The current global average demand for oil is about 96 million barrels of oil per day which translates to more than 35 billion barrels annually (Spiecker & Weber, 2014). It is hard to meet such demand unless the world risks depletion of the available oil reserves. However, the government can meet the energy need by combining oil energy with various renewable power sources or shift entirely to renewable energy sources.
Renewable Energy Alternatives
Solar and the wind are some of the natural renewable energy sources that can replace oil energy. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels convert solar rays to energy when placed on raised grounds. According to Bensel and Turk (2011), solar power (CSP) system uses mirrors to concentrate rays from sunlight to generate electricity in large scale while wind turbine harvests the wind in areas with high winds. The government can erect turbines and install solar panels to generate energy for personal and commercial uses. However, there are some barriers to adoption of solar and wind energy.
Barriers that keep the Energy Alternative from Replacing Oil
The first barrier is that some areas do not receive adequate sunshine due to their geographical locations. As such, they cannot generate sufficient solar power (Bensel & Turk, 2011). Wind and wind turbines also cause storms which destroy properties. Spiecker and Weber (2014) add that installation of mega solar and wind projects require large pieces of land and high installation cost. These factors create barriers to installation of adequate wind turbines and solar panels thus making it hard for countries to shift to use of renewable sources.
The government can help in transition to the use of renewable energy in various ways. Karakosta et al. (2013) suggest government provide subsidies and cut taxes for companies that generate renewable energy. In addition, government can also give power supply tenders to companies that produce energy. Programs such as feed-in tariff (FIT) are also used to accelerate the modernity of technology used. This strategy has proved useful in some European and the U.S countries. These approaches can encourage generation and supply of adequate renewable thus facilitating a successful transition to the use of renewable energy.
Bensel T. (2011). Contemporary environmental issues. Bridgepoint Education.
Karakosta, C., Pappas, C., Marinakis, V., & Psarras, J. (2013). Renewable energy and nuclear power towards sustainable development: Characteristics and prospects. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 22, 187-197.
Spiecker, S., & Weber, C. (2014). The future of the European electricity system and the impact of fluctuating renewable energy–A scenario analysis. Energy Policy, 65, 185-197.