BCOM275 Week 3 Individual Assignment Article Rebuttal
BCOM275 Week 3 Individual Assignment Article Rebuttal
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Article Rebuttal 1 Article Rebuttal New Energy Programs xxxxxxx University of Phoenix BCOM/275 Article Rebuttal 2 Next to food, power generation is the world’s primary concern and asset in terms of energy. Electrical power generation is most commonly performed through the use of fossil fuels, namely oil, natural gas, and coal. Currently, fossil fuels provide 66 percent of the world’s electrical power and meets 95 percent of the world’s total energy demands, which include heating, transportation, electric power generation, et cetera. In the United States (U.S.), fossils fuels provide for over 90 percent of the country’s electric power generation, with coal providing 51 percent. The efficiency and affordability of fossil fuels has made them the worlds, as well as America’s, largest source of energy. Yet in the past several years, concern regarding the use of fossil fuels for power generation has been raised. Essentially, the incredibly vast usage of fossil fuels for the past century has raised two main concerns: the availability of fossil fuels is decreasing and the wastes created by fossil fuels in the process of power generation are detrimental to the environment. First off, the world’s supply of fossil fuels is continually decreasing and will eventually be depleted because fossil fuels are nonrenewable resources. The world in its entirety has approximately 462,611.7 Mtoe (million tons of oil equivalent) of coal, 161,848.8 Mtoe of natural gas, and 163, 776.6 Mtoe of oil. The U.S. holds 119,327 Mtoe of coal, 4,908.2 Mtoe of natural gas, and 3,996.4 Mtoe of oil. It has been projected that oil reserves will be depleted no later than 2043 (this statistic does not account for the likely increase in the rate of oil consumption), but coal and natural gas reserves are predicted to last much longer. Article Rebuttal 3 As aforementioned, fossil fuels are also highly detrimental to the environment. In the past, this environmental concern has been disregarded by the world, but the new widespread awareness of global warming has elevated this concern. When fossil fuels are used to generate electricity in power plants, they produce various gases, including methane and carbon. Many of the gases they produce are “greenhouse gases,” which trap heat from the sun, thus causing global warming. Other gases pollute the environment, which harms organisms, including humans. In fact, some of these pollutants have been known to cause cancers among humans. Therefore, due to these concerns, it is imperative that alternative energy sources are used for electric power generation. We must formulate a comprehensive energy plan that outlines the energy sources that will be used to meet immediate and future electric power needs. In the short term, it will be difficult to develop and implement new electrical power generating technologies on a wide scale basis, yet the U.S. will still have to meet the massive electric power demand. In other words, the nation will have to use current capabilities to meet the immediate energy needs. Therefore, I would like to propose the use of coal gasification to meet these immediate energy needs. Coal gasification is a process in which coal is exposed to hot steam and oxygen under exceedingly high temperatures and pressures, catalyzing chemical reactions that produce a mixture of gases. These gases are then used to power turbines and produce electricity through generators. The use of coal gasification provides both environmental advantages and efficiency benefits. “Gasifying” coal results in the production of approximately 60 percent less waste than standard coalfiring processes, meaning that there will be much less pollution created. This reduction of pollution occurs due to the fact that once the coal is “gasified,” it is cleaned of all impurities, thus resulting in “clean coal” that will not produce as much pollution during combustion. Article Rebuttal 4 In addition, coal used in the form of gas reduces the use of water by 40 percent and utilizes the coal’s energy in a much more efficient manner, especially since only onethird of coal’s energy value is converted into electrical power in standard coalfired plants. The U.S. holds more than onequarter, approximately 27 percent, of the worlds coal reserves, which will last for over 200 years. Thus, the lack of coal to power the nation is not an energy concern at this point. Opting to use the process of coal gasification and create coal gasification plants would effectively utilize the current coal reserves to serve immediate energy needs. As aforementioned, when this coal is used, it will be used in a much more efficient manner, and will be less damaging to the environment. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been quite interested in coal gasification. In fact, it believes that, ”The capability to produce electricity, hydrogen, chemicals, or various combinations while eliminating nearly all air pollutants and potentially greenhouse gas emissions makes coal gasification one of the most promising technologies for energy plants of the future.” Recently, the DOE has planned to build FutureGen, a coal gasification plant with a 275megawatt capacity that will produce almost no pollutants. With more coal gasification plants such as FutureGen it will feasible and plausible to meet immediate energy goals without further threatening the environment and increasing global warming. Another component of coal gasification to remember is the sequestration of carbon dioxide emissions. Sequestration is a process that can be used in complement with coal gasification to further reduce pollution and environmental hazards. During coal gasification, carbon dioxide is released as a byproduct. Through sequestration, this carbon dioxide can be separated and captured, thus allowing for it to be converted into liquid form and stored underground. This storage of carbon Article Rebuttal 5 dioxide emission will prevent any increase in global warming and ensure that the environment is not worsened to any extent. So as you can see, the best way in which to meet the shortterm energy needs of this nation is to implement coal gasification plants, along with sequestration, to produce “clean coal” that will be used more efficiently and will be less detrimental to the environment. The nation’s intermediateterm electric power needs will be greater than, if not consistent with, the current needs. In the next 1020 years, it will not be possible to continue to use fossil fuels, such as coal, as the primary source of electric power. Also, the protection of the environment will remain a priority because it is imperative to ensure that the environment will not continue to deteriorate. Therefore, the use of alternative sources of energy (other than fossil fuels) will take precedence. My answer to the nation’s intermediateterm electric power needs is biomass energy. Biomass energy utilizes renewable energy resources, such as trees, grasses, and agricultural crops, et cetera, to generate electricity. Currently, biomass energy is the second most prominent renewable source of energy in the U.S., next to hydroelectric power, supplying approximately 1.6 percent of the total electric power generation. Over the next 10 years, though, the biomass energy industry can grow to become the nation’s largest electric power generation source because of the various advantages that biomass energy has to offer. The greatest advantage of biomass energy is that it uses carbonaceous waste, such as wood chips, saw dust, grasses, and other such materials to produce energy. These materials are wastes and will therefore be disposed of. For example, corn is an important crop for the U.S. agricultural economy, yet only 5 percent of the corn plant is edible; the other 95 percent of the plant is waste. Rather than compiling all of these wastes in waste dumps, they can be used to power the nation. So Article Rebuttal 6 you are essentially taking material that would have been useless otherwise and using it to generate large amounts of electric power. Also, the utilization of biomass power, as all other renewable energy sources, is harmless to the environment. It does not pollute the environment in any way, and does not create greenhouse gases that will further elevate the greenhouse effect. Another vital advantage of biomass energy is the fact that biomass energy can be produced in coalfired power plants. Basically, you can use the many coalfired plants in the nation and use them for biomass energy. This is an incredible benefit from an economic standpoint, since there will be no need for further expenditures upon the construction of expensive power plants. The major issue in regards to biomass energy is its efficiency. It has a thermal efficiency of only 40 percent, which is lower compared to the 45 percent thermal efficiency of coal. Yet over the course of 10 years, developments in biomass technology are sure to be made, allowing biomass power plants to be more efficient. Either way, biomass energy will be highly beneficial for the country and should be used to meet the intermediateterm energy needs and goals of the U.S. In the longterm, the nation will need a combination of renewable sources of energy to meet the increasing demand for electric power and to preserve the environment at the same time. Therefore, I would like to propose the use of wind power, which uses the force of the wind to produce electricity, and solar power, which harnesses the energy of the sun to produce electricity, to meet the longterm needs and goals of the U.S. This combination of renewable energy sources will best suit the nation and will be the most effective in generating a continuous supply of electric power. Each of these renewable electric powergenerating technologies is unique in its own way and each has its own advantages that will benefit the nation. Article Rebuttal 7 Every 20 minutes, enough sunlight falls on the surface of the U.S. to power the nation for a year. Furthermore, enough sunlight falls on the surface of the Earth in an hour to power the world and all of its countries for a year. Biologically speaking, the sun provides all organisms with energy, and this can also hold true for electric power generation if solar power is used to its full potential. Solar power does not create any pollutants or emissions that may contribute to the deterioration of the environment. In addition, solar power has the ability to generate unbelievable amounts of energy, thus satisfying the electric power needs of the nation. In fact, 100 square miles of solar power panels would be sufficient enough to power the U.S. forever. Also, it has been predicted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that the price of solar power should decrease to about $0.07 per kilowatthour over the course of the next several years, making solar power affordable for the nation. Basically, solar power will provide the nation with a reliable, powerful, and abundant source of energy that is affordable and easily obtained through a minimal amount of solar power panels. Wind power is the fastest growing renewable energy source in the U.S. In 2005, the U.S. installed more wind turbines than any other nation in the world, increasing the nation’s current capacity to 11, 603 megawatts. General Electric (GE) has also created a wind turbine with a 3.6 megawatt capacity, which is much larger than the average turbine with a 1.6megawatt capacity. Wind power simply uses the force of the wind to move turbines, which then power generators that produce electrical power. Wind power does not harm the environment to any extent because it does not create pollutants or emissions. Lastly, wind power is economically advantageous because it only costs 4 to 6 cents per kilowatthour. Wind power also benefits the rural and agricultural economy Article Rebuttal 8 because most wind turbines are built on farms, allowing for increased economic development in rural areas. This plan that I have put forth will serve the nation in a great way if used and implemented. Coal gasification will enable the nation to use current capabilities to meet shortterm energy needs. Biomass is a clean, plentiful, and inexpensive resource that can successfully be used to meet the nation’s intermediateterm needs. Finally, the combination of wind power and solar power will prove to be a great pair in terms of preserving the environment and in terms of electric power generation because they are effective, efficient, and renewable. Meeting electric power needs is imperative, and this plan will allow the U.S. to meets its electric power needs in an effective and successful manner. Article Rebuttal 9 References "Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy." US Department of Energy. 19 May 2007 <http://www1.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/wind_ad.html>. "Biomass Energy." US Department of Energy. 18 May 2007 <http://www.eere.energy.gov/states/alternatives/biomass.cfm>. "Energy Sources." US Department of Energy. 9 May 2007 <http://www.energy.gov/energysources/index.htm>. "Fossil Fuel Reserves." EarthTrends. 9 May 2007 <http://earthtrends.wri.org/searchable_db/index.php? theme=6&variable_ID=1288&action=select_countries>. "Fossil Fuels-Environmental Concerns." Bookrags. 9 May 2007 <http://www.bookrags.com/research/fossil-fuels-enve-01/>. "FutureGen-Tomorrow's Pollution-Free Power Plant." US Department of Energy. 9 May 2007 <http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/futuregen/>. Article Rebuttal 10 "Gasification Technology R&D." US Department of Energy. 18 May 2007 <http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/gasification/inde x.html>. Noonan, Zoe. "The Depletion of Fossil Fuels." Annesley College. 9 May 2007 <http://www.annesley.sa.edu.au/amep/energyconservation_solarenergy/d epletion%20of%20energy%20research%20paper.htm>. "Solar Power." The Energy Planet. 19 May 2007 <http://library.thinkquest.org/C004471/tep/en/traditional_energy/solar_p ower.html>. "Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program." US Department of Energy. 19 May 2007 <http://www1.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/>.
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