Though there is no shortage of any non-renewable fuel, critics of their use point out that it is logically possible to use up nonrenewable fuels" (Pimental, et.al, 1994, pg. 1).
If something does not change, the United States has the potential to encounter serious energy shortages before too long. The purpose of this paper is to explore the United States' history of renewable energy, where the country stands currently, its future outlook, implement current government issues and social issues on the topic, and to examine the problems with renewable energy (National Center for Policy Analysis Idea House, 2008).
Water-powered systems have been used for centuries. Today, water power is used mainly to generate electricity. "For many centuries, wind power like water power has provided energy to pump water and run mills and other machines. In rural America windmills have been used to generate electricity since the early 1900s" (Pimental, et.al, 1994, pg. 1).
Harvested from forests, biomass energy currently provides the United States with 4.2% of its energy supply. It is used even more prominently in other countries, especially developing countries. The sun's energy is converted into heat through solar thermal energy systems and then is used in houses, in different industrial settings, and to generate electricity. ...
current usage of renewable resources is passive heating and cooling of buildings although it is not being used to its full extent as of yet (Pimental, et.al, 1994).
Its Future Outlook
"The use of solar energy is, however, expected to grow. Renewable energy technologies that have the potential to provide future energy supplies include: biomass systems, hydroelectric systems, hydrogen fuel, wind power, photovoltaics, solar thermal systems, and passive and active heating and cooling systems" (Pimental, et.al, 1994, pg. 1). The use of alternative liquid fuels such as ethanol, methanol, and hydrogen are also likely to pick up in the future (Bruce and Pickering, 2008).
The Problems with Renewable Energy
Just like non-renewable resources, renewable energy sources have their own conflicts and these are likely to increase along with the increased usage of renewable resources in the future. Some problems that are likely to occur are limited availability of land, limited abilities to harvest forest resources within the United States forcing these resources to be imported, and a growing population (Pimental, et.al, 1994).
Social and Political Concerns
"The first priority of a sustainable US energy program should be for individuals, communities, and industries to conserve fossil energy resources. Other developed countries have proven that high productivity and a high standard of living can be achieved with considerably less energy expenditure compared to that of the United States. Improved energy efficiency in the United States, other developed nations, and even in developing nations would help both extend the world's fossil energy resources and improve the environment" (Pimentel et al. 1994).
The purpose of this paper has been to explore the United States'