Energy…Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Now I wouldn’t be much of a resident environmental guru if I didn’t weigh-in on the whole ‘which energy source is our future’ debate.
So not wanting to deprive you of vital information you’re going to need real soon, I set myself the honourable task of exploring the pros and cons of the four main energy options. And it wasn’t easy. Shopping for energy is like shopping for milk. The choices are endless.
Now before you close this post in a fit of rage, convinced that a self-confessed greenie can’t possibly be unbiased, bite your tongue. In the time-honoured tradition of heavyweight boxing, the energy contenders here have been weighed up, put on different sides of the ring and promised a fair fight. No low blows. No hidden agenda. Just the good points and the bad ones, eco-spin free.
So let’s get the fight started, drum roll please…
The big baddies of the energy world, they’ve made some nasty enemies over the years. Not to mention made some very nasty people very rich. Coal, oil and natural gases, their main advantage is their low cost and ability to keep up with peak demands. But they’re extremely bad for the environment and won’t last forever, which kind of rules them out as a future option. Plus their cost fluxuates with supply and demand, which can be seriously annoying.
A touchy little subject, this energy source can never be discussed without stirring up images of green mutants. It has its pros, like low CO2 emissions, readily available technology and ability to generate lots of electricity. But, of course, its not renewable, has the minute chance of exploding and leaves you with radioactive waste that takes millennia to breakdown and cannot, despite popular belief, be rocketed into space.
Who knew that big, hot ball in the sky could give so much? Solar power is free, renewable, available all over the world and well suited to powering a house or office. Brilliant. Except that we need a large area to produce the energy we need and a place to store it. Not to mention we’d have less on a cloudy day, just think of the poor Tasmanians.
An up-and-comer in the energy field and our last contender, wind power has won over more than just greenies over with its recent success. Relatively cheap to run, wind plants are clean, efficient and sustainable. Unfortunately, they’re also unreliably dependant on weather patterns, not exactly the most beautiful things to look at and, according to research, dangerous to birds…ouch.
So there you have it, your four main choices in black and white. But remember this is by no means a complete list. I’m no scientist or energy expert. Just a humble human trying to help her fellow peers better understand the decision we’re all going to have to make in the near future.
So let’s hope you’re better at making decisions than I am…or else we might have to resort to eeny, meeny, miny mo.