The United States of America is one of the leading countries where fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are used to satisfy more or less 80% of the energy needs. Fossil fuels are utilized extensively for heating homes, running vehicles, providing power to the industrial sector, and for other significant purposes, especially the provision of electricity. However, it is also not an untold secret that the fossil fuels will eventually reduce considering the known reserves of the mentioned fossil fuels. It is also apparent that there has been a considerable increase in the costs related to the extraction of oil, coal, and natural gas. Similarly, the supplies of fossil fuels are also diminishing with the passage of time. Therefore, it is the high time for the United States of America to lessen its dependence on fossil fuels. Thus, it is excessively important to search and utilize the fossil fuels alternatives. The dependence on fossil fuels can be reduced through the exploitation and development of renewable energy resources, energy and fuel efficiency, energy conservation, recycling, and green development.
What can be done to Lessen Fossil Fuel Dependence in America?
In the similar fashion, the United States of America can make use of wind energy as a substantial electricity generating source being the top wind-energy producer in the world. Just like geothermal power, wind power also does not involve fossil-fuel burning (Smith & Taylor, 2008). Thus, both these resources are environmental-friendly as they do not contribute in the emission of greenhouse gases in the environment. Also, wind energy is a domestic energy source that strengthens America’s energy independence in a number of ways. The economy in local areas can also be helped through wind turbines as wind energy companies could obtain land from ranchers and farmers on rent.
Furthermore, solar energy can also contribute in lessening the dependence of the American nation on fossil fuels. Being a direct source of light, the sun is undoubtedly a constant source of energy as well. In the same connection, hydroelectric power is already being used in the country for electricity generation. The western states including California, Washington, and Oregon are already producing electricity through hydroelectric power plants due to the availability of appropriate waterways. Although hydropower technologies are not currently contributing in power generation to a great extent, America possesses great potential to utilize hydroelectric technologies and related devices in the future for harnessing energy from water sources including tides, currents, waves, and thermal gradients in aquatic regions (Smith & Taylor, 2008).
Of all the energy sources that can be renewed, the United States uses biomass as the major renewable energy source to satisfy most of its energy needs. According to experts’ prediction, biomass’ contribution is going to increase around fifty-five percent in the next fifteen years. When compared with fossil fuels, the contribution of biomass to climate change is exceptionally less. Even though this area needs more comprehensive research, there is no doubt that biomass utilization could significantly contribute in reducing America’s dependence on fossil fuels. In fact, biomass “is the largest and most important renewable energy option at present and can be used to produce different forms of energy, potentially able to provide all the energy services required by society” (“Biomass for Heating & Cooling”, 2010).
Experts and researchers associated with distinctive oil companies recommend people to switch to alternative fuels instead of using gasoline. Many steps have been taken in this regard so that energy and fuel efficiency may be achieved. With the combination of carbon oxides and hydrogen, scientists in America have been able to create numerous gases like syngas. Gases of such types are expected to take the place of ethanol. The main advantage of gases that have ethanol-like properties is that they cause less harm to the environment. As mentioned earlier, most of the energy in America is derived from fossil fuels. In this regard, energy efficiency is the most intelligent and cautious utilization of that energy. In simple words, energy efficiency is discovering methods for the reduction of energy consumption and the achievement of the desired outcomes in a simultaneous manner.
Improvements in equipments, energy management through the employment of better techniques, and execution of smart operational practices can be helpful in the achievement of greater energy efficiency. According to calculations, electricity-operated engines demonstrate better efficiency in terms of the vehicles’ mileage. If the truth is told, vehicles that are fuel-efficient could prove helpful in protecting American families from the elevating gasoline cost. Similarly, they are also expected to resolve any issues concerning gas rationing or shortage of fuel in the future. In short, “energy efficiency measures to curb oil demand, and other oil conservation measures, may help address energy security, economic issues such as high gasoline prices and oil import dependence, and environmental issues such as air pollution, climate change” (Zambini, 2006). Considering the mentioned factors, it can be said that energy and fuel efficiency are excessively important if the American government and people want to reduce the prevalently extensive fossil fuel dependence.
As far as energy conservation is concerned, simple things can be done by the people to reduce the consumption of energy. These simple things include turning off extra and unnecessary lights, replacement of light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs (fluorescent bulbs), and reducing the usage of air conditioning. In the similar fashion, getting rid of surplus electric appliances and equipments at homes and offices is a wise way to conserve energy.
Reusing products is also a smart measure to lessen the fossil fuel utilization. Instead of discarding, a lot of consumer goods are reusable. For instance, the usage of grocery shopping bags made of fabric is a smart way to lessen the requirement of fossil fuel used for manufacturing plastic or paper. It is estimated that more or less seventy-five percent of the waste produced by American people can be recycled. Thus, people may be encouraged to recycle and not send the waste to landfill.
Going green is also a considerable solution as fossil fuel depletion is imminent. In simple words, going green refers to live life in a sustainable way by saving available resources for the future generations. By living green, people in America may also be able to balance their surroundings, both natural and human. A green lifestyle would also allow America to demonstrate respect for the environment by choosing to consume only necessary resources in minimum quantities. In addition, it is also imperative to participate in programs organized by the authorities for recycling purposes. In this manner, municipal solid waste could be reduced significantly. Moreover, utilization of electricity through green energy means like wind power, solar power, etc. is also an important step that could be taken to get rid of the pollution caused by fossil fuels.
Biomass for Heating & Cooling. (2010, July 1). Eurosfaire. Retrieved July 25, 2015, from http://www.eurosfaire.prd.fr/7pc/doc/1305645731_rhc_vision_biomass_summary.pdf
Smith, Z., & Taylor, K. (2008). Renewable and Alternative Energy Resources: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO.
Zambini, L. (2006). Energy Efficiency. New York: Novinka Books.