In this time energy is one of the most sought after resources we ask for. It powers just about everything we deal with and use on a daily basis. From the ATM to the charger for your phone. This energy costs money yet should we just throw the money towards the simplest solution at the time, or would it be wiser to look towards the long term use of the method of making energy? Renewable energy while it’s most negative aspect is the costly measures of setting it up has possibly one of the best three aspects about it. One it emits little to no greenhouse gases. Second it is an energy source that renews itself so it has little chance of actually running out. Finally it becomes increasingly cost effective over the long term making it possible to acquire better means to gather even more energy.
While weighing the pros and cons of each source of energy manufacturing, the city came up with the most practical and efficient methods of producing energy that should fit within both the current budget and a long term budget. Hydroelectric energy, wind power, solar power, and geothermal are four constant sources that are both easy to monitor and maintain. At the budget of 10 billion dollars with these four forms of energy we still make the budget with an extra 1,000 megawatts of energy.
Wind energy is a clean renewable source of energy that is free to acquire and does not produce any sort of pollution. Once a turbine is built the cost of the operations is miniscule in comparison so over time the city can easily get back its money’s worth. The mass production of materials for turbines and new technologies are making turbines cheaper. Also the government offers tax incentives to help encourage such use of a wind farm(National Geographic 2014). A wind farm is an area where several turbines are set up to generate power. Since this often requires an area that is void of trees it is suggested that solar farms be set within the same area.
Solar energy also requires large areas that lack trees to try and accumulate as much sunlight as possible into collectors to gather energy. If placed correctly in-between the turbines of the wind farms it is possible to create a sort of air vacuum that could assist the turbines while making the room for the solar fields. Tax incentives are also made for the use of solar panels. A secondary way to use such solar methods would be to place these panels on the roofing throughout the city using those rooftops to create one large solar farm. This could save space for future expansion of the city.
Hydroelectric power is another renewable energy source that is generated through the force of falling water (TVA Kids 2014). It is one of the most cost effective, cleanest, and reliable sources of energy out there. This is done by damming up water to create a reservoir only for it to be released to create a sort of pressure to make turbines spine and generate power. After which the water is then turned back towards the reservoir for re-use.
Finally there is the use of geothermal energy. Like hydroelectric power, geothermal power needs to be set up in a specific location. The difference is it needs to be drilled down to below the Earth’s crust. The time and process to set up a geothermal plant takes time. It can also be hazardous as the method of geothermal energy relies on superheated water (Geothermal Energy Pros and Cons 2014). However if properly maintained the work environment would only be as hazardous as that of a hydroelectric plant. This plant would be used to power the edge of the city in which we can then build around the facility and bore field using it to generate much needed power. Finally geothermal power is a steady supply meaning that similar to the previous the cost will remain fixed and should not rise unless maintenance is needed.
The pros and cons of each of these energy sources has been taken in by the city. Wind power can only occur if there is wind, and solar power can only occur if there is sunlight. The combination of the two allows for each to cover the others faults to keep a constant energy supply coming. Also solar panels seem to produce greenhouse gases that are worse than carbon dioxide however after installation they seems to lack such after effects.(Energy Informative 2014) With the combination of both the fields of solar and wind power combined with solar panels throughout the city it will allow more room for future expansion if needed. Future budgets might support such an expansion of the city.
Hydroelectric concerns is the chance that an area can be flooded if the reservoir is not properly filtered and maintained. While this can cause threats to wildlife and the ecosystem if properly maintained such disruptions should be set to a minimum. The initial setup of the geothermal plant is a timely process that has to be carefully monitored. During the time that this is going on the solar and wind farms should be set up rather quickly to make up for the lack of energy being brought in by the geothermal plant until it is fully functional. Strict inspections and repairs to such plants also need to be constantly put in place to help avoid work place injuries and keep up constant stable sources of power.
Source Of Energy | Max Energy Output| Initial Cost Of Energy Production| Monthly Cost Involved| Yearly Cost|
Solar Power | 1,000 Megawatts | $3.5 billion | $300,000 | $3.6 million |
Hydroelectric Facility | 1,000 Megawatts | $350 million | $500,000 | $6 million |
Wind Power | 1,000 Megawatts | $3 billion | $500,000 | $6 million | Geothermal Power | 1,000 Megawatts | $3 billion | $500,000 | $6 million |
Totals | 3,000 Megawatts | 9,850,000,000 | $1.8 million | $21.6 million |
To make up for increasing demands of energy for the future more than the original 3,000 megawatts needed was planned for while still keeping within the budget. Such plans should keep up with variable statistics of population growth for a time however further growth of power producing facilities will be needed after a time. While it cannot be predicted how much energy will be needed at that time, with the yearly cost of such a budget every four years a new wind, solar or geothermal plant should be set up to keep up with the growing population.
National Geographic. (1993-2014). Wind Power. Retrieved from http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/wind-power-profile/
TVA Kids. (2014). Hydroelectric Power. Retrieved from http://www.tvakids.com/electricity/hydro.htm
Geothermal Pros and Cons. (2014). Geothermal Energy Pros and Cons. http://geothermalprosandcons.net/
Energy Informative. (2014). Solar energy Pros and Cons. http://energyinformative.org/solar-energy-pros-and-cons/
Courtney from Study Moose
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