The Environmental Impact Of Renewable Energy Sources

1555 Words Apr 13th, 2015 7 Pages
There is a great consensus among scientists that global warming is real and is being accelerated by human generated emissions. Since the start of the industrial revolution the United States has been a huge contributor to global warming.

What causes global warming? When carbon dioxide collects in the earth’s atmosphere, it creates an invisible thick layer that traps heat on earth from the sun. The more carbon dioxide that 's pumped into the atmosphere, the more heat is trapped and slowly raises the temperature on earth.

The number one carbon dioxide emitting source in the United States are coal burning power plants. The second largest source is transportation. Coal power plants and transportation use fossil fuels, which consists of coal, oil, and natural gas.
On the other side of the spectrum are renewable energy sources, which consist of solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and biofuels. The environmental impact of renewable energy sources is microscopic compared to the impact of fossil fuels. Specifically, I want to focus on the environmental impact of the production of electricity. Fossil fuels generated 68% of the electricity in the United States in 2013; on the other hand, renewable energy sources only produced 12.8% of the electricity (international energy agency, 2014). It seems that those percentages should be the other way around. The questions I want to answer are:

1. We are currently using fossil fuels as our primary source to make electricity, which is the…

More about The Environmental Impact Of Renewable Energy Sources

Open Document