Reducing the volume of CO² emitted from our buildings is essential for us to become more environmentally conscious. Doing so requires us to embrace alternative sources of energy.
There are viable alternatives to our over-reliance on coal, gas and oil. Like these traditional means of powering life, it’s the planet itself that provides them. The only difference is that the consequences of their use are considerably less damaging to the atmosphere.
Now is the time to utilise the potential. Rather than continuing to burn fossil fuels, we should be concentrating our efforts on the alternatives:
FIRE: solar power
Sunlight is the most powerful energy source that we can utilise. Solar technology is still in its infancy and the most effective means to harness the sun’s energy is undoubtedly yet to be discovered, but its potential as an energy source is as good as limitless.
AIR: wind energy
Harnessing wind power is a clean and sustainable way to generate electricity, producing no toxic pollution or global warming emissions. Wind is an inexhaustible source of power, and accordingly and inexhaustible source of energy. Compare this attribute to our rapidly diminishing supply of fossil fuels and it cannot be ignored.
Hydroelectric and hydrokinetic power is sourced by using a change in the height or the rate of flowing water: the immense force generated by our rivers and tides. Dams and turbines are expensive to build, but in the long term produce electricity at a constant rate and generate no emissions in operation.
EARTH: geothermal energy
Atmospheric global warming caused by burning fossil is unnecessary – why not utilise the natural thermal energy from the Earth’s internal heat? Geothermal technology is broad and dependent largely on location and geological conditions, but it’s far more natural and efficient than tearing the Earth’s resources directly from the ground.
Each measure is not without its own potential environmental implications, but these can be circumvented more easily than the repercussions caused by the harvesting and burning of already depleted fossil fuel reserves.
Cost efficiency is often claimed to be a disadvantage, but innovating solutions based on renewable energy sources will do anything but harm our economy. The cost of extracting fossil fuels is huge, but the constant nature of many of these renewable sources will produce significant long-term cost savings.
Fully committing to these energy sources will be an adjustment, but if we adopt the attitude that making the sustainable switch will enhance our quality of life, then we’ll all be better off.
How can we start influencing the shift towards these technologies? By uniting industries in seeking change through effective communication of the problems and the solutions.
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