Greenshine New Energy Scholarship Essay Submission by Brittny Lee Goertznowsky
Considering continuous population growth and the threat of climate change, green energy technology is becoming an important solution to the challenges facing the human race. In the future, energy demands will continue to rise, and we will see more research, innovation, and entrepreneurial input into green energy. To ensure a prosperous future, we must strive for sustainability with the environment, energy consumption and the economy.
In the next thirty years, there will be shift away from fossil fuels, which contribute to the climate change through the release of carbon dioxide. Renewable resources will fill the energy gap left from the oil, gas, and coal industries. Currently, the main source of renewable or green energy is electricity generation through solar energy. Thus, it is vital to focus on the clean conversion of solar to electric energy and efficient storage of solar energy. Recent development in this area has already been demonstrated through the combination of photocatalytic and electrocatalytic processes to reduce carbon dioxide using solar irradiation (Liang, 2016). The combining of these processes is exciting because it produces mostly liquid fuels, the fuels can be directly converted into electricity, and it reduces and recycles carbon dioxide (Liang, 2016). In tandem with arising conversion technologies, storing energy will be advanced in the future. Innovation in battery development will make the possibility of solar energy much more cost effective and viable at every scale. With the development of cheaper and more efficient batteries, solar energy will become more accessible for individual homes. In turn, the accessibility of solar energy will change architectural practices. The development of solar roofs will change the way in which houses are built to maximize the amount of solar energy collected and stored.
With these technological advancements of solar energy and a shift away from fossil fuels, we will see advancements in many different industries. One obviously industry that will be affected in the near future is transportation. Gas guzzling vehicles will soon be obsolete. Innovation will make electrically powered cars cheaper, more available, and easier to use for everyone. Additionally, the water usage and therefore agriculture will be affected by green energy. Water scarcity currently threatens many cities throughout the world, such as Cape Town and Mexico City. As this issue continues to increase, many countries are looking to desalination as an effort to increase accessible water. However, the amount of energy needed for the desalination process is huge. When renewable energy is widespread, this will make desalination a more stable option for water accessibility.
Specifically related to solar energy innovations, large regional power grids will be overhauled for smaller microgrids. Because there will be distributed power production, within each municipality, there will be increasing pressure from consumers to move towards micro grids. The large power grids that currently exist are vulnerable to disruption. For example, when Puerto Rico was recently hit by a hurricane, the entire power grid was destroyed. During the rebuilding process, municipalities are choosing to instate microgrids, which are independent and resilient to damage. These microgrids can be repaired quickly. Another advantage to microgrids is the removal of long distance high voltage main lines, which have caused many forest fires in California.
Another change related to green energy will be the immersion and growth of the green engineering field. Current green energy industry will drive the development of green energy engineering to solve the problems that arise in the shift to renewable energies, such as the conversion and storage of solar energy. Green engineering brings together interdisciplinary work to collaborate on a more sustainable future.
In the future, the global economy will need to reach a more stable system by reducing economic inequality and green energy will catalyze this change. Climate change threatens the economically unstable areas of the world to a disproportionate level. To achieve increased global economic equality, there must be a focus on the developing world’s innovations and advancement in renewable resources. For example, these countries may be able to increase economic value by implementing green stimulus initiatives. According to Suphi Oncel, renewable resource industry creates more jobs than the fossil fuel industry (2017).
The impact of green energy advancement has the potential to affect each of our daily lives, as well as the future viability of the human race. As discussed, the way we drive our vehicles, build our homes, and source our water will all change because of green energy advancement. Also, green energy will be a crucial component of the solution to climate change. Looking to the future, it is impossible to overestimate the importance of collaborating with green energy to encourage sustainability with our environment.