When it comes to considering a certain type of energy as low cost, one must analyze the costs of the energy source, its availability or scarcity, and the production costs involved in developing that type of energy. Here are a few of the most talked about energy sources – starting with coal and nuclear power energy and moving on to alternative energy sources.
Coal is considered a low cost energy source, especially in the United States where it is the primary source of 50% of the electricity consumed. Its abundance makes it a vital energy source, but its environmental costs are a contentious issue. Most environmentalists claim that the damaging effects that coal energy has on the environment are a strong reason to try to reduce the usage of coal in energy production. Recently advances in technology give the promise of providing clean coal energy at lower costs in the future.
Accounting for a fifth of the energy production in the United States, nuclear power constitutes another contentious issue when it comes to providing low cost energy. In terms of volume and amount of energy, nuclear energy is seen as by far the best conventional energy that also minimizes gas emissions that fossil fuels produce. However, the cost of managing nuclear waste and the potential threats that nuclear waste management poses to the environment increases the cost of nuclear power energy in the short run until better technologies can be developed to lower these risks in the long run.
Renewable energy sources
Among the best developed renewable energy sources are wind, water and solar power. Wind energy is highly used in Europe and has started to become more used in the United States as well. Unfortunately, it cannot compete with conventional energy types as its production is limited to a location with atmospheric conditions that allow for winds to be harnessed and create energy. Here, you can find a map of the United States depicting wind energy potential across the nation. Its potential is quite promising and more technological advances can allow wind energy to become a more used type of energy that, in addition to being environmental friendly, is also cost efficient since its energy source is naturally self replenishing.
You can read more about wind, solar and geothermal energy by clicking on the “Renewable Energy Facts” page and by visiting a comprehensive guide on renewable energy available at BetterEnergy.com