SOLAR ENERGY AND THE UNITED STATES ENERGY CRISIS
Solar Energy and the United States Energy Crisis
The United States dependence on nonrenewable resources, despite the dangers it presents,
are not showing any signs of decrease. The United States, while trying to make some strides in
converting to clean renewable energies such as wind farms and ethanol, is far behind other
countries that are making much greater developments, like Germany. Currently, there is a minor-
scale war between coal and oil as the main source of providing electricity and power. The rate at
which the United States consumes a resource that is finite will come to a halt sooner than
expected. If alternatives to nonrenewable fuels are not implemented soon, then we are in store
for a future that could result in global-scale war between all industrialized nations fighting for
the last drop of oil.
This is not a message of doom for the far-off or unforeseeable future; it is a realistic
warning for this century, perhaps even this decade.
The Problem with Nonrenewable Resources – The Resource
Nonrenewable resources, fossil fuels like coal and oil, are just that; resources that are not
renewed ever, or in some cases, within a viable human time line. Many of the fossil fuels come
from bio-matter beneath the earth's surface that has compressed organic life into natural gas, oil,
and other materials which are then used by burning them off to create energy (Bortman, E. M.,
Brimblecombe, P., & Cunningham, M., 2003). In one year we burn up four centuries worth of
carbon, the main compound in fossil fuels (Monbiot, 2006).
These fuels were sustainable in their early discovery, but are currently beginning to run
low. The United States second largest consumption is oil. The United States consumption of oil
is three times that of our production. In 2008, United States crude oil production was almost
5,000,000 barrels a day. This same time our import of crude oil was 9,800,000 barrels a day.
The U.S. consumption rate that year was 19,500,000 barrels a day. The world consumption is