New and Renewable Energy in Real LifeToday global warming has caused changes in the climate. The cause of global warming was greenhouse effects due to greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, produced by using fossil fuels. These gases have increased in the atmosphere, so the earth’s atmospheric temperature rises. How do we emit carbon, causing global warming, in real life? According to IEA (International Energy Agency)’s statistics, our country is ranked at the world’s 10th with carbon dioxide emissions of 590 million tons and the world’s first with increasing rates of emitting greenhouse gas among OECD countries. Our country is not included in the initial 30 nations in the Kyoto Protocol, a global agreement on reduction of greenhouse gases; it is highly likely to be obliged to participate in the second round of emission control after 2012.
In the field of energy, new and renewable energy are in the limelight for decreasing carbon emissions, solving environmental problems and solving problems with the international energy price rising. Let us see how to use new and renewable energy in real life.
# Solar energy
When you passed by rural areas, you could see solar cells on the roof of a house sometimes. Solar energy is the new and renewable energy that is most commonly used. This energy is classified into solar heat and solar beam energy. The principle of solar heat energy is heating water after accumulating solar heat. This water is used for heating systems and hot water. On the other hand, the principle of solar beam energy is very simple. When solar beams hit solar cells, electron holes and electrons are created inside the solar cells. Only electrons are gathered in the battery. We used this electrical energy through inverters in real life. However, solar energy’s weak point is that solar cells are very expensive, so it will cost pretty much money when we set up solar cells.
# Hydrogen-powered fuel
The hydrogen-powered fuel cell is alternative energy used for commercialized technology in actual life. Hydrogen-powered fuel is explained briefly through electrolysis. Water decomposes into oxygen and hydrogen on electricity. On the contrary, when hydrogen and oxygen have a chemical reaction, electricity is produced with water and heat. This energy turns on automobiles, electronic goods and heating and cooling facilities. For example, hydrogen-powered fuel cell buses ran during C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in Seoul in 2009(제3차 서울 C40 세계도시 기후정상회의). Also, hand-held electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones can use hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
# Wind power
Another alternative energy source is wind power. Wind generators are installed on coasts, such as at the Saemangeum seawall, and mountain regions that are really windy. The wind turns the wings of wind generators. This power is transmitted to shift gears and it converts power to energy.
# Biomass energy
The final alternative energy source is biomass energy. The meaning of biomass is organic wastes included in the industry as well as the organic value of living animals, plants, and micro-organisms. This biomass can be used through combustion, methane fermentation and alcohol fermentation. After these processes, biogas is created. This biogas is used as fuel. Biomass energy can save energy, is renewable and can be gotten from anywhere to satisfy these conditions. Also, this energy is safer than other energies in environmental preservation. The supply of biomass energy using alcohol is already as common as nuclear power in Brazil, Canada and the United States.
# Hybrid car
On the other hand, major automobile companies are launching environment-friendly cars with hybrid technology. ‘Hybrid car’ means a car that combines a gasoline engine with electric motor. The hybrid car doesn’t use new and renewable energy, but these cars use less gasoline than common cars and run a lot.
In the future we will have to develop new and renewable energy for surviving in the international market. Presently, our country is dependent on importing most of its energy (about 96.9%). The alternative energy is very important due to environmental concerns and exhausting fossil fuel.
Oh Yu-ri, a junior of Division of Chemical Engineering, said, “We will prepare to reduce emissions of carbon and to develop industry. We must think environmentally and practice to reduce carbon in our lives.”
Wisdom for lowering CO₂ emissions in life
1. Maintain an optimal indoor temperature
The optimal indoor temperature is between 26℃ and 28℃ in summer and below 20℃ in winter. If you reduce the heating temperature about 1℃, carbon dioxide decreases 231kg per household in a year.
2. Use public transportation
To use public transportation solves the problems of environment and traffic congestion. So, we should use public transportation and walk short distances or ride bicycles.
3. Buy environmentally friendly products
We should buy products with environmental markings and energy-efficient consumer electronics.
4. Don’t waste water
If you reduce one minute of your shower, carbon dioxide is also reduced 7kg.
5. Reduce garbage and recycle
We should use our own individual cup instead of a disposable cup, as well as using a shopping basket and refillable products. Also, we should recycle and separate trash.
6. Maintain right driving behavior
Less carbon dioxide is emitted when we don’t do abrupt breaking and idling. We should maintain affordable speed and not load unnecessary goods.
7. Use electronics responsibly
We should consciously turn off TVs, computers and light bulbs when these electronics are not in use. Also, we shouldn’t fill up a refrigerator with food. Pull the plug of the unused electronics.
8. Plant a tree
A giant pine tree in the woods of our country absorbs 5 kg of CO₂ each year. If we plant a tree, we can reduce CO2.
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