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Cellsol Energy

Alternate Energy Pros and Cons

Alternative energy consists of renewable energies (solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass), plus nuclear energy. Renewable energy, according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is “often referred to as clean energy, [and] comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. For example, sunlight or wind keep shining and blowing, even if their availability depends on time and weather. Nuclear is not renewable and is not a fossil fuel. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), nuclear is an “energy source that has zero emissions, provides electricity around-the-clock and propels our society into the future.”

Pro

Proponents of alternative energy argue that renewable energies and/or nuclear energy are cleaner than fossil fuel energies, they won’t run out, and the maintenance requirements are lower. Additionally, alternative energy will save money, has health and environmental benefits, and decreases reliance on foreign energy sources.

Con

Opponents of alternative energy argue that there is a much higher upfront cost, the sun and wind are intermittent sources of energy and we do not yet have storage capabilities, so backup energies will be required, and there are geographic limitations, including environmental factors, that could prevent building big wind or solar farms.

2. 100% Renewable Energy

100% renewable energy is a goal shared by at least 160 American citites, 10 counties, and eight states as of Sep. 16, 2020, according to the Sierra Club. As a policy, 100% renewable energy means not using fossil fuel energy or nuclear energy, with a goal for implementation generally between 2035 and 2050.

Pro

Proponents of 100% renewable energy policies argue that it’s not about whether to convert to all renewable energies but how, because fossil fuels are not sustainable as fuels or as healthy options for humans or the environment.

Con

Opponents of 100% renewable energy policies argue that natural gas and/or nuclear power are necessary bridge fuels already in use with low carbon outputs that can help lower global temperatures quicker than renewables alone.

3. Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a piece of legislation proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) that outlines benchmarks for the US to meet in order to fight climate change. Those benchmarks include achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, job creation, infrastructure and industry investments, access to clean water and healthy food, and stopping oppression of marginalized communities.

Pro

Proponents of the Green New Deal argue that the country must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change in a way that avoids the worst consequences of global warming, while resolving social injustices that are inextricably exacerbated by climate change

Con

Opponents of the Green New Deal argue that the plan is socialist and too far left of the mainstream, too vague with no specific plans about which energies to use, too costly with no plan for how to pay for everything, and that social justice issues should not be confused with climate change.

4. Net Zero Carbon

Net zero carbon, also called, net zero emissions or carbon neutrality, is a goal set by several climate proposals, including the Green New Deal, to balance any carbon emissions with the absorption of a comparable amount of carbon from the atmosphere in order to help reduce the global temperature by 1.5C, as directed by the Paris Agreement. Net zero can be achieved via offsets like tree-planting programs, carbon capture technologies, 100% renewable or clean energy plans, and other methods. Most plans call for net zero by 2050, though some set goals or benchmarks for earlier. As of Sep. 25, 2019, over 60 countries had committed to net zero carbon, accounting to 11% of global emissions. The biggest carbon emitters, China, United States, and India had not committed.

Pro

Proponents of net zero carbon policies argue that the world has to act now to get climate change under control and net zero policies are the key to any productive climate change plan.

Con

Opponents of net zero carbon polices argue that they are unrealistic grandstanding that distract from more achievable, sensible goals, and could do serious economic damage.