Economics: Renewable Energy Answers | Assessment Answer

Answer:

Introduction

Renewable sources of energy are naturally replenished energy sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat. These sources of energy are developed from natural resources such as wind, hydropower and bio-fuels and can be replenished continually. Renewable sources of energy different from non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and other fossil fuels that cannot be replenished on after complete exhaustion. Also, the use of renewable sources of energy is on increase around the world as they do not cause environmental pollution that is occurred during the combustion of fossil fuels (Steinbach and Wellmer, 2010). In this context, the present essay aims to present a comparison of wind versus coal powered electricity generation. This is done to develop a proper understanding of the important characteristics of wind and coal powered energy sources.  The report also provides a discussion regarding the rationale behind building wind farms by the governments. In addition to this, the report also provides a suggestion of policy that can be implemented by the Australian government for encouraging private electricity providers for investing in wind farms.

Comparison of Wind Versus Coal Powered Electricity Generation


Differences

Wind power electricity gneeration

Coal Power electricity generation

Cost

The cost of wind energy is lower in comparison to coal powered electricity generation. This is mainly due to rapid evolvement of wind power technology. The new turbines can generate more electricity and this has resulted in lower cost of wind energy (Altinkaya1, 2011).

 

The price of energy generated from coal is generally high due to greater transportation and mining costs. It also fluctuates on the basis of variable mining and transportation costs (Altinkaya1, 2011).

 

 

 

 Pollution

The generation of wind power from large turbines mainly involves rotation of wind and thus do not have any negative impact on the environment quality (Campbell, 2014).

The generation of electricity from fossil fuel requires combustion of coal that releases various poisonous gases in the atmosphere causing environmental pollution (Campbell, 2014).

Subsides

Wind energy receives fewer subsidies as compared to other conventional sources of energy. The renewable energy has received less than US$20 billion of money as subsidy in the past 30 years (Steinbach and Wellmer, 2010).

The coal energy sources receives higher subsidy. As per the report published by Renewable Energy World Magazine, the conventional energy receives about US$300 billion (Steinbach and Wellmer, 2010).

Replenishment

Wind powered electricity in a renewable source of energy as it can be continually replenished after being exhausted (Campbell, 2014).

Coal powered electricity generation is a non-renewable source if energy that cannot be continually replenished after the exhaustion of coal resources (Campbell, 2014).

Thus, the above table illustrates the important characteristics of wind-powered and coal-powered electricity generation. Wind-powered electricity generation is developed from wind with the help of large turbines. Its cost of generation is comparatively less as compared to other source of energy. It is generated from wind energy that is a renewable source as it cannot be completely exhausted. The process of wind powered electricity generation does not pollute the environment in any form. On the other hand, coal powered electricity is generated from coals, a resource that is a non-renewable resource, cannot be replenished once it is completely exhausted. Cola powered electricity is costly as compared to renewable source of energy due to high cost involved in its generation process. Also, the process of electricity generation from coal resources pollutes the environment to a large extent by the release of greenhouse and other poisonous gases into the atmosphere (Alrikabi, 2014). 

Rationale Behind Building Wind Farms by the Government

The government should place increased emphasis on developing and maintenance of wind farms due to large scale advantages achieved from building these farms. Wind farms would prove to be extremely beneficial in diversifying the energy portfolio by reducing the dependence on non-renewable source of energy. Wind farms also prove to be extremely advantageous in supporting near-by agriculture. This is largely due to the fact that new crop often emerges from thin air and as such development of wind turbines will help in emergence of new livestock and cropland (Campbell, 2014). Wind farms would help the government in meeting the increasing demand of the people thereby creating a match between supply and demand. The increasing demand of electricity is causing the government to import energy from foreign nations. This results in paying large amount of dollars to the foreign nations for importing energy sources. Development and maintenance of wind farms would help in large scale generation of wind energy that can effectively meet the increasing energy demand. As such, government can save its money that is spent on importing of energy source from other countries. Wind farms are also environment conserving as they do not emit any harmful substances in the air and water bodies. This proves to be a major benefit of using wind powered electricity in comparison to other sources of energy. Non-renewable source of energy often emit many harmful substances in the air and water bodies that pullulate the lakes, streams and air. It also conserves water resources through its less usage in the process of electricity generation. For example, the production of same amount of electricity from non-renewable source such as coal would require nearly 600 times more water as compared to its production fro wind. In addition to this, the building of wind farms will also help the government in providing jobs to large scale people. The job requirements resulting from the development of wind farms includes from meteorologist, surveyors, structural engineers, assembly workers, lawyers and technicians. Thus, wind farms can prove to be highly helpful in providing employment to people and it is believed that wind energy develops about 30% more jobs in comparison to coal powered electricity generation. Thus, on the basis of above stated reasons, the government should build and manage wind farms as it has potential to meet effectively present and future demands of energy without degrading the environment in any manner (Altinkaya1, 2011).

Policy to be Implemented by the Australian Government for Encouraging Private Electricity Providers to Invest in Wind Farms

The Wind farm planning policy should be adopted by the Australian government in order to provide encouragement to private electricity providers in investing in wind farms. The government should provide proper guideline to the private electricity suppliers for development of wind farms so that it does not cause any type of problem to nearby communities. The planning policy should provide a complete overview regarding the various benefits that can be achieved by private electricity suppliers through investing in wind farms. This includes cost-saving, fewer subsidies and gaining extensive support from the government. The development of wind energy often receives considerable support from the government due to its non-polluting nature and promoting sustainable growth of energy resources (IBP, 2015). Therefore, private suppliers can increase their energy portfolio by investing in wind energy and receives large scale benefit in the long-term. This will help them to create a right match between increasing demand of energy and its supply. In this context, the economic model of demand-supply states that in the condition of market equilibrium the quantity of a good supplied by producers equals the quantity demanded by consumers. Thus, in order to achieve equilibrium position in the energy market, the private electricity supplier must increase their investment in wind energy resources. The proposed policy would provide an encouragement to the private electricity suppliers through providing them proper knowledge regarding the various benefits of wind powered electricity generation (Marshall, 2013).

Conclusion

Thus, it can be summarised from the overall discussion held in the essay that wind energy is a renewable source of energy that can be replenished and coal energy is a non-renewable. The government of the countries around the world should place increased emphasis on developing energy from renewable sources such as air, bio fuels and hydropower as they do not degrade the environment. The private electricity suppliers should be provided encouragement by the country’s government for investing in renewable source of energy. This is necessary for minimising the pollution and also reducing dependence on non-renewable source such as coal and nuclear power.

References

Alrikabi, N. 2014. Renewable Energy Types. Journal of Clean Energy Technologies 2 (1), 61-64.

Altinkaya1, Z. 2011.Comparison of renewable and conventional energy costs by wavelet techniques. international journal of electronics; mechanical and mechatronic engineering 2(4), 393-405.

Campbell, R. 2014. China and the United States—A Comparison of Green Energy Programs and Policies. Congressional Research Service.

IBP. 2015. Australia Energy Policy, Laws and Regulations Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Basic Laws. Lulu.com.

Marshall, A. 2013. Principles of Economics. Springer.

Steinbach, V. and Wellmer, F. 2010. Consumption and Use of Non-Renewable Mineral and Energy Raw Materials from an Economic Geology Point of View. Sustainability 2, pp. 1408-1430.

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