Alternatives to Oil: Overview


Enya McBride


As we know, oil has an extremely harmful effect on the environment. Oil is an extremely destructive source of energy and in 2010, it was responsible for 36% of CO2 emissions. There are many alternatives to using oil as a source of energy, such as solar power, nuclear power, wind, water, and geothermal energy. 


There are many advantages to using solar energy. Over the past few years, more and more solar panels can be seen on houses around Ireland. Not only is solar energy less harmful than fossil fuels for the environment, but it is also more cost-effective. It is now one of the cheapest sources of energy, with costs expected to decline even more as time goes on. 


Nuclear energy is actually a non-renewable energy source. Although the energy produced by nuclear power plants is renewable, the fuel that is required to run these nuclear power plants is not. One benefit of nuclear energy is that it does not contribute greenhouse gases into the atmosphere or create pollution. Nuclear energy seems to have a bad reputation when we look at disasters such as Chernobyl, but if it is produced in a safe and regulated manner, there is no reason why we as a planet could not rely on it for the majority of our energy needs. 


Another source of energy is wind energy. There are many advantages of using wind energy, with the main one being that it is an extremely reliable renewable source of energy. There will always be wind so it is an extremely good alternative to oil and fossil fuels.  


Geothermal energy is said to be considered one of the most beneficial sources of energy for our environment as it is completely clean. No fossil fuels are burned at all in the creation of geothermal energy. An example of the use of geothermal energy is the blue lagoon in Iceland. The water there is heated naturally by a volcano and the water itself contains many natural minerals and vitamins that are extremely good for you. 

To conclude, it is fair to say that we have many alternatives to oil that are considerably less harmful to the environment. Why do most countries still rely on a costly and less reliable source of energy? Not only is the use of oil as an energy source bad, but the methods used to extract oil are extremely unsafe and expensive. Over time, there will be even more focus on the use of renewable and clean energy because as a planet, we don’t really have any other choice.

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