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Energy and me Essay

Part 1: Energy and me. I use several different forms of energy. The one I most often used is electricity which is generated from a power plant in my area. It is my understanding that Power plants make electricity out of other forms of energy. “Majority of electricity in the United States comes from converting the heat energy released from burning fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas and oil. The rest is generated from nuclear reactors and from renewable sources, such as sunlight, wind, falling water and geothermal heat. ” (Where does electricity come from? June 2013)

I would guess that when I travel and where I work that the electricity is originated the same way. I also use wind energy by hanging out my clothes to dry in my backyard instead of always using my dryer. I grew up doing that (hated it as a kid) but noticed that not only does it save me energy costs but it helps me show my kids how to participate in saving the environment. Although, I live in Arizona I cannot use wind energy year round. So, my electricity consumption goes up from end of November until March when it gets “cold. In my mind, I offset one use for another to try and balance it all.

I, as previously mentioned, live in Arizona. The electric company in my area collects a renewable energy surcharge for a Renewable Energy Program called the “SunWatts. ” “The Program expenses include program incentives, debt service for the PV for schools program, the SunWatts loan program, and other program costs. ” (Renewable Energy Program, 2013) This program basically work in conjunction with other programs here such as replacing windows in older houses and solar panel loans to lower energy costs to Arizonans.

About two or three years ago, I looked into solar panels for our house. I wanted not only to get a rebate on my taxes for solar panels but I also wanted to reduce my family’s personal footprint on the energy consumption in Arizona. It turns out that they were what more expensive than I could actually afford and my house was built in a way that would cost me triple to restructure the roof to be able to have solar panels installed. Needless to say this caused me to decide that there had to be another way to make our footprint smaller. Part 2: Renewable resource in Arizona

In January of 2012, Arizona was ranked third in the Nation in solar photovoltaic installations. (Arizona state profile, 2013) Solar energy seems to be the biggest and best way that Arizona can reduce its energy consumption in the United States and because there is more sunlight year round than most places in the U. S. so the seasonal changes would have less of an effect on this renewable method. Hydroelectricity being electricity generated by water power which is the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water.

Although in Arizona hydroelectricity is not a renewable source that can be relied on as there is very little water. There is the Hoover Dam which it does rely on and gets power from. “The Hoover Dam hydroelectric power is allocated between the states of Nevada, Arizona, ten cities in Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Southern California Edison Company. ” (Hoover dam hydroelectric power, 2013) Wind power is another renewable source. In 2009 Arizona, there was a projected call Dry Lake Wind Power in Navajo County.

It was Arizona’s first utility-scale wind farm. Currently, this project provides power to Salt River residents. “The Dry Lake Wind Power Project, located near Heber, Ariz. , is the state’s first commercial-scale wind farm. The project is situated on a combination of private, state and Bureau of Land Management public lands. The Suzlon S88-2. 1 MW turbines at this wind power project generate 127 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy. ” (Dry Lake Wind Power Project, 2013) I actually never knew this about Arizona.

I always knew we had so much wind and hope that it was being used this way. The wind is so “bad” here sometimes that you expect to have your neighbor’s backyard furniture from three houses down in your yard. Part 3: Advantages and disadvantages of energy sources There are many advantages of solar power, one is we can rely on the sun showing up day and out which make it the most renewable source. Solar does not require sound, has very little maintenance and has no pollution effect on the earth.

A disadvantage, as I previously mentioned, is the upfront cost to get the solar panels. Although they are said to be easy to install there could be an additional cost of getting the roof of your house ready and able to have solar panels install. Moving into the next renewable energy, there is a big advantage that hydroelectric power is that hydropower dams is a huge renewable resource and using water to create electricity has no carbon footprint. As well as there is less pollution from it overall.

There are many advantages but there are two distinct disadvantages, one of them being the cost to build an electric power station. The cost is requires massive investments. Another disadvantage is that the dam which can be one of the most important components is that building a station destroys the natural environment. It requires the dam to keep back a vast amount of water, and the water can flood the nearby environment. Here are many areas where a dam could not be even be built because of this.

The last renewable energy is wind power. Wind power has the best advantage because wind is free and with the advancement of modern technology it can be captured efficiently. Another advantage is once the wind turbine is built the energy it produces does not cause greenhouse gases or other pollutants. Once again thou the initial cost of building a wind turbine can be expensive. I think the biggest disadvantage would that fact that the strength of the wind is not constant and it can varies from zero to storm force.

Depended upon the strength of the wind, that would mean wind turbines could not always produce the same amount of electricity all the time. There would be a big possibility that there would and could be times when they produced no electricity at all. Last, the noise that is made would be something that could be hard to get over” or consistently deal with. Part 4: How can I reduce energy in my life? As I previously stated one way that practice energy conservation is by using methods like using wind to dry my clothes.

Washing clothes only once a week. I also have changed my bulbs in my house to the energy efficient. We are currently relooking solar panels and have to get new windows, so are researching the best ones for year round energy conservation. Growing up I was “hated” by my siblings for always turn off lights or enforcing my Mother’s restrictions on one thing on at a time. I drive my family crazy now because I am still the same way. I wish could say that I would ride my bike to work as many other co-workers do but honestly the co-workers that do hat are men and military because they have less prep to get back to business causal. (It’s an excuse but it’s my excuse. )

The way I reduce energy conservation at work is to have the least amount of things plugged in and to only have the lights that are needed on during the day. There really isn’t a whole lot more I can do at work as I work in a government controlled facility and they already regulate temperature and lights in my environment. Last, I often work with my kids to review websites to see how we can be better about our energy consumption.


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