The goals that inform developments in this rapidly growing field
include:

1.   
Sustainability – meeting the needs of society
in ways that can continue indefinitely into the future without damaging or
depleting natural resources. In short, meeting present needs without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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2.   
“Cradle to
cradle” design – ending the “cradle to
grave” cycle of manufactured products, by creating products that can be
fully reclaimed or re-used.

3.   
Source reduction – reducing waste and
pollution by changing patterns of production and consumption.

4.   
Innovation – developing alternatives to
technologies – whether fossil fuel or chemical intensive agriculture – that
have been demonstrated to damage health and the environment.

5.   
Viability – creating a center of economic
activity around technologies and products that benefit the environment,
speeding their implementation and creating new careers that truly protect the
planet.

 

?     AIM: Reduce our reliance on fossil fuels like coal, oil and
gas

?     Depletion of natural
resources; need to find more sustainable sources of energy besides the
combustion of finite fossil fuels

?     Extraction of and the
burning of fossil fuels carry serious health and environmental impacts.

?     Combustion of fossil fuels
releases harmful air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides
which contribute greatly to global warming.

 

?     Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite, renewable energy
sources regenerate.

There
are five commonly used renewable energy sources:

1.    
Biomass—includes:

?     Wood and wood waste

?     Municipal solid waste

?     Landfill gas and biogas

?     Ethanol

?     Biodiesel

 

2.    
Hydropower

?    
Power derived from the energy of falling water or fast running
water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes, using watermills and dams

?    
At both Niagara Falls and the
Columbia River, water flows through a pipe, or penstock, then pushes against and turns blades in a turbine to spin
a generator to produce electricity.

?    
Developing countries: Ivory Coast will begin
production at a 275 megawatt (MW) hydropower station next month (April 2017),
boosting the West African economic powerhouse’s total capacity by around 10
percent, government officials said on Monday.

 

3.    
Geothermal

?    
Geothermal energy is heat energy generated and stored in the
Earth.

?    
The geothermal gradient, which is the difference in
temperature between the core of the planet and its surface, drives a continuous
conduction of thermal energy in the form of heat from the core to the surface.

?     From hot
springs, geothermal energy has been used for bathing since Paleolithic times
and for space heating since ancient Roman times, but it is now better known for
electricity generation.

?     Worldwide,
11,700 megawatts (MW) of geothermal power is online in 2013. An additional 28
gigawatts of direct geothermal heating capacity is installed for district
heating, space heating, spas, industrial processes, desalination and
agricultural applications in 2010.

?     PROS:

?     Cost-effective,
reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly

?    
The long-term sustainability of geothermal energy
has been demonstrated at the Lardarello field in Italy since 1913, at the
Wairakei field in New Zealand since 1958, and at The Geysers field
in California since 1960.

?     CONS:

?     Has
historically been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries.

?     Recent
technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable
resources, especially for applications such as home heating, opening a
potential for widespread exploitation.

 

4.    
Wind

?    
Wind energy is the fastest growing energy
source in the world with the
United States aiming to produce 20 percent of its electricity by wind power by
2030.

?     PROS:

?     It is renewable and clean
source of energy that doesn’t generate any greenhouse gases.

?     Wind doesn’t cost anything
and therefore operational costs are close to zero once a turbine starts
running.

?     Wind turbines:
increasingly competitive prices of installation

?     CONS:

?     Dependent on the wind:
Wind doesn’t generally blow reliably, and turbines usually function at about
30% capacity or so.

?     Poses a threat to
wildlife– birds and other flying creatures

5.    
Solar

?    
Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity,
either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar
power.

?    
The amount of solar power added worldwide soared by
some 50% last year because of a sun rush in the US and China.

?    
The industry called the growth “very significant”
and said the technology was a crucial way for the world to meet its climate
change commitments.

?    
Imperative in order to meet the Paris climate
agreement targets

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