A Case for Alternative Energy Generation: How Effective Is It?
As the population rises, the demand for energy increases as well. Americans expect the convenience of electrical power to be there when they need it and their economy depends on it, but a lack of power might soon be a reality. A large amount of electricity in the United States is produced by burning fossil fuels. The national government, as well as individual states, are on a quest for less pollution, but with the energy demand so high it seems lower carbon emissions are impossible. Despite claims that the aging electrical grid is to blame for energy shortages, fossil fuel power generation plants simply cannot keep up with demand. While there is no question the electrical grid needs modernizing, alternative forms of energy production, such …show more content…
The upgrade cost will be returned in lower operating costs and greater efficiency. It is certainly a step in the right direction. With grid improvements on the way, attention can shift towards sustainable renewable energy sources. Solar energy is a popular solution to increase renewable energy. One suggested method of increased solar production is to outfit urban areas with rooftop photovoltaic cell arrays. By placing solar panels on top of residential and commercial buildings, renewable power generation can increase while using the existing electrical grid to transport the manufactured energy. This solution sounds promising but has its fair share of flaws. Storage of power generated by solar panels requires batteries, which are inefficient, expensive, bulky, and not environmentally friendly. Solar panels currently do not output enough energy to be worth their time, effort, and cost for such a solution. A more promising form of solar energy is the power tower. An article written by Michael Valenti in June of 1995, “Storing Solar Energy in Salt”, details the construction of the then world’s largest power tower that was being constructed in the Mojave Desert as a small scale experiment to prove the technology valid. Solar II, as it became known, was composed of a