An almost undeniable fact about energy resources is that fossil fuels won’t last forever. Whether or not you believe they affect the environment, alternative sources of power will have to be found and used on a mass scale, to enable us to use electricity long after coal, gas or oil has run out.
As of yet, the next best alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear power. It doesn’t produce Carbon Dioxide, it is more efficient as you can obtain huge amounts of energy from relatively tiny amounts of fuel, it is reliable and very little waste is made. It seems that as an alternative to fossil fuels, nuclear power will take some beating. There are of course other ways, such as tidal power, solar power and wind power, but these all have major flaws that must be ironed out before they rival nuclear power in efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reliability.
Wind power is often mentioned as being a reliable source of power, and there are many wind farms already up and running. Wind turbines are erected, so the wind will make the turbine spin, which (without delving into a physics lecture) produces electricity. Okay, this method may be cheap, as we don’t pay for the wind. But there are a number of drawbacks.
Firstly of course is that you can never guarantee it will be windy at any given moment. Electricity is only being produced for so long as the turbine is spinning, and on calm days, there will of course be no wind. Wind turbines fail to produce enough electricity a lot of the time, which make justifying erecting the turbines difficult. Then of course there is the massive public outrage to these monstrosities. They are noisy, unsightly and out of place, and many people cannot stand them. They have proved to have had a serious impact on the price of housing in areas near to where turbines are built. Some people say that they mess with the countryside, which should be left unspoiled.
The vast majority of the world is in agreement that to preserve the planet’s resources and longevity, and to reduce pollution and therefore the widening of the hole in the ozone layer, we must find new, cleaner ways of producing electricity. Fossil fuels are in common usage, but are quickly running out, and until human beings can make noise less noisy, control the elements and make turbines picturesque, there will never be a better alternative to fossil fuels than nuclear power.
Or tidal power. Clearly.