Renewable energy, yes or not?

Group 2

Natural resources are inefficient, environmentally unfriendly and will be exhausted in near future. It will keep its advantages in such a way for the next 25 years. However, natural resources are still the number one resource in the world. It is cheap and relatively easy to access.  The article will discuss whether we should continue to use natural resource or not.

Continue to use natural source

Despite there are renewable energy appears in recent years. Natural gas is still the cheapest resource human can utilize. Nuclear power is one of the most popular energy forms. Nuclear power has several advantages, it is efficient and renewable. But it requires huge amount of initial cost and it’s very dangerous to operate.

Some developed countries have already announced to give up using coal-fired power entirely. Those countries have better technologies and fund, which have ability to develop using new technology in the future. However, not all countries are wealthy enough, some government are still focusing on how to get rid of poverty. Natural resources are still one of the cheapest kinds of energy to use.

There are four popular fuels in our life: gasoline, natural gas, coal gas, coal. The basic chemical equation of these four fuels are:

Basic chemical equation Calorific value
Gasoline: 41.87MJ/kg
Natural gas: 38.97MJ/kg
Coal gas: 20.93MJ/kg
Coal: 29.3MJ/kg

If a car wants to get 100MJ energy by these four different fuels:

Type of fuel Mass of fuel/ kg Mass of / kg
Gasoline 2.388 7.373
Natural gas 2.566 7.057
Coal gas 4.778 4.032
Coal 3.413 12.514

Comparing these four fuels, the natural gas is the most suitable. It almost has smallest mass of fuel and produces least . Natural gas is environmentally friendly because it produces the lowest greenhouse and noxious gas, such as ,  and , per kWh of energy produced. Coal and coal gas need to mine coal. The over exploitation of coal will cause the collapse of the earth’s surface. There are many cracks on the road in Henan province of China, which will lead to unsafe driving and increase traffic accidents. Relatively speaking, the exploitation technology of natural gas and gasoline is more environmentally friendly and safer. The natural gas can be compressed to reduce volume. The gasoline and coal are hard to compress. The coal gas is not hard to express but the essential component of coal gas is CO. CO leaks can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. So natural gas is the best choice.

Use renewable energy

Although natural gas is a clean energy resource and will not do harm to the environment, the process of drilling natural gas can release heavy metal elements or radioactive material which could threat ecosystem and the health of residents. According to the equality of duty ethics, people should be treated as equal. The health of residents should be concerned equally as other people. Not only the health, drilling of natural gas will cause the subsidence of ground which will influence the surface water flows and building foundations. It is not an equal respect to local people.

On the other hand, natural gas is a kind of fossil fuels which is not renewable. Overuse of natural gas will cause the growth of price due to the decrease in supply and increase in demand. Also, burning of natural gas will release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which will bring bad influence to the environment. It is unethical to burning natural gas because it will leave the environment issue to the next generation. Additionally, if natural gas become the main power source, energy resource will be distributed unjust among generations, thus using natural gas is unethical according to the Kantianism.

There are technologies which can reduce the impact of released CO2 while burning natural gas, such as carbon capture. Carbon capture is a process of capturing waste CO2 from the atmosphere. Carbon capture can reduce approximately 80–90  of CO2. It sounds perfect but the cost of the CO2 reduces technologies are high. For instance, Carbon capture will increase 21–91  of cost for a plant. It would be more effective to spend the money on development of renewables energies rather than natural gas like wind or solar power, which are clean energy. Therefore, it is a wiser choice to develop natural gas, renewables energies.

Because natural is not uniformly distributed around the world. Transportation and storage of natural gas are essential. Better pipeline and tank are required for natural gas compared with normal liquid fossil fuel. The specialised pipeline and tank for natural gas are more expensive, which means the cost of using natural gas is high. Long distance pipeline laying also harm the environment. Therefore, natural gas is not suitable to be a major energy, we should not develop it.

References

Bloomberg, 2016. Why Natural Gas Could Be the Fuel That Changes the World. [Viewed 7 Feb 2020].

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHnn11qpAW4

Ellsmoor, J., 2020. Renewable Energy Is Now the Cheapest Option. [Viewed 5 March 2020].

Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/06/15/renewable-energy-is-now-the-cheapest-option-even-without-subsidies/#2c15b6675a6b

Jamie Page Deaton., (2020). How does natural gas drilling work? [online]. Jamie Page Deaton. [Viewed 14 March 2020].

Available from: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/natural-gas-drilling.htm

Initial Decision

Continue to use natural source

5 thoughts on “Renewable energy, yes or not?

  1. Your topic seems to be too broad.
    Is the topic “Should we continue to use natural gas?” or “Should developing countries be allowed to use natural gas?” Or are we talking about fossil fuels in general? Can you clarify your core topic, please?

    There is some use of ethical argumentation but can you expand that for Assignment Two, please?

    Personally, I’m against the continued use of natural gas. Burning it releases carbon dioxide and that is resulting in climate change; a clear utilitarian argument can be made that all of us benefit from ceasing to produce carbon dioxide. Developing countries should seek to leap to the front of green energy production instead of exploiting fossil fuels and slowly catching up.

  2. This question does not have a black and white answer. Yes we will need to continue using NS, but renewables can be phased in to reduce our reliance on it. We need to diversify, this is a way of mitigating risk when it comes to what you are relying on. It’s the same as saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. We can’t predict the future exactly, but we can to an extent – climate scientists are all telling us the same thing. It might not be as dramatic and fast-spreading as a global pandemic, but every sign is saying we need to slow down climate change if we’re going to survive as a species.

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