Essay about Renewable Energy Systems

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Until the 70’s, renewable energy systems were widely considered minor and declining power sources (Maugh, 1972). Since then, palpable advances in technologies, to produce an array of renewable energy-products (see Pandey, 2009), together with the promise of jobs and higher aggregated value to rural activities (see Domac, Richards, & Risovic, 2005), “greatly contributed to revise this setting” (Cowan, 2002; Petroleum, 2009; Sims, Hastings, Schlamadinger, A. Taylor, & Smith, 2006).
Change started at a slow but steady pace, led mainly by the successive development of the economies of South-East Asia and Brazil. However, it was only with this decade’s instability and overall rise in fuel prices, amid concerns of climate change (Cox, Betts, C.
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Moreover, many economic-stimulus bills have been introduced globally with mechanisms supporting investments in Renewable Energy Projects. “By early 2009, policy targets existed in at least 73 countries from which at least 64 had policies to promote renewable power generation, including 45 countries and 18 states/provinces/territories with feed-in tariffs” (REN21, 2009, p. 8). Accordingly, related R&D has been intense and diverse, ranging from the exploration of innovative renewable sources to new types of conversion technologies. Such advances have been accelerating the diffusion of renewable energy systems, reducing costs, and enabling new application scenarios; thus promoting a fast-pacing expansion cycle of the sector.
Today there is no shortage of interest and demand for REPs. Since 2004, global annual renewable energy investments have increased 400% to US $120 billion in 2008. While solar photovoltaic capacity augmented sixfold to 16 gigawatts per year, wind-power increased 250%, to 121 gigawatts. Regarding renewable liquid-fuels, ethanol production doubled to an annual capacity of 70 billion liters, while annual biodiesel production jumped from 02 to 12 billion liters. Consequently, there was an increase in total energy production from renewables by 75% during the period, to 280 gigawatts (see REN21, 2009).
A recent study by the U.S. Government (Clarke et al., 2007) forecasted that global annual…

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