Cons and Pros Cons of Energy Sources’

IR as a discipline, considers on different subjects and different fields and energy is one of the most important subjects of diplomacy. Energy diplomacy and energy security shapes the Governments’ domestic and foreign policy analysis process. My new post will be about the cons and pros cons of world energy sources. Energy is special for me because my studies and researches are about world energy politics. As a member of the Bilkent Energy Society, this will be my first publish as a kind of report. It is just a beginning part of my energy studies.

PETROLEUM

Pros:

+ Transportation fuel for the world

+ Basis of many products, from prescription drugs to plastics

+ Economical to produce, easy to transport

Cons:

– High C02 emissions

– Found in limited areas

– Supply may be exhausted before natural gas/coal resources

– Possible environmental impact from drilling and transporting

PROPANE

Pros:

+ Yields 60–70% less smog-producing hydrocarbons than gasoline/diesel fuel or propane exhaust

+ Nontoxic and insoluble in water

+ Doesn’t spill, pool, or leave a residue

Cons:

– Uses some fossil fuels in conversion

– Highly flammable

– Less energy in a gallon of propane than in a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel

NATURAL GAS

Pros:

+ Widely available

+ Burns more cleanly than coal or oil

+ Often used in combination with other fuels to decrease pollution in electricity generation

+ Added artificial odor that people can easily smell the gas in case of a leak

Cons:

– Transportation costs are high

– Burns cleanly, but still has emissions

– Pipelines impact ecosystems

COAL

 Pros:

+ Abundant supply

+ Currently inexpensive to extract

+ Reliable and capable of generating large amounts of power

Cons:

– Emits major greenhouse gases and acid rain

– High environmental impact from mining and burning

– Mining can be dangerous for mine-workers

NUCLEAR ENERGY

Pros:

+ No greenhouse gases or C02 emissions

+ Efficiently transforms energy into electricity

+ Uranium reserves are abundant

+ Refueled yearly

Cons:

– Higher capital costs

– Problem of long-term storage of radioactive waste

– Heated waste water from nuclear plants harms aquatic life

– Potential nuclear proliferation issue

SOLAR ENERGY

Pros:

+ Nonpolluting

+ Most abundant energy source available

+ Systems last 15–30 years

Cons:

– High initial investment

– Dependent on sunny weather

– Supplemental energy may be needed in low sunlight areas

– Requires large physical space for PV cell panels

HYDROELECTRIC POWER

Pros:

+ No emissions

+ Reliable

+ Capable of generating large amounts of power

+ Output can be regulated to meet demand

Cons:

– Environmental impacts by changing the environment

– Hydroelectric dams are expensive to build

– Dams may be affected by drought

–  Potential for floods

WIND POWER

Pros:

+ No emissions

+ Affordable

+ Little disruption of ecosystems

+ Relatively high output

Cons:

– Output is proportional to wind speed

– Not feasible for all geographical locations

– High initial investment

– Extensive land use

BIOMASS

Pros:

+ Abundant supply

+ Fewer emissions than fossil fuel sources

+ Can be used in diesel engines

+ Auto engines can easily be converted to run on biomass fuel

Cons:

– Source must be near usage to cut transportation costs

– Emits some pollution

– Increases nitrogen oxides, an air pollutant emissions

– Uses some fossil fuels in conversion

 ETHANOL

Pros:

+ Easily manufactured

+ Fewer emissions than fossil fuel

+ Carbon-neutral (C02 emissions offset by photosynthesis in plants)

Cons:

– Extensive use of cropland

– Less energy in a gallon of ethanol than in a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel

– Costs more than gasoline to produce

– Currently requires government subsidy to be affordable to consumers

 HYDROGEN

Pros:

– Abundant supply

– Water vapor emissions only

– Excellent industrial safety record

Cons:

– More expensive to produce than fossil fuel Systems

– Currently uses a large amount of fossil fuels in the hydrogen extraction process

– Storage and fuel cell technology still being developed

 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY

Pros:

+ Minimal environmental impact

+ Efficient

+ Power plants have low emissions

+ Low cost after the initial investment

Cons:

– Geothermal fields found in few areas around the world

– Expensive start-up costs

– Wells could eventually be depleted

 

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