10 May 2012 at 15:22
Wind is a clean source of renewable energy that produces no air or water pollution
There is an increasing global focus on renewable energy sources, particularly from China, India and South Korea. In a recent report by the World Economic Forum, it said interest seems to be on wind and solar energy as potential growth sectors for their economies.
The March 2012 report known as the “Energy Vision Update” discusses the overall economic role of the energy industry and the impacts that must be considered if we are to continue with non-renewable energy sources.
Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Public Policy & Economics at Harvard University, said “energy prices will always be volatile and thus represent a challenge for long-term economic planning”. He went on to say that an important consideration is how to make this volatility less economically damaging.
A substantial shift from the current non-renewable energy sector would spell havoc to the industry, government, and the economy. In 2011 the oil and gas industry contributed 150,000 direct and in-direct jobs in the United States. The report further highlights that the capital intensive energy sector, with its high levels of investment, has the ability to substantially contribute to GDP growth.
10 May 2012 at 14:23
Solar energy building design at the Technische Universität Darmstadt
Solar energy has been harnessed by humans for centuries, used as a mechanism to heat homes, cook, dry food, and power machinery. Solar energy, utilizing radiant light and heat from the sun, has developed significantly in line with technological advancements.
What is solar energy? Broadly, it can be either active solar or passive solar depending on the way the energy is captured, converted and distributed. Active solar uses photovoltaic panels and thermal collectors to pull in solar energy. Passive techniques utilize strategically positioned panels or buildings to harness the solar energy, or involve designing or placing items and buildings in such a way that the spaces naturally circulate the air and disperse light.
In 2011, the International Energy Agency met to discuss the future of solar energy. In a statement is said that “inexhaustible and clean solar technologies will have huge long-term benefits”. The agency went on to say that the advantages are global, as solar energy will “increase energy security by enhancing sustainability, reducing pollution, lower the cost of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices low”.