Showing posts from June, 2011

The Problem with Renewable Energy Systems…

Renewable energy systems are certainly the way forward globally- they are much cleaner alternatives to petroleum, coal, oil shale and other fossil fuels, and as their name implies, they won’t run out since they are capable of being replenished. However, the big gloomy “but” is this: renewable energy systems (solar, wind, tidal, bioenergy) are irregular. For example, wind energy's frequency and speed is dependent on several factors including the nature of the location (e.g.‘roughness’ factors- the presence of buildings or trees affects wind turbulence), rotation of the earth (Coriolis effect).  Furthermore, the ongoing debate of ‘cassava/corn/sugar cane for belle (stomach) or cassava/corn/sugar cane for moto (automobile)?’ has made the concept of generating electricity from biomass a lot less attractive. Basically, the world is in a tight spot- keep using fossil fuels and watch carbon dioxide emissions climb beyond 390 ppm, leading to more trapped heat within our immediate atmosp


Edmond Bryne and John Fitzpatrick of the University College Cork, Ireland, are of the opinion that the subject of sustainability should not just be relegated to certain one-off modules, but should be woven into the fabric of school curricula, and advise educators to act duly in their article, Chemical Engineering in an unsustainable world: Obligations and opportunities .