SCI 207 Week 3 Discussion Repsonses Help

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Age of Oil

As you know, our world is heavily dependent on oil. In Chapter 6 of Contemporary Environmental Issues, you have read that there is concern about the possibility of reaching a peak in oil production, while Chapter 8 of Contemporary Environmental Issues introduces a variety of possible alternative energy sources. Based on the concern that we may be running out of oil, describe at least two renewable alternatives to oil that are currently available and discuss the barriers that keep these alternatives from replacing oil as our primary means of energy. Do not discuss other fossil fuels or nuclear energy, which are all nonrenewable sources.  Additionally, discuss the role that government plays in ensuring a transition to these renewable alternatives in a post peak-oil world.



Latroya Lavigne

One renewable alternative to oil is ethanol. Ethanol is comprised of corn, sugar, and switch grass of which 10 percent is mixed with gas making e10. E10 is a noteworthy substitute for conventional 100 percent fuel (Kopp, 2006). Kopp destinations the way that as ethanol winds up noticeably well known, generation will build which implies an expanded cost to buyers as one reason that ethanol still can’t seem to totally supplant fuel as an essential vitality source. Shale gas is another accessible option that is saved uniquely in contrast to different gasses and requires an even penetrating strategy to discharge the gas from rocks. Well shale gas has expanded underway, the technique for hydro fracturing use to discharge the gas has caused little tremors and the chemicals utilized as a part of the procedure may make water supplies perilous for utilization (Turk and Bensel, 2011). The administration assumes an essential part in safeguarding that the change to fuel options is a smooth one. One method for doing this is to offer natives government motivations and authorize strict ecological laws (Mingyuan, n.d.).



Kopp, R.J. (2006). Replacing Oil: Alternative Fuels and Technologies. Retrieved from       

Mingyuan, W. (n.d.). Temple Journal of Sci. Tech. & Envtl. Law. Government Incentives to Promote    Renewable Energy in the United States. Retrieved from ../wang%20mingyuan.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Turk, J., & Bensel, T. (2014). Contemporary environmental issues (2nd ed.) [Electronic version].   Retrieved from


Matthew Gray


Hydropower – this alternative to oil uses the force of falling water to produce electricity. According to the website (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.hydropower has been used for many different purposes early as the Han Dynasty between 2002 BC and 9 AD. French engineer Benoit Fourneyron first used it to produce power in 1827.

In modern times one of the more common methods is to build a tall dam and the water behind the dam is diverted to a reservoir. In the internal workings of the dam, water flows down through the dam picking up speed and turning turbines. This in turn spins electromagnets near stationary coils of wire producing electrical current. This is a very clean form of energy that is renewed by rainfall. Once the dam is built it doesn’t require fuel to run helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is cheap to operate and maintain and it is proven and reliable. There are barriers that will keep it from totally replacing oil, specifically lack of areas to develop the dams needed to produce hydropower. The United States in particular has developed many of the areas suitable to this type of power.

Solar Power – this alternative to oil uses the Sun. It uses solar photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into electricity. Another way to convert solar energy into electricity is through solar thermal of concentrating soar power systems. Mirrors are used to concentrate the sun’s rays on a tank or a pipe that contains fluid. This can produce steam that can be used to spin a turbine that generates electricity. Solar power has its limitation when trying to used it to replace oil completely. Depending on the season and where in the world you are the sun is only up for part of the day and in different intensities. It is also degraded by weather and dust.

According to the website (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. in the last decade solar have experienced an average annual growth rate of 68% and the cost to install solar on your home has dropped more than 70% since 2010. It is a growing trend that will help to cut into oil usage in the future if it keeps growing at that rate.

Turk, J., & Bensel, T. (2014). Contemporary environmental issues (2nd ed.)

[Electronic version]. Retrieved from


SEIA.Org. (n.d.). Solar Industry Data, Retrieved from


Hydropower.Org. (n.d.). A Brief History of Hydropower, Retrieved from

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