The alternative energy resources are often described as the renewable sources that have a major significance in the performance of global energy supplies. In recent times, there have been increased concerns for the development of elaborate capacities of alternative energy resources due to the fact that non-renewable energy resources are slowly dwindling away. Besides, another major importance of alternative energy sources such as solar is the environmental friendliness that it has attracted over time. In essence, there has been a corresponding significance that alternative sources impact on the protection mechanism of the natural environment. In this regard, it is absolutely true that investing in alternative energy sources in the global perspective have a positive impact on the enhanced conservation of the global environmental resources (Tilman & Williams 2009). Alternative energy resources must be contracted and integrated investments in order to foster sustainability of the natural environmental resources.
Importance of Investment in Alternative Energy
The supply of natural energy resources is always finite and bound to depletion in the near future. However, the non-renewable sources have been the most elaborate energy supply for many generations and countries worldwide. For instance, the United States has been currently depending heavily on the energy from coal, natural gas and oil for its elaborate energy supplies. However, the fossil fuels are fast depleting over time and are non-renewable. Before the disappearance of these energy sources at one time, one of the inescapable scenario is the sudden increase in the cost of subscribing to such energy resources. This implies that there should be development of alternative sources prior to the realization of this shortage that is not only likely to hurt the natural habitats but also the specific economies at large (Blanco 2009).
The other major concern that this papers seeks to focus on is the scenario in which the exploitation of these energy resources is likely to create a devastating effects on the environment. In fact, this scenario has already been felt today with a very negative impact on the global social-economic situation. Majority of renewable energy sources including wind and sun have been in a constant replenishing front and a permanent supply regardless of their utilization. Besides, these energy sources are environmentally friendly in the sense that they generate virtually no negative by-product after being harnessed for utilization. In essence, majority of the alternative energy resource come directly or otherwise, from solar radiations. The solar energy may be manipulated in raw form to heat or light houses as well as generate of electricity power. In particular, electric power generation from the solar energy provides an environmentally-friendly product that guarantees environmental safety. This energy can be used effectively not only for domestic consumption but also commercial and industrial uses globally (Clapp & Dauvergne 2011).
The solar energy is also responsible for driving wind into the land masses where it generates energy that can be captured in turbines. As a result, this energy may be tapped to generate electricity or be used in its raw form to pump water from boreholes in windmills among other processes that are ideal in the production process. In any case, the manipulation of wind energy through intensive investment in this green energy resource would help limit the production of harmful bi-products from the utilization of the energy component. Similarly, both wind and the sun have an effect on the evaporation of water. The evaporated water later converts into raise and snow that flow into rivers and streams whose energy can be captured to drive hydro-electric power sources which is also a very green energy resource and forms equally a sustainable conservation of the natural environmental (Ball & Wietschel 2009). For instance, hydro-electricity is very important in providing the fundamental source of power in many countries globally.
Besides, hydro-electric power substitutes other energy sources such as fossil burning in generators to provide energy that is credited with significant negative environmental impact. As a result, this process helps in the reduction of use of unclean energy sources such as fossils. Besides, sunlight also supports the photosynthesis process for the growth of green plants. The organic matter form the plants called biomass may be used in the production of electricity, chemicals and other transportation fuels through a process called bionergy production (Clapp & Dauvergne 2011).
Not all alternative energy sources are products of the sun however, but are equally important as they provide environmentally friendly energy sources globally that are environmentally friendly. For instance, geothermal energy source is tapped from the internal heating of the earth for several uses such as electric power production and the heating of buildings. Similarly, ocean tides also comprises of energy that can be tapped to from the pull of gravity of both the sun and the moon to the earth. This energy is equally clean and renewable. As a result, it can be subjected to intensive investments to create alternative clean energy supplies for use in both domestic and commercial purposes. In particular, ocean energy resources arise from several sources. Besides, ocean waves also comprise a distinct source of energy that is driven by wind and tides. The sun is responsible for warming up the ocean surfaces beyond the ocean depth thus developing a considerable temperature difference that is often used as energy resource (Vorosmarty & Davies 2015). The latter source can be used to generate electricity for domestic and commercial uses. These alternative sources of energy are ideal in reducing over-dependence on fossil and other environmentally unfriendly energy sources.
Global Statistic on Alternative Energy Sources
Alternative energy sources have gained a significant importance over recent account particularly due to increased intensity of hazards as a result of use of non-renewable energy sources coupled with dangers of depletion. In addition, there have been concerns of artificially manipulated production cycle that the global states have been concerned about. In this regard, 2014 saw the biggest rise in investments on alternative energy sources. For instance, in UK, the investments on these energy resources increased by 24 percent while India increased by 23 percent from previous years. However, in Canada, the investments on alternative energy sources fell drastically by 46 percent. Nevertheless, the Canadian global ranking however remained unaffected. This indicates the elaborate investments in alternative energy sources in Canada already in place to stand at position eight globally. The rise in investments on alternative energy has been precipitated by the need to conserve the environment as well as maintaining perennial energy supplies amidst looming shortages in the natural resource supplies and devastating environmental impact (Vorosmarty & Davies 2015). This trend however was largely conspicuous in the developed economies while the developing countries remained largely lower in investing on renewable energy sources.
In 2015 however, the developing countries increased their investments on the alternative energy sources by $167 billion compared to the developed economies that increased by $162 billion. In essence, the investments in alternative energy has been projected to increase progressively particularly in Africa which has shown a huge increase in alternative energy investments relative to other global economies. Despite decline in investments on renewable energy sources in Canada, the rest of the countries have made tremendous steps to increase their financial and technological investments in alternative energy which has an significant impact on reduced environmental degradation (Deininger & Byerlee 2011). One of the discouraging factors for utilization of solar power however is plummeting charges for installation of renewable energy equipments.
The year 2015 produced the worlds new record of high investments in alternative energy sources. The total amounts of financial investments on alternative resources apart from hydro-electric power generation increased by 5 percent globally which was an excess of the previously recorded $287 billion as at 2011. This rise was achieved amidst poor exchange rates that suppressed dollar value for investment across other currency zones and subsequent fall in gas, coal and oil prices thus, protecting competitive fossil fuel power generation. In essence, the solid increase in these investments was precipitated by the need to tap into environmentally friendly energy sources (Vorosmarty & Davies 2015).
In conclusion, the adoption of alternative energy source through high intensity investment has been restrained by fickle policy support. For instance, the new UK government 2015 and the decision made by the US Supreme Court in February, 2016 permitting legal objections to Environmental Protection Agencies Power plan for clean energy to go through a hearing prior to execution is an important limitation to the excellence of adoption of alternative energy sources investments. In addition, the contemporary decline in oil and fossil fuel prices may act as an incentive for developing economies to continue utilizing fossil fuels and limit their investments in alternative energy sources. This aspect is accelerated by high poverty levels of developing economies.
Ball, M. & Wietschel, M., 2009. The future of hydrogen opportunities and challenges.International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 34(2).
Blanco, M.I., 2009. The economics of wind energy. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,13(6),.
Clapp, J. & Dauvergne, P., 2011. Paths to a green world: the political economy of the global environment. MIT press.
Deininger, K. & Byerlee, D., 2011. Rising global interest in farmland: can it yield sustainable and equitable benefits?. World Bank Publications.
Tilman, D., & Williams, R., 2009. Beneficial biofuels the food, energy, and environment trilemma. Science, 325(5938).
Vorosmarty, C.J., & Davies, P.M., 2015. Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity. Nature, 467(7315).
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