The Challenges Of The Article: A Path To Sustainable Energy

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As stated in the article “A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030,” the three main sources of renewable energy are technologies that consist of zero-emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants of their entire life cycle (Jacobson, 87). Of course there are several renewable energy sources, but the three main resources listed in the article are wind, water and sunlight (WWS). To this day, wind supplies up to 51% of the energy demand with about 3.8 million wind turbines installed (Jacobson, 88). They are composed of concrete and steel in which steel may become a scarce resource (Jacobson, 88). However, wind energy has a downtime of only 2% on land and 5% at sea compared to 12.5% for coal (Jacobson, 88). A second renewable energy source would …show more content…
One of the main challenges technical wise would be the undeveloped infrastructure. To build this system, large amounts of investments will be needed in order to provide great renewable electricity (“Barriers to Renewable”). With that being said, developers must find a site with resources which may take many years to find as monitoring needs to be done for an extensive period of time (“Barriers to Renewable”). Additionally, training on this type of infrastructure will be need to be done in order to have the system operate properly. Similar to that, the infrastructure must be in a location that is suitable for the implementation of it. For instance, transmitting wind energy from sources of distant populations can put a strain on the structure of the grid (Integrating Renewable Energy). In regards, the location is vital to all the resources. Furthermore, the variability of renewable generation can be a deterrent to the specific location of the system. Wind and sunlight can vary therefore producing uncertainties for both. Studies show that uncertainties affect nearly 70% of daytime solar capacities due to passing clouds and can even affect 100% of the wind capacity on calm days (Integrating Renewable …show more content…
Two of the main challenges involved are centralized banking and governments. To this day, there are a few resources of capital that finance clean energy projects (Parish, 2013). Stated in the article “Renewable Energy Revolution: The Biggest Business Opportunity on the Planet,” of the 8,000 banks currently in the U.S., only 20 have a dedicated department for clean energy financing (Parish, 2013). Therefore, this allows them to charge incredibly high rates for capital making clean energy projects costly and overpriced (Parish, 2013). However, new laws are making it possible for renters to buy into community solar gardens and wind farms which could become the world’s largest energy industry (Parish, 2013). When it comes to the government however, government subsidies for research and development give an advantage to nuclear and fossil fuels. In 1996, Congress gave $422 million to fossil fuels while renewable energy received only $273 million (“Barriers to Renewable”). With renewable energy becoming a viable new source of energy, Congress needs to re-appropriate these subsidies into the sources that are becoming more prominent and will ultimately become our future. Additionally, the United States does not have a federal renewable energy plan therefore making it difficult to implement the system fully (Elliott). To go along with that, Congress has differing political views which

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