Renewable energy Essay Example
5ROLE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY INCREASING OVER TIME
All of the processes on earth, natural or artificial, requires some form of energy to produce the desired outcome. Even though energy is used in these processes, it does not really get used up; it only changes from one form to another. Effectively, there are different sources of energy, which produce it in different forms. These different sources of energy are broadly classified as either renewable or non-renewable sources. Today, the role of renewable sources increases significantly in Australia and other parts of the world including Africa. There are various kinds of sources for renewable energy; hydroelectric energy, solar, wind power, biomass, geothermal power and even ocean energy. Generally, the rate at which the use of renewable energy in increasing with the rate of industrialization disqualifies the doubt of sourcing energy from such sources 100%. Most of the renewable energy sources are considered bases of clean energy. This is because use of clean energy has become a fundamental aspect of achieving substantial reduction of Carbon II Oxide in the environment globally. One of the reasons for increased reliance on renewable energy sources is the objective to meet the increased demands for energy. Owing to the highlights above, among other countries, Australia has adopted plans to develop and accelerate installations of renewable energy plants.
As it is right now, the Australian government legislated a scheme — Renewable Energy Target (RET) — that is meant to ensure the 20% of energy used in the country comes from renewable sources, by the year 2020 (Department of the Environment, 2014). The objective is to create clean energy solutions that are friendly to the environment, yet presents business opportunities. At the end of the day, adoption of green energy solutions for community and commercial purposes will build a positive image and evidence commitment to sustainability. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) sits well with the perception that the role of renewable energy in increasing in Australia. Solar energy is one of these renewable sources and so, the RET scheme will help in the transformation of the country’s electricity generation mix (Flannery, 2012). There are various sources of renewable energy, as mentioned earlier on, but more important to this scope is the mix of such and the increased role in the energy sector. However, it is worth mentioning that the most widely used renewable energy is solar. The fact is that renewable energy sources, such as solar, are cleaner, more diverse and support economic growth by way of employment opportunities in the renewable energy sector (Wolfram et al. 2009). Some renewable energy systems are massive and complex but most are simple to handle at the installation stages, thus, employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled members of the community. The resultant impact is a boost to the per capital income, which is good for the national economy. Economically, use of renewable sources like solar as a source of energy can save up to 70% on electricity bills. The use of renewable energy sources is cheaper, safer, more efficient and more reliable as compared to other non-green sources of energy (Wolfram et al. 2009).
Just like in any other country, much of hydroelectric power that is viable economically has had major developments compared to other renewable sources. For this reason, the RET concentrates on other cleaner sources like solar, geothermal and wind. In Australia, wind energy proves feasible for commercialization and industrially dependent as well. Compared to other sources, wind energy can be tapped in large-scale yet the least costly in production at these amounts. At around two years ago, electrical energy obtainable from wind was at 2,600 Megawatts while close to half of the same figure was under construction (Department of the Environment, 2014). The RET set the 2020 goal at a much higher value than this, form wind energy. Geothermal energy is another natural resource that the country’s scheme hopes to exploit effectively, with most of it being near the country’s centre. However, much around geothermal energy is yet to pick up since there is still need for extensive exploration. If such projects are seen to completion, geothermal sources could cater for substantial amounts of Australia’s electrical base load. Other sources in Australia that have potential include biofuels, biomass and oceanic wave power. Essentially, there is quite a wide variety of renewable energy sources in Australia, which the government seeks to, exploit potentially (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014). The basic benefit for any country in such a quest is that most of renewable energy sources are environmentally friendly,
hence preservation of natural resources.
levels. With interest on the same, a number of companies, both private and public, have come up to participate in the renewable energy sector. Most of these companies offer contractual supply, installation, testing and maintenance services, as well as generation and distribution of energy (Dopita & Williamson, 2009). The companies may have a business objective but they play a vital role in realizing the 2020 targets as governmental objective. As such, they are bound with governmental policies and standards of operation. One of such policies in Australia is to operate in the business industry with adherence to business ethics and an environmental bias, thus, environmental conservation. Corporate Social Responsibility Theory details the significance of obligations, appreciable virtues of entities, (Banerjee, 2008) and ethics of business. However, there is another perspective that the objectives of renewable energy sources depends on more than policies, technical details and economic implications. Maybe more social view, aside from environmental issues, need to be incorporated. For instance, there is the suggestion of integration behavioural changes in energy consumption into modern policies and models. Since these behavioural changes in energy use are socially influenced, the models need to be open and flexible for modification.2Nonetheless, government policies and targets alone are not enough to achieve RE targets, and thereby contribute nicely, on the global map, to reduction of CO
Renewable energy sources have always presented better opportunities and advantages compared to non-renewable sources. With basis on this, many countries like Australia have invested heavily in exploitation of their available sources of renewable clean energy. The clean sense in this is that these sources have zero or minimal interference with the natural environment. Objectively, The Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme of Australia seeks to reduce environmental pollution and simultaneously meet electrical load demands by encouraging generation of electricity from renewable sources. The scheme has contributed significantly to steering scale up of energy access, reduction of environmental degradation and strengthening of the country’s economy. More precisely, the renewable energy sector in Australia has now established concretely with inclusion of both public and private stakeholders. Evidently, such arrangements play a vital role in national energy efficiency and reduction in the cost of electrical energy. Nonetheless, the process of enhancing and establishing a full-fledge dependence on renewable energy sources should be progressive with extensive studies so that choices are made on informed backgrounds.
Banerjee, S. B. 2008. Corporate Social Responsibility: The good, the bad and the ugly. Critical Sociology, 34:1.
Commonwealth of Australia. 2014. Renewable Energy Target Scheme: Report of the Expert Panel. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
Department of the Environment. 2014. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme. [online]. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/renewable-energy-target-scheme [Accessed 14 May, 2015].
Dopita, M. and Williamson, R. 2009. Australia’s Renewable Energy Future. Canberra: Australian Academy of Science.
Flannery, T. and Sahajwalla, V. 2012. Critical Decade: Generating a Renewable Australia. Canberra: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
Wolfram K., Kristina N., Corinna K., Carolin C., Eva S., Wina G., Monique H., Nikolaus S., Uta von Winterfeld & Sascha S. 2009. Role and Potential of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Global Energy Supply. Dessau Roßlau, Germany: Federal Environment Agency.
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