Conserving energy is fundamental to a bright future. It starts by analyzing sources of energy waste and looking at what simple fixes can eliminate the waste. Alternative fuels offer the best long-term solution to our growing energy needs. The switch of many major auto producers to electric vehicles is already changing the infrastructure. And many have already implemented many green technologies to produce electricity. Vermont is an example of a State taking the initiative to rely on renewable energy resources to power our future.
Eliminating the Dead zones of Energy Dumping
An idling car has an mpg of zero miles per gallon. Therefore, many vehicle manufacturers like Ford and Volkswagen have created systems to economize an idle vehicle by automatically shutting the car off and cycling it back on when acceleration is needed. These cars save gas consumption and our environment by eliminating car idling. Car idling was one of the significant dead zones of automotive fuel efficiency.
Which alternative fuel is best?
- Ethanol is distilled from corn and often mixed with gasoline for green energy political reasons. It takes a toll on the farmlands that the growing population requires. It still produces greenhouse gases like gasoline.
- Biodiesel is another fuel based on food sources (vegetable oils and animal fats) that is likely to have many of the same limitations as ethanol, even if widely accepted.
- Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is a fuel that is produced from compost heaps, landfills, wastewater, and manure lagoons. Renewable natural gas is employed to generate electricity and to power vehicles. Current scientific estimates view this source alone as ultimately contributing 12 percent of electricity needs to American power plants.
- Electricity is highly efficient when it comes to transportation fuel, however much of it is still produced in coal-fired power plants. Even so, electric vehicles are among the greenest options around, and no surprise, there has been a relatively large boom in electric vehicles over the last few years.
- Nuclear power is difficult to extract. It requires investment in a vast amount of infrastructure. The United States is located over geographic earthquake susceptible zones from coast to coast. In the event of a major natural disaster such as a comet impact; the infrastructure could be destroyed overnight, leaving a toxic mess in its wake.
- Hydrogen Fuel Cells would produce zero CO2 emissions. However, the infrastructure and manufacturing process is problematic. The pure hydrogen is explosive, ordinarily extracted from fossil fuels, and challenging to transport.
Perhaps, more research in developing hydrogen-fueled powerplants to produce unlimited green energy for electric-powered vehicles is the answer. If we can harvest hydrogen fuel from photosynthesis on a massive scale, this may protect our food supply and allow us to breathe clean air. Large hydrogen power plants could develop the sophisticated infrastructure that is expensive to fit inside a vehicle. Until then, developing cleaner power plants by any means and using electric vehicles is vital. By setting renewable energy goals like those established by Vermont, we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in the next few decades and run primarily electric vehicles. Lawmakers, like those in California, are taking the initiative to outlaw fossil fuel driven cars, altogether, as an essential step in the process.