through use of Renewable clean energy sources. The seeds of this idea were sowed as early as 1931 by none other than Thomas Alva Edison, the father of the electricity revolution.
Edison-solar-energy

Up to the nineties of the last century this idea appeared to be a fantasy of some philosophical brains and was almost dubbed as Utopian by the technologists and analysts working in the field of energy. With the dawning of the fact that all fuel reserves are finite and mankind will run out of them sooner than later,the researches and technologies started gathering steam so much so that today wise men have started talking of energy security through 100% renewable clean energies as early as 2030.
Why so much of concern for the route to energy security? The switch over to clean renewable energy sources is beneficial on all fronts.
  • The first and the foremost is the fact that the very existence of earth as a planet of life is in danger because of man's quest to harness more and more comforts for himself through energy. This is quite obvious when we sift through the data on global warming which is on one hand resulting in more and more pressures on energy requirements and on the other resulting in a receding snowline and depleting water tables. In fact the policies on energy security are leading to disturbances in the natural food chain, carbon cycle, hydrology or water cycle and are taking mankind to a path of self destruction. All clean renewable energy sources contribute little to no global warming emissions during all life cycle activity of manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance, and dismantling and decommissioning. Surprisingly the much touted clean nuclear power  results in up to 25 times more carbon emissions than wind energy, when reactor construction and uranium refining and transport are considered.
  • The next major benefit of clean renewable energy technologies is improved public health and environment quality resulting in lesser load and expenditure on health services. Additionally the overall water requirements of the society will also be reduced drastically. They reduce deaths due to air pollution
  • Solar, wind, tide etc are vast, inexhaustible and eternal sources of energy and harnessing them for energy security could easily qualify to be invention of the human civilization,  far too bigger and revolutionizing than the invention of wheel perhaps.
  • Clean renewable energy technologies are labour intensive and provide far more jobs per KWatt than the heavily mechanized and automated technologies based on all types of fuels.
  • The energy from renewable sources has traversed its path from birth to infancy to childhood and have become viable and competitive  with conventional energy sources. The prices will keep on coming down as these technologies graduate from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. And mark my words, the old age and death are never going to come! So with clean renewables we are in for an era of stable energy prices.
  • Over and above all, the two hottest technologies i.e. wind and solar provide far too safe, reliable and resilient power generation system because of their suitability in standalone, micro, mini and large scale requirements and intrinsic nature of being modular. They are less prone to large scale failures in the event of extreme weather conditions and calamities such as storms as is borne by the facts emerging after Hurricane Sandy 2012. Similarly even in the eventuality of a drought they will keep on working because of negligible water requirements for their functioning.
  • Energy sources have been one of the biggest bone of contention among nations and have wrought in many a wars and political manipulations leading to global upheavals. Since wind and solar are available with all nations in reasonably abundant quantities enough to match their requirements, may be with one major bone of contention removed, we will see a peaceful and tension free world in the coming years.