Eco-friendly energy is energy that does not disrupt or disturb ecological processes or the earth’s biogeochemical cycle. Advances in civilizations have always been closely linked with availability and exploitation of energy, manufacturing and technology relied on dependable sources of energy and in the twentieth century world energy consumption had increased because of population increase. Fossil fuels are the most commonly used by industrialized nations (in fact the world at large) these are oil, coal and gas which supplies about 90% of the worlds commercially traded energy.
Fossil fuels were formed hundreds of millions of years ago; they are an accumulation of energy rich organic molecules produced by organisms as a result if photosynthesis over millions of years, fossil fuels are like concentrated stored solar energy. because they are getting depleted and take along time to form they are known as finite or non-renewable resources of energy they also burn up to release excess carbon dioxide into the environment which depletes the ozone layer and in turn causes the earths global warming.
On the other hand there are several renewable energy sources which replenish themselves or are continuously present as a feature of the earths ecosystem, hence the term eco friendly some forms of renewable energy are also referred to as perpetual energy, for example in plants photosynthesis converts light energy to chemical energy. Carbondioxide+water+sunlightenergy-----} biomass/chemical energy oxygen This energy is stored in organic molecules of the plant as wood, starch Oils or other compounds .
which means any form of biomass energy /biofuels can be tracked back to the energy of the sun. Solar, geothermal, tidal and biomass energy are said to be renewable energy sources and eco-friendly because they’re continuously available in the ecosystem. Progress has been made in the use of renewable sources of energy, however technical, economic and cultural challenges must be addressed before renewable energy would meet a significant percentage of human’s energy demands and hereby curb the problems of climate change and increasing greenhouse emissions caused by burning up fossil fuels.
Biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydro power, solar power, tidal power, wave power are all naturally replenished. In 2006about 18% of global final energy consumption came from renewables with 13% coming from traditional biomass, such as wood burning . hydro electricity was the next largest renewable source, providing 3%, followed by solar hot water heating, which contributed 1. 3% . modern technologies, such as geothermal energy, wind power, solar power and ocean energy together provided some 0.
8% of final energy consumption. Climate change concerns and coupled with high oil prices, peak oil and increasing government support are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. European union leaders reached an agreement in principle in march2007 that 20 percent of there nations energy should be produced from renewable fuels by 2020 , as part of its drive to cut emissions of carbon dioxide , blamed in part of global warming.
Investment capital flowing into renewable energy climbed from$80billion in 2005 to a record $100 billion in 2006. In response to the G8’s call on the IEA for “guidance on how to achieve a clean ,clever and competitive energy future”, the IEA reported that the replacement of current technology with renewable energy could help reduce co2 emissions by 50% by 2050, which they claim is of crucial importance because current policies are not sustainable.
Wind power is growing at the rate of 30% annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of over 100gw (giga watts), and is widely used in several European countries and the United States. The manufacturing output of the photovoltaic industry reached more than 2,000mw in 2006 and photovoltaic (PV) power stations are particularly popular in Germany. In Nigeria presently the only renewable source of energy in commercial use on a national scale is hydro electric power(h. e.
p) which supplies to the Nigerian national grid but is ineffective to an extent we still have incessant black outs in the country either because of the growing populace of the country, distributional or organizational problems. This challenge of regular power outages has led many Nigerian individuals and businesses to rely on generating sets most of which burn fossil fuels and add to the worlds greenhouse effect coupled with the noise they produce and the cost of buying these fuels.
The idea is to figure out the number of eti osa residents that use generating sets and the average amount they spend on buying fossil fuels weekly should give a rough estimate of emissions or pollution in the air around my study area, and also finding out the ways people think can be effective in stopping or reducing the situation , basically if people are aware of global warming the question my project seeks to answer is why don’t people use eco-friendly or renewable energy sources instead of fuel generators?
REDUCING THE RISKS OF GLOBAL WARMING CAUSED BY GREEN HOUSE GASES There are several general strategies for reducing the rate of green house gas build up that might be considered. One strategy involves reducing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions . the second involves removing the effluents after they are produced .
included in the first category are policy options (1) increase the efficiency of energy supply and use (2) shift the mix of fossil fuels to less carbon intensive alternatives (3) introduce non fossil technologies such as solar and other renewables (The full range of responses to anticipated climate change April 1989) More than half of the world’s electricity is produced by burning coal, oil and gas this releases million’s of tones of carbon dioxide (the main gas responsible for global warming and climate change) every year.
The power sector is the biggest single source of emissions producing 37% of global co2 emissions. Overall, the use of fossil fuels in western industrialized countries accounts for 97%of all co2 emissions . wwf believes that the power sector has a huge role to play in efforts to reduce co2 emissions in order to curb the damaging effects of global warming and climate change through its power switch !
campaign WWF is working with the sector to become co2 free by the middle of the 21st century and to make a major switch from fossil fuels to clean energy in developing countries . this will be achieved by dramatically scaling up the use of renewable energy and vastly increasing the efficiency by which energy is generated . (environmental awareness quarterly journal vol27 no2 April 2004) IPCC : MITIGATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE
according to new reports by intergovernmental panel on climate change (ipcc) the scientific body examining global climate research – measures to mitigate global warming can be undertaken at reasonable cost, the report was released on 4th may in Bangkok following international consultations ,addressing the short ,medium(untill2030) and long term (after 2030),the result states that growth in green house emissions can be curbed through a series of measures ranging from efforts to boost renewable energy and increase energy efficiency to curbing deforestation .
Energy production and consumption are key contributors to climate change and mitigation measures in the sector includes improving efficiency and fuel switching to ‘ALTERNATE SOURCES’ such as hydro ,solar and bio energy the IPCC also highlights the potential for developing the combined heat and power generation and carbon dioxide capture and storage , the report also highlights the importance of biomass from agriculture and dedicated energy crops as bio-energy feedstock , but caution that widespread use of agricultural land may compete with other land uses and could have either positive or negative impacts on the environment ,and implications for food security . We can also say that sustainable development benefits such as employment, biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation, can be derived from mitigation projects . There’s no doubt that reducing carbon in the atmosphere in Nigeria poses a very serious challenge . take the case of an estimate put forward recently by a media practitioner according to him an estimated 36million generators are used in Nigeria . the amount of carbon emitted under such circumstances is enormous .
when this is added to the huge amount of gas flared in the country, the impact on the environment, people and livelihoods could lead to massive refugee problems and conflict. worse still ,climate change would affect the poor disproportionately . estimates of NCF technical programmes department suggests that our consumption patterns are in excess of the biological capacity of renewable natural resources . this means that we are depleting our natural resources faster than nature can replace them. DISCUSSIONS From the results of my analysis it was found that the average Nigerian living in my study area found renewable sources of energy a viable means of solving both the challenge of climate change and incessant blackouts in the local government .
about 21 people had their electricity on an average mark,12 people had it good and three had it very good(just for the record these 15 people all lived in the vgc area and environs}while 12 people claimed their electricity supply was poor about 18 people had power at a below average level, also about 82 % of my respondents use generating sets as an extra source of power and only 16%claim to use energy saving devices like inverters ,out of all my respondents I only got one person who used solar panels (form of renewable energy),this shows the low state of renewable electrical energy used in my study area . 52 people had generating sets and only 9 people had soundproof generators the rest 43 produced noise which is an environmental disturbance and also constitutes pollution.
The average resident/respondent spends about 2000 naira on fuel (petrol or diesel) which means every month he ends up spending about 8,000 naira (2000 x 4) and in a year approximately a hundred thousand naira is gone on fuel alone. More people were aware of climate change and global warming this were about 51 people the rest were ignorant, which means more people were aware of the effects of global warming, but there is still little effort put in place for them to reduce there emissions from electricity generation , coupled with the noise and immediate pollution effects of smoke which majority of respondents recognize as their major problems with using generating sets followed by the noise they cause , then cost of fuelling.
people are more aware of solar energy than any other source, which is why I went an extra mile to provide information on photovoltaic . Wind energy came next followed by biofuels then waste to energy; this means also that they would readily embrace solar energy as a homestead energy source. Also 53 people claimed they would be willing to switch green if given the right environment or in the right circumstances. Also when we asked their preferred contributions towards reducing the situation of climate change 38% preferred planting trees 31% preferred saving energy /energy conservation While 27% would prefer to use renewable energy The remaining 4% were ignorant /indifferent.
The major deterrent of renewable energy usage in the area was the high cost of procurement which about 75% of the respondents agreed to, 14 % were simply ignorant 7% said they didn’t like it for the low amount of energy normally produced another 4% disliked the idea of storing energy in batteries. From the whole analysis you can detect that what people need to really indulge or practice sustainable systems as regards electricity and power generation are incentives and funding from banks or renewable energy companies that have reasonable payment plans . more awareness needs to be raised to inform to use renewables especially solar energy and wind energy which are very viable in the area since etiosa local government is surrounded by the coasts (Lagos lagoon and the Atlantic ocean) these can be effectively harnessed to work for homes and communities. N . C.
F as the premiere environmental non governmental organization has a lot on her hands already but still needs to lead the way in the use of these technologies and there fore teach other organizations, companies and individuals the need to use these technologies, as the popular saying goes ‘charity begins at home’ NCF would need to incorporate the use of renewable technologies in its project sites and state chapters especially in the remote areas where there’s little or no accessibility to electricity, this would also help shed the light to the rural people around those areas. When people aware of the added advantages of using renewables like solar which doesn’t produce smoke or noise, which is perfectly environmentally friendly and provides an aesthetic look to homes . banks also need to work with people to provide mortgage services for renewables instead of fuel generators and work with renewable energy companies to provide easy payment plans or solutions for individuals interested in investing in it.
Also more awareness needs to be spread so that renewable companies can spring up and take charge of the Nigerian markets which have great potentials for investors they should come up with more solar and wind farms to either supply homes directly or the national grid o help reduce the dependency on the dams alone, if Nigeria has to battle of both global warming and incessant blackouts in the country we would have to start thinking and acting on using clean technologies. sometimes they seem expensive but on the long run you save more money using renewables take a comparison between solar generators and fuel generators from my analysis the regular Yamaha 600watts generators would need on an average 2000 naira a week plus the initial cost of buying .
Hypothetical table showing cost of using two types of generators for a period of three years |Energy generator type |Fuel generators |Solar generators | |Initial cost of acquiring |15,000 naira |280,000 naira | |Cost of fueling for three years |300,000 naira(100,000 a year) |nil | |Maintenance for three years |100,000 naira |nil | The table above shows the expenses incurred in three years of using both solar energy and fuel generators the total expenses of the fuel generator over three years is a total of 415,000 naira while that of the solar generator remains on its initial cost of acquiring because the maintenance and the cost of fueling parts are completely wiped off