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Nuclear Energy Nicholas Moreno posted Apr 8, 2021 3:30 AM The renewable energy source that I think will help solve our energy needs is nuclear energy. Although the fuel required for nuclear fission is not renewable, the energy that’s produced is. Nuclear power is definitely a controversial topic. One of the largest disadvantages it faces is public opinion ever since Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011. Nuclear energy and reactors have always been a technology that people have been skeptical about and must consider the pros versus the safety concerns carefully. Additional disadvantages are the amount of spent fuel that’s made which must be stored in geologic storage sites for thousands of years, bomb-grade plutonium and uranium that could be used for hostile intentions, and possible leaks that cause long-lasting radiation exposure (Theis & Tomkin, 2018). However, the main positive is that it provides carbon-free electricity which can completely alter the course of climate change plus there are ways to reprocess the spent fuel which enables an opportunity for higher energy efficiency. Bill Gates, who helped launch TerraPower in 2008, did a 60 minutes interview and talked about how much safer their nuclear reactors will be because they’ll be fully automated which will reduce the potential for human error like what happened at Chernobyl. Also, the reactor won’t be cooled by water which causes high pressure from boiling water, but liquid sodium that absorbs a lot more heat than water. If more investment was made into nuclear energy the safer and more efficient it would become, however public confidence must increase first. In 2009, 20% of the United States’ electricity was generated by nuclear energy (Theis & Tomkin, 2018). A decade later in 2019, it only sits at around 8% of energy consumption (EIA, 2020). Electric power sector consumption from Nuclear power in my home state of California was 11.8% in 2018, and approximately 190.4 trillion British thermal units (EIA, 2020). Out of the 8% of energy consumption from nuclear power in the U.S., 100% was used for electricity retail sales which provide primarily to commercial, residential, and industrial sectors (EIA, 2020). References: EIA. (2020, May 7). U.S. energy facts explained. Retrieved April 08, 2021 from https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/usenergy-facts/ Theis, T. & Tomkin, J. (2018, December 26). Sustainable Energy Systems. Retrieved April 08, 2021 from https://learn.umgc.edu/d2l/le/content/605635/viewConte nt/21371964/View Werssa, Zeleke- Solar Energy Zeleke Werssa posted Apr 8, 2021 7:53 PM Having read the relevant materials and other sources about renewable energy sources, I have come to the conclusion that solar energy has the greatest potential to solve our energy needs. One reason is that it can provide cleaner energy alternative compared to fossil fuels. According to an article on Treehugger website even though renewable energy sources like solar energy Are not completely problem-free”, however they can “Produce much less pollution and fewer greenhouse gases” (Washington, n.d.) Solar energy can be used for our daily activities like heating, cooling, lighting, and generating electricity. The other reason to say that solar energy has the potential to solve our energy needs is that it is something that is not expected to run out in the long run whereas, other nonrenewable energy sources like fossil fuels deplete through time. The source of solar energy is the sun and the sun are always there. Also, renewable energy sources like solar energy is the cheapest energy alternative we have. The International Renewable energy Agency (IRENA) reported that “The cost for utility-scale solar photovoltaic – the most widely deployed, versatile, and costeffective solar panel technology on the market today – or solar PV power declined 82% since 2010.” This indicates that solar energy is economically viable option for our energy needs (Top 5 Commercial Renewable Energy Sources, n.d). The primary energy sources in the United States are Natural gas (31.8%), Petroleum (28%) and Coal (17.8%) American Geoscience Institute report states (What are the major sources and users of energy in the United States?, 2018)This same report shows that only about 13% of its energy is from renewable sources. This apparently indicates that the United States in general and my home state does not rely enough on a renewable energy sources like solar energy. Most of the energy consumption is from the industrial sector followed by the transportation sector. Finally coming to my electricity usage, I would say it is not too much. I basically use energy saving lamps. References Top 5 Commercial Renewable Energy Sources. (n.d.). Duke Energy. https://www.duke-energy.com/renewableenergy/resources/top-5-renewable-energy-sources What are the major sources and users of energy in the United States? (2018, June 1). American Geosciences Institute. https://www.americangeosciences.org/criticalissues/faq/what-are-major-sources-and-users-energy-unitedstates Washington, U. of. (n.d.). Top 7 Sources of Renewable Energy. Treehugger. https://www.treehugger.com/top-renewableenergy-sources-1204190 Teska, Christine – Wind Christine Teska posted Apr 9, 2021 7:14 AM I think wind energy has the greatest potential to solve our energy needs. It is one of the leading types of renewable energy resources available today. Harnessing energy from wind and turning it into electricity has many advantages. Wind turbines do not release emissions that can pollute the air or water, and they do not require water for cooling. Wind turbines may also reduce the amount of electricity generation from fossil fuels, which results in lower total air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. (Renewable Energy Explained, 2020). Wind energy is one of the cleanest renewable energy resources. More than 60,000 wind turbines generate power with capacity totals 111,808 MW, making wind the third-largest source of electricity generation in the country, enough to power 34 million American homes. (Wind Power Facts, 2021) . Wind turbines are more abundant and profitable in rural areas due to constant wind. Groups of wind turbines, sometimes called wind farms, are located on open land, on mountain ridges, or offshore in lakes or the ocean. Wind power is also cost-effective and mitigates the price uncertainty that fuel costs add to traditional sources of energy because wind electricity from wind farms is sold at a fixed price over a long period of time and its fuel is free. Other advantages that wind power has is that it enables U.S. industry growth and U.S. competitiveness, it’s a domestic source of energy, it’s sustainable and wind turbines can be built on existing farms and ranches ( Advantages and Challenges of Wind Power, 2021). Application of wind energy as residential use include water pumping, differently sized stand-alone turbines to power homes, businesses, schools, and health clinics. In industry, wind power is used for telecommunication, radar, pipeline control, navigational aids, weather stations/seismic monitoring and airtraffic control. ( Wind Energy Applications Guide, 2001). Some negative aspects of wind energy are the cost, public resistance (the Not In My Backyard – NIMBY phenomenon), visually impacting the landscape and the sound the blades of wind turbines make, as they turn in the wind. In addition, bird and bat deaths have been attributed to wind turbines as these animals may get killed by the blades of the turbine. The wind energy industry and the U.S. government are researching ways to reduce the effect of wind turbines on birds and bats (Renewable Energy Explained, 2020). Other challenges include good land-based wind sites are often located in remote locations, away from cities, wind resource development might not be the most profitable use of the land and wind power must still compete economically with the lowest-cost source of electricity, and some locations may not be windy enough to be cost-competitive (Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy, 2021). Wind energy provided about 12% of Maryland’s renewable electricity generation. Maryland’s greatest wind capacity is offshore and two major wind projects are planned off Maryland’s Atlantic coastline (Renewable Energy Explained, 2020). Wind energy in Maryland is used to power mills, grind grain, pump water and generate electricity ( Wind Energy in Maryland, 2018). Because I live in Europe (Germany), I personally found the use of wind to power a train in Antwerp, Belgium, to be especially interesting. I’ve attached a short video of this extraordinary use of wind energy: https://video-ebscohostcom.ezproxy.umgc.edu/details/1_wqauwduh?lang=en&q=wind% 20energy My electricity usage/estimated costs were close to actual costs. As mentioned above, we live in Germany and I found that wind power became Germany’s dominant power source for the first time in 2019. One third of Germany’s entire net electricity production was with wind power alone in 2019 German Onshore Wind Power – Output, Business and Perspectives, 2020). References Renewable Energy Explained. (2020, December). U.S. Energy Information Administration. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/renewabl e-sources/ Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy. (2021). Energy.Gov. https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/advantagesand-challenges-wind-energy Wind Power Facts. (2021). Cleanpower.Org. https://cleanpower.org/facts/wind-power/ Train powered by wind energy. (2015, October 24). Associated Press. Wind Energy in Maryland (2018). Maryland Energy Administration. https://energy.maryland.gov/pages/info/renew able/windprograms.aspx#:~:text=From%20powering%20mills%2 0to%20grind,installed%20land%2Dbased%20wind%20capacity. German onshore wind power – output, business and perspectives. (2020). Clean Energy Wire. https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanonshore-wind-power-output-business-andperspectives#:~:text=Together%20with%20offshore%20turbines% 2C%20which,to%20Germany’s%20net%20power%20production. 11 points 9.5 points 8 points Main Response (11 points possible) Main response is written in the student’s own words with less than 10% direct quotes, well organized, accurate, comprehensive, and integrative to course readings and viewings; relevant supporting details are provided; reflection and original thought are evident; all questions are answered and/or all requirements are met. Main response is written in student’s own words with less than 10% direct quotes, overall well-organized, accurate, comprehensive, and mostly integrates course readings and viewings; includes some relevant supporting details but a bit of repetition from what others have already posted; almost all questions are answered and/or almost all requirements are met. Main response contains more than 10% direct quotes, and/or some issues with organization and presentation of information; and/or lack of supporting details or some repetition of relevant details from what others have already posted; and/or missing answers to some questions and/or does not meet all the requirements. 10 points 8.5 points 7 points Replies to Classmates (10 points possible) At least two substantial replies that contribute to the other students’ learning through constructive criticism, critical questions and/or added relevant information; relevant supporting details are provided and reflection and original thought are evident; written in the student’s own words with less than 10% direct quotes. Two slightly less substantial replies that contribute to the other students’ learning; relevant supporting details are provided but include a bit of repetition from what others have already posted; written in the student’s own words with less than 10% direct quotes. Two replies that contribute to a lesser extent to the other student’s learning due to some lack of fact-supported evidence or insufficient detail and/or some repetition of what others have already posted; and/or more than 10% direct quotes. 3 points 2.5 points 2 points Information Sources and References (3 points possible All information sources used are reliable and relevant; and all appropriate APA references and in- text citations are correctly provided in all three posts; and quotation marks are used for direct quotes. All but one information sources used are reliable and relevant; and/or appropriate APA references are correctly provided in all three posts, but some in-text citations are incorrect/missing. Some information sources used are not reliable or relevant; and/or appropriate APA references are correctly provided in all three posts, but in-text citations are missing or appropriate APA references and in-text citations are correctly provided in only two posts: and/or quotation marks are missing when direct quotes are used. 3 points 2.5 points 2 points No errors 1-2 noticeable errors Spelling and grammar (3 points possible) 1-2 minor errors that do not detract from content
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