The form of energy that caught my eye originally was nuclear fusion, and more specifically this energy source on a global scale. I had previously not thought this was very feasible and it led me to want to investigate if there have been any new breakthroughs since the last time that I had heard about it. The idea of breaking apart an atom had always seemed like something not possible to be created synthetically by scientists, but after researching on the global scale i was very surprised by what I found.
According to the credible source, The Guardian and a US initiative, they now believe that it will be incorporated into the power grid within the next 15 years which over halves the original period of time that was believed possible. The project believes that they can transform the large and extremely expensive project into one of commercial possibility for national use. This would be a massive increase in energy production with a much smaller amount of resources. The major key to their upcoming proposed success falls on the use of superconductors that can produce more energy than the amount needed to create the reaction in the first place. That is the first major issue, the amount of energy needed to create a fusion reaction would be larger than the amount coming from the process, making it a non sustainable source and not commercially appealing. This would not draw the attention of those which we have looked at who address the financials with the processes used to create and use energy. If no one is appealed then there would not be noticable funding and further research since the process does not seem to make sense financially nor with resource use. Interestingly enough the leader of the private company heading this charge , Bob Memgaard of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, is quoted saying, “The aspiration is to have a working power plant in time to combat climate change. We think we have the science, speed and scale to put carbon-free fusion power on the grid in 15 years.”(The Guardian)
The company has already been able to attract over 50 million dollars in funding from just one Italian company in hopes of its completion. If the promise is completed the world would be able to utilize a, “zero-carbon, combustion-free source of energy.“(The Guardian) This would be an incredible help to the world’s issue of pollution around sources of power.
Overall, the process is fascinating. The power and heat emitted is a tremendous amount by pulsing in 10 second intervals after forging two hydrogen atoms together creating enough energy to power a small city. It is honestly a mind boggling project that would alter the entire world’s ideas behind creating energy.
According to the US Department of Energy, Geothermal energy is a clean and renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Harvesting geothermal energy produces only ⅙ of the carbon dioxide as producing fossil fuels. From an economic standpoint, installing a geothermal small power plant costs between $3000 to $5000/kWe, and power is sold at $0.05 per kWh. This is relatively cheap, considering the average price of electricity in New York State is $0.18 per kWh, according to NPR. Three different techniques are used to harvest geothermal energy at power plants: dry steam, flash steam and binary cycle.
Currently, Geothermal energy is primarily available in western US states, Alaska, and Hawaii. However, geothermal heat pumps can be used to tap geothermal energy almost anywhere on Earth. Major sources of geothermal energy such as magma and hot dry rock will be able to be tapped with future technological developments. It can be easily implemented into communities with no visual impacts considering, “Geothermal power plants use relatively small acreages, and don’t require storage, transportation, or combustion of fuels.” (energy.gov) Geothermal is an extremely sustainable source because it relies on the heat generated at Earth’s core, which is almost unlimited. The water treated to make geothermal energy can be recycled and reused after harvesting as well. Hence, geothermal energy is clean, safe, and renewable, and should be further developed as it is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
Brazil is now a large industrial nation that leads the world in production of oil and automobile industry that still heavily rely on the consumption of wood. Through the technological development, the nation is thriving in the economic field when exporting goods to other nations. The economic aspect of the world the country is thriving but through the natives of the and they are being destroyed. The Brazilian wilderness is enormous with thousands of different species of creatures and native tribes that are being destroyed to gather wood for economic profit, regardless of the effects on nature. The development of the country has come at the cost of destroying the environment. The removal of natural resources from the environment often creates bad environments for locals to attempt to make a living as they have lived on the land for hundreds of years. Many countries in Latin America are suffering from the exploitation by corporations and natural resources. In order to have a fair policy the natives should be involved in the government decision about their land. There is no clear path for communication for the natives and the modern and forever changing government. The lack of respect and connection to the natives’ culture creates environmental issues that impact the poor communities.