Politics of Oil
Renewable energy has currently become a significant aspect in the countries development, and a key focus of government policy for energy and environmental protection. As a result of public’s growing responsibility for the environment and constantly new rules and regulations of emission in the electric power industry, most governments have facilitated policies to boost the amount of renewable energy in the electricity generation portfolio. Additionally, the generation of electricity from renewable resources creates insufficient and frequently, zero emissions of pollutants that comes from traditional fossil fuel production technologies. The additional use of renewable energy aids utilities in their emission agreement obligations. Furthermore, the anticipation of agreement with any future carbon emissions management would further toughen the incentive to move towards cleaner electricity creating technologies (Langwith, 2009).
Recent doubt in country’s energy supply as a result of political concerns in the Middle East nations, other foreign oil generating nations, and volatility in the prices of oil and natural gas have contributed to increase in country’s energy independence through use of local energy supply. Countries have preferred to minimize the greater effects of the economy from any prices fluctuation in the fossil fuel markets, including the natural gas price hike in 2004 and 2005 cyclone seasons, precisely in the United States of America (Langwith, 2009).
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Our modern economy is to large extent relying on the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy. This is due to continuous climatic changes, overpopulation, and depletion of resources that have widely contributed to exhaustion of oil energy. Because of this, scientists globally have been compelled to search for alternatives to fossil fuels in order to prevent both the economic and industrial fall (Langwith, 2009). The current paper will address issues on renewable energy by focusing on how challenging it is at the oil industry.
Renewable energy will be the most significant challenge for the oil industry
Renewable energy refers to energy that is naturally recreated for over a short time and is generated directly from the sun, including thermal and photoelectric. It does not necessarily incorporate energy resources extracted from fossil fuels and waste products from any inorganic sources. The use of this energy has been embraced by developing nations due to its massive substantial benefits for our environment, health, and economic sector (Haugen & Musser, 2012).
Renewable energy generates little global warming emission. Modern human activity is weighing down the atmosphere with the emission of carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases that traps the heat firmly increases the earth’s temperature and generates a significant and injurious impact on human beings, environment, and the climate (Freris, & Infield, 2008). Moreover, the production of electricity details for more than one third global warming emission, which is facilitated by industries that uses coal to generate energy and natural gas fired industries that have more impact on the global warming. It is estimated that industries running on natural gas generate approximately six percent of the total emission of global warming (Laxer, 2008). In contrast, many renewable energy sources generate less global warming emission than electricity production, thus bringing a positive impact to the economy.
In accordance with the data researched by International panel on Climate Change, the global warming emissions associated with renewable energy such as manufacturing, operation, installation, sustenance, dismantling, and deactivation are minimal. Natural gas generates approximately between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt in an hour while coal generates between 1.4and 3.6 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt in an hour (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2013). Again, solar energy generates between 0.07 to 0.2 and hydroelectric emits approximately between 0.1 and 0.5 carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt in an hour (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2013). Renewable electricity production from biomass has a wide extent of global warming counting on the resources and how it is accumulated. Biomass has low emission of global warming footprint while unsuitable sources of biomass might produce significant global warming emission. Adding the supply of renewable energy allow us to have an alternative to carbon-intensive energy sources and crucially minimize countries global warming emission (Nye, Kaplan, Disney Educational Productions., & Underwriters’ Laboratories, 2012).
Renewable energy improves public health and the quality of the environment. Producing electricity from renewable energy sources compared to fossil fuels provides fundamental public health benefits. This is due to the fact that air and water pollution generated by coal and natural gas industries is associated to breathing difficulties, neurological problems, cancer, and heart attacks (Smith, 2004). The gases generated by both coal and natural gas industries is harmful to the health of human being, meaning that extensive exposure to these generated gasses might lead respiratory associated diseases such as lung cancer. Therefore, replacing extensive use of fossil fuels with renewable energy has been proved to minimize premature mortality rates and the lost workdays. The analysts have estimated that the aggregate national economic consequences related with these massive health impacts of fossil fuels lies approximately between $361.7 and $886.5 percent(Union of Concerned Scientists, 2013) . This data translate to a six percent gross domestic product. Additionally, renewable energy systems such as solar, wind and hydroelectric produces electricity with no related air pollution emission. It means that this energy does not have negative effects on global warming. Again, even if geothermal and biomass energy systems produces some air pollutants, the overall harmful air pollutants are considered to be much lesser than those generated from coal and natural gas fired power industries.
Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar do not corrupt water resources since they do not need water to operate. The wind and solar energy need basically no water to operate and hence, do not corrupt water resources by battling with agriculture, consumption water systems or any other significant water require (S?rensen, 2011). On the other hand, fossil fuel brings fundamental consequences on the water resources. A good example is the activity of both mining coal and drilling natural gas that corrupt the important sources of water. This is due to the fact that the extraction of the natural gas by hydraulic breaking needs abundant amounts of water and all thermal power plants such as those motorized by coal, gas, and oil utilizes and consume water for cooling purposes(Langwith, 2009). Furthermore, biomass and geothermal power industries including coal and those powered by gas need water for cooling. Again, a hydroelectric power plant influences the river environment precisely in upstream and downstream from the dam.
Renewable energy comes with immense and inexhaustible energy supply. The environmental mechanism such as strong winds, clear sunny skies, residue from plants, heat temperature from the earth’s surface, and rapid moving water might continually replenish energy resource supply of a nation (Zang, 2011). Interestingly, the various renewable energy sources possess the technical capability to generate all the electricity that a nation requires many times. Even if renewable energy issues only a small fraction of its potential electricity production in developing nations, abundant studies have frequently shown that renewable energy might be quickly deployed to generate a fundamental share of future electricity wants, even after detailing for potential constraints(Langwith, 2009).
Renewable energy provides jobs and immense economic benefits in the oil industries. Massive job opportunities are created from renewable sources than from fossil fuels industries. This is due to the fact that fossil fuel industrial technologies are usually mechanized and more capital intensive. In addition, renewable energy delivers thousands of jobs in many developed nations. Some of those developed nations include United States of America, which its economy has been widely influenced by the rise of renewable energy. A good example of this is in the year 2011; the wind energy sector precisely hired massive number of full time equivalent employees in various sectors such as manufacturing, construction, project development, installation of the turbines, and operation and maintenance. Furthermore, there were many job opportunities in transport and logistics, financial related activities, legal and consulting services within the sector. There are more than 500 factories in United States that manufacture parts for wind turbines. (Haugen & Musser, 2012). This evidently shows that the use of renewable energy has been embraced and supported in the nations that have realized how beneficial renewable energy is for the oil industry. Furthermore, solar energy employs even more workers than the flourishing wind energy.
Renewable energy generates stable energy prices that are affordable to the consumer. It generates affordable electricity across the nations that have adopted use of renewable energy. A good example is solar energy that aids in stabilizing the current energy prices in forthcoming future. The introduction of wind energy, and solar energy has facilitated to the decline of costs of renewable energy technologies. They are even projected to drop with time, thus making the renewable energy affordable to its potential investors and the consumer. A good example of this case is the cost of solar energy has depreciated significantly since 2011 as a result of introduction to other renewable sources of energy such as hydroelectric and wind energy (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2013).
However, there are challenges associated with abandoning oil and using renewable energy only. Renewable energy comes with commercialization barrier faced by advancement of new technologies that are competing with existing technologies. Advancing new renewable resources requires large initial financial investments in order to build infrastructure creating a significant challenge in the oil industry. The technologies required to improve efficiency are very expensive and thus requires government support. Because of this, developers ought to find publicly decent sites with good resources and with easy access to the transmissions line (Langwith, 2009).
Renewable energy technologies face abundant challenges in market transactions. The potential clients and investors might have insufficient information in order to make wise and informed decisions (Langwith, 2009). This is due to the fact that many utilities issue little information about the fuel they generate and its benefits. Again, most of these industries are relatively new in the market hence, most customers and business investors know little about them.
Renewable energy projects and companies are generally small. They have fewer resources than large generation industries or the integrated utilities (Haugen & Musser, 2012). As a result of this, they are less able to communicate directly with massive number of customers. Again, they will have less power negotiating agreeable terms with bigger market players thus creating a significant challenge for the oil industry.
In conclusion, renewable energy technologies have a massive potential in developed countries, which means that its benefits will be realized at a reasonable cost. Additionally, market researchers argue that many customers are willing to purchase renewable power even if it costs considerably more than current power. Nevertheless, economic theory and experience largely emphasises that market challenges and market failures are the main barriers to the development of the renewable energy, thus unless special policy measures are implemented and embraced to facilitate that development, renewable energy will be the most significant challenge for the oil industry.