Examining your Community’s Source of Energy

Subject: Environment
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 6
Word count: 1535
Topics: Solar Energy, Community, Management, Pollution, Sustainability

Renewable energy has been observed to offer a suitable alternative for the betterment of the energy supply initiatives in different communities. It is important to note that renewable sources of energy offer a sustainable source of energy that considers the need of the present generation while remembering the requirements of future generations in the contemporary world. Consequently, it is possible to develop a suitable power plan that reduces the impact of energy generation and use on the present setting. The paper presents an extensive examination of the status of energy production and use in my community that will act as a case study towards the examination of renewable energy use in the contemporary community setting. For my community to transition from using fossil fuels to better sources of energy, it requires political influence, money and time. A slow transition would be the best option where we slowly replace the fossils fuels with renewable sources and multi-source energy networks. The community members should be made aware of the impact caused by conventional sources of energy to the environment

Currently, Kimberling City is provided electrical power from White River Valley Cooperative. Considering this is a cooperation, it acquires its electrical energy from hydro-electric companies, solar panels, and coal. However, the cooperation intends to go green soon. From the different sources of energy, coal is the only source which can pollute the environment. The area around has many propane tanks and STEP systems which cause pollution and lead to death. Hydropower does not pollute the air or water. Nonetheless, hydropower machines affect the environment by affecting how land is used, how homes are built and natural habitats in the dam location (Wang et al, 2010). With hydropower, there is the construction of dams and reservoirs. These structures affect how fish and other water animals migrate. However, it is important to note that despite the minor impact, there is minimal interruption of the state and operation of the ecosystem that is present in the water. 

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If the community decides to change their sources of energy to renewable sources, the environment would have clean land, air, and water. Levels of pollution would be reduced to that of cars only. Our home has a septic tank and is powered by electricity while other people in the area have solar panels, propane tanks, and electricity. Propane gas does not have any effect on the environment. It does not affect soil or water when spilled. Liquid propane affects the skin when it gets into contact. In addition, the production of hazardous waste is minimized by the use of such an energy source. This is bound to reduce the toxicity that is observed in different energy production approaches. 

Coal has a huge impact on the environment. The effects of coal come from how it is mined, prepared, combusted, transported and how its waste is stored. In this case, the focus is on coal power plants. Coal power plants produce tons of waste which cause landfills. Coal waste contains harmful components such as cadmium, chromium, mercury, and arsenic which contaminate drinking water. Once consumed, the contaminated water affects the human nervous system and vital organs in the human body. Water used in cooling coal power plants is recycled and later released to rivers and lakes. The water is usually very hot and it causes thermal pollution leading to the death of fish and other microorganisms. Most of the heat produced when burning coal is wasted. Only 35% percent of the heat is used in generating electricity. Coal plants are the leading cause of air pollution due to the production of carbon dioxide which leads to global warming (Cayan et al., 2008). Burning coal causes the formation of acidic rain, smog, and toxic air pollution. Harmful gases produced such as sulfur dioxide which causes health issues. Solar energy does not have a negative effect on the environment. It has positive effects on the environment since it replaces or reduces the use of other sources of energy which pollute the environment. 

In Kimberling City, MO there is no nuclear pollution. There are no industries which produce nuclear waste in the area. Authorities in the area have developed a good and easy mechanism for the collection of dangerous waste such as septic tanks, medical waste, and computers. The authorities have provided a phone number which community members in case they want to dispose hazardous material.

For a long time, Kimberling City, MO members have used coal power and wood as a source of energy. The community experienced adverse effects on the environment due to pollution, but now the effects have reduced compared to areas such as St. Louis, MO. Nonetheless, the electric cooperation in the community is in the process of growing green. Our entire home uses electricity and each month we use around 1500 kilowatt hours. 

The number of kilowatt hours was derived using the following calculations:

(Amount of energy used per month) × (12 months) = (Amount of energy used per household);

1500 kilowatt hours (kWh) every month × 12 = 18000 kWh;

(Amount of energy consumed per year) × (Average number of homes in our community) =

(Average power consumption per year in the community)

18000 kWh × 200 homes in the community = 3,600,000kWh

According to the calculations, I would recommend alternative sources of energy such as solar energy and a wind turbine to work together with the existing hydroelectric machines. The community can have wind turbines and solar panels at the top of the hill to produce more electricity. If the output is higher than the consumption, then the excess power can be added to the national grid for further distribution. A single solar panel can power our home, and most members of the community will be interested in using these sources of energy. Using these sources of energy will help keep the environment clean and save on cost. Most of the money will be spent on purchasing various components such as solar panels and power inverters. Solar panels cost between 4,000 and 12,000 dollars while power inverters cost between 800 and 2800 dollars. Geothermal energy will require high investments and will take a long time before it becomes a reliable source of energy. 

The conversion will benefit many organisms including human beings and fish. Lowering the levels of pollution will benefit each organism in the ecosystem. Organisms will live, prosper and go through their normal life cycles. Once community members can use wind and solar panels as sources of energy, the cost of electricity will go and the amount of money saved can be used to protect and conserve the environment. Members of the community will agree to convert from using coal as a source of energy to reliable sources of energy such as wind and solar. Once community members get to know how they will benefit from these new sources of energy they approve the idea. Community members will benefit through reducing levels of pollution hence quality water for drinking and clean air for breathing. Community members will be glad to save more money through reducing the cost of electricity and improve their quality of life. 

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Our community uses different sources of energy some of which pollute the environment. Coal has the largest impact on the environment polluting land, air, and water. The community has to adapt other sources of energy such as wind turbine and solar energy. However, these renewable sources will require high initial capital to adopt these sources of energy. Most homes need only one solar panel to power the home. The environment will benefit through reduction of land, air and water pollution. Members of the community will benefit from reducing the cost of electricity per household. Renewable sources will ensure that the environment is clean and habitable.

Renewable energy should be emphasized and promoted through the formulation of policies that promote the implementation of renewable sources of energy approaches. From the discussion, it is evident that the introduction of different renewable source of energy presents a viable approach towards the preservation of the environment and energy sources in the present setting. Thus, renewable energy offers a viable approach towards the conservation of the environment and the provision of energy sources that do not conflict with the primary goal of enhancing sustainability in the contemporary setting.

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