Sustainable energy has been defined as our capacity to meet the demand for energy, where the environment, as well as the availability of the energy source, is not compromised for future generations.
The demand for sustainable energy came in response to our years of dependence on fossil fuels and oil for power. But fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource and are finite in supply. Moreover, the use of fossil fuels and oil generate carbon dioxide emissions which adversely affect the environment, contributing to global warming, thus severely compromising the world’s capacity to meet and sustain the long-term welfare of human societies on a global scale. The same issues have also been true for other energy sources such as nuclear energy and hydropower. Inevitably, the environment is compromised because of carbon dioxide emissions.
We have always recognized the tremendous potential for power and energy present, but it was only in recent years that we have begun to truly explore how to harness these energy sources in a way that makes it cost-efficient, and accessible to many. These days, there are many possible alternative energy sources that can be tapped into to meet the growing demand for electricity, with three, in particular, being considered as both renewable and clean energy sources. This provides us with potentially infinite energy sources that, when harnessed, have minimal impact on the environment. These are solar, wind, and wave power sources.
While there are some alternative energy sources that we can tap into to meet the growing electricity demands, these alternative energy sources are not always renewable or clean. Hydroelectric plants, for instance, have been criticized for the release of huge amounts of carbon dioxide emissions; and geothermal power while potentially powerful, are limited only to certain locales where they are accessible.
Wind and solar power energy have garnered the most attention in recent years as a potential energy source, despite the difficulty of its intermittent availability. Because both are affected by naturally occurring weather phenomenon, they may not always be available, or even when available, insufficient to meet demand. Where wind and solar energy are used, there is almost always another potential energy source to fill in the gaps. Other renewable and alternative energy sources include geothermal power and biomass, but the challenge is still efficient harnessing and storage of these energy sources to increase electrical supply.
In the services area, the job description is for “green” electricians or “green” electrical contractors. As utility companies have begun to utilize alternative energy sources like wind and solar energy, the work for Lafayette electricians has also expanded exponentially. Green electricians are now being called in to set up a home for solar arrays with a grid-tie-in that allows solar power to be fed back into the power grid- particularly in areas where utility companies actually pay homeowners for the solar power they produce and contribute to the power grid.
Wind energy, on the other hand, is particularly promising for electrical contractors. New wind farms are being set up, where wind energy contractors and electricians are needed to set up and maintain the wind turbines, as well as feed the energy generated into the power grid. Effective utilization of wind energy and wind farms can potentially create hundreds of jobs for green electricians.