The Future of Energy: Guiding Decisions with Evidence
In order to reduce the negative environmental impacts of an ever growing human population and increasing demands for energy as technological advances continue, individual countries, states, cities and even households have the opportunity to shift their energy sources to those that are renewable. However, not all locations are equally amenable to any particular form of energy. For this assignment you will assess your own location, existing energy use, the advantages and disadvantages of different energy sources, and ways to reduce energy demand through conservation.
Be sure to explore the following resources to begin your research and to support your ideas with supporting facts. While the provided resources focus on the United States, you are welcome to explore the energy situation within your own state of residence, one that you would like to live in or have visited in the past, and also an international location. In order to focus your discussion, be sure to focus on a specific region.
- U.S. Department of Energy:
- U.S. Energy Information Administration:
- State energy profiles provided by the U.S.E.I.A.:
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory:
http://www.energy4me.org/energy facts/energy sources/
Your assignment should be written in an essay format, with an introduction and conclusion. The paper will require you to include details from research including the course materials and sources you locate on your own. Use APA format to cite your sources of information, both within parenthetical citations and also within a reference page at the end of the project.
Your paper should include all of the following parts.
- Assess your own energy use: What forms of energy do you currently rely on and where do they originate from? Be sure to consider the energy that you use at home, during travel, and at work or in school. You can also consider how your energy needs change over the course of a year (for example, heating during the winter and cooling during the summer, seasonal travel, etc.). Consider the origins of the energy sources, and whether they are renewable or nonrenewable.
- Using the provided materials, determine which renewable sources of energy would be most and least appropriate for use in your chosen location. Be sure to explain your decisions, and also ponder the reasons behind the available data. For example, you may find that solar energy is not a potential resource due to seasonal changes making sunlight inconsistently available throughout the year. Be sure to discuss 3 forms of renewable energy. One of these should be the energy form identified by your instructor.
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the energy sources you currently rely on as well as the renewable ones you identified previously. Consider both the economic (costs/benefits) and ecological impacts.
- In addition to using alternative forms of energy, energy conservation is also a significant way in which we can reduce our ecological impacts on the environment. Determine areas where you may already practice energy conservation and also identify at least 3 ways in which you can reduce your energy use both at home, at work, and in other actions you take on a regular basis.