SUSTAINABLE LIVING CHALLENGE 2012 (SLICE 2012) GROUP MEMBERS:A12KP0128 WONG JENN YEUA12KP0130 ZULKARNAIN BIN RAMLIA12KP4004 ZAINAL-ABDEEN ALI SALEH AL-MATARIA12KP0100 MUHAMMAD AMIR BIN DERAHMANA12KP0122 SITI HAWA BINTI AZEMANA12KP0127 WAN NUR SHABIRA BINTI WAN MOHD NASER
Introduction In order to preserve the well-being of Earth, our group has done a research on globalenergy consumption and the problems associated. The main objective in the project is to draw attention to the challenges faced bymother earth and the impacts of human indiscretions on environment. Besides, the projectalso promotes awareness among students in developing sustainable societies using greentechnologies. During the progress, creative and innovative inventions can be inspired toenhance sustainable living. In this project, we have conducted a preliminary study on global energy consumptionand various kind of energy sources used in the world. In addition, we have determined theissues and problems due to the rapid increase in the non-renewable energy consumptionworldwide. The main energy sources used in Malaysia also have been studied. Apart fromthat, we also went to investigate the challenges in shifting toward the use of renewableenergy. In sum, it is important for us to take these into serious considerations, including theenvironment issues faced by the Earth and the factors that contribute to it.
Global Energy Consumption Chart above shows the percentage of global energy consumption.Oil (34%)Crude oil or petroleum is widely used as fuel in transportation and also other form ofproducts such as bitumen and lubricants.Natural Gas (21%)Natural gas can be found underground and generate energy which is clean and reliable.Coal (18.6%)Coal is cheap and easy to get from sedimentary rock while it is non-renewable.
Biomass (11%)Biological material from living like plant can be used to generate electricity by direct heating.This is one of the renewable source of energy.Nuclear Power (6.4%)Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Thisform of energy is produce waste disposal which is radioactive.Hydroelectricity (2.2%)The electrical power can be generated through the use of the gravitational force of falling orflowing water. This is also a form of clean energy.Others (0.4%)The other sources of renewable energy are wind, solar and hydrogen, which are impracticaland less financial worth to produce energy.
World per Capita Energy Consumption Figure 1. Per capita world energy consumption, calculated by dividing world energy consumption shown in Figure 1 by population estimates, based on Angus Maddison data. Prior to 1900, energy per capita did not rise very much with the addition of coalenergy, suggesting that the early use of coal mostly offset other fuel uses, or permittedlarger families. There was a small increase in energy consumption per capita during WorldWar I, but a dip during the depression prior to World War II. Between World War II and1970, there was a huge ramp-up in energy consumption per capita. There are severalreasons why this might happen: European countries and Japan were rebuilding after World War II. The US had a large oil industry that it wanted to develop, in order to provide jobs and tax revenue. Major infrastructure development projects were put into place during this period, including the Eisenhower Interstate System.
Energy Use compared with Population Growth Figure 2. Decade percentage increases in energy use compared to population growth Figure above shows a large percentage increases in energy use occurred about thetime of World War I. A second spurt in energy use started about the time of World War II.Population increased a bit with the first spurt in energy use. Part of the population rise afterWorld War II may be related to the invention of antibiotics –Penicillin (1942), Streptomycin(1943), and Tetracycline (1955). Since 1970, the rate of increase in world population hasdeclined. One reason for this decline may be the use of oral contraceptives.
CRITICAL ISSUES DUE TO NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY CONSUMPTIONThe Main Cause is Fossil Fuels Fossil fuels are widely used in the world, but there are a number of serious problemswith burning these fuels to provide energy . They can cause significant damage to thenatural and built environments, and to the health of the people who are exposed to thechemicals that are released when these fuels are burned. It is these types of problems thathave made alternative, renewable sources of energy a more attractive option since they donot produce the same kinds of pollution and problems. Fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal can cause serious environmental problems.Burning fossil fuels for energy releases a number of chemicals into the air. These includecarbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, heavy metals, sulphur dioxide and volatile organiccompounds.1) Climate Change The burning of fossil fuels is the primary source of extra greenhouse gases. Thesegases help to trap heat from the sun, keeping the earth warm; the "greenhouse effect" is, infact, a perfectly natural and beneficial phenomenon. The problems arise when extragreenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, trapping more heat, and triggering severalvicious cycles. The results of climate change include changes in wind and current patterns,leading to more droughts, more floods, hotter temperatures in some places and, ironically,colder temperatures in others.
2) Ocean Acidification One of the major greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, is partially absorbed by theoceans. The problem is that this lowers the pH of the water. In other words, it makes it moreacidic. This causes problems for organisms with carbonate shells, including corals, shellfishand many species of plankton. The change in water chemistry would also impact otherorganisms, which, as any reef tank owner knows, are often extremely sensitive. The resultsmight be unseen but are potentially extremely dangerous, with the entire ecosystem of theoceans changing radically.3) Air Pollution Much more visible to humans than ocean acidification is the problem of air pollution.The burning of fossil fuels releases pollutants, including carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides,particulates, ozone and nitrogen oxides. Air pollution, or smog, causes health problems incities including pneumonia, bronchitis and the exacerbation of existing heart and lungproblems. The very young and the elderly are especially vulnerable. Air pollution is also thecause of acid rain, which can kill vegetation and pollutes water bodies sufficiently to kill offfish stocks.4) Habitat Destruction Fossil fuels are not easily accessible. Some of the greatest deposits exist under thedeep seas, in delicate Arctic habitats and underneath the rainforest. One of the most recentfossil fuels to be commercially exploited, tar sands, occurs within the forests and wetlandsof North America. Extracting fossil fuels inevitably causes habitat destruction and loss ofbiodiversity. Mining and drilling operations often result in pollution in their own right.
5) Acid Rain The chemicals that are released through the burning of fossil fuels can lead to therelease of nitric, carbonic and sulphuric acids into the environment. This can create acidrain, which can cause damage to plants and buildings.6) Climate Change Some of the chemicals that are released by the combustion of fossil fuels have beenlinked with climate change. By changing the proportion of carbon dioxide in theatmosphere, the use of fossil fuels can change the way that heat is absorbed and stored inthe atmosphere. This can lead to changes in the climate, which could affect weatherpatterns and sea level.7) Environmental Problems The soot and particles that are released when fossil fuels are used can also causeenvironmental problems. The particles can settle on buildings, resulting in unsightlydamage. They can also settle on plants, affecting their health and reducing the productivityof crops. Toxic chemicals such as lead can be released through the burning and use offossil fuels. These can have serious effects on the health of plants, animals and humans.When fossil fuels are used, small amounts of radioactive materials are also released intothe atmosphere, but these are not believed to have any significant environmental effects.The production and transport of fossil fuels can also lead to environmental damage,particularly if there are any accidents such as oil spills. Mining and drilling can lead to therelease of toxic chemicals that can have negative impacts on the area around the mine.
8) Health Problems Burning fossil fuels can also cause health problems in addition to these seriousenvironmental problems, particularly in countries where sufficient precautions are not beingtaken. The chemicals, such as heavy metals, that are released into the air through thecombustion of fossil fuels can lead to higher rates of cancer and an increased risk ofrespiratory illnesses in the surrounding area. Many heavily industrialized cities in thedeveloping world burn fossil fuels without taking the same precautions that are used inother cities in countries such as the US. This can lead to serious health problems in thelocal population.
MAIN ENERGY SOURCE USED IN MALAYSIARENEWABLE ENERGYHydroelectricHydropower refers to electricity produced by hydroelectric power plants.Water is a precious resource and can be found in abundance. When it is harnessed forhydroelectric energy, it can power the lighting for entire cities. Once it has been built, it doesnot need fuel to produce electricity. But the idea or use of hydropower is a highly debatabletopic and remains a controversial issue. Despite being a source of clean electricity, thedamage caused by dams during its construction and through its operation often gives riseto it construction being protested (refers mainly to large dams). When done right however,small run-of-the-river hydropower can be a sustainable and non-polluting power source. InMalaysia, hydropower is used for water supply, flood control, irrigation and recreationpurposes. Malaysia has abundant hydropower potential with a total potential capacity of29,000.SolarThe Earths surface receives so much solar energy from the sun every day, that if thisenergy is harnessed for even just 60 seconds, it would be enough to power the worlds totalenergy requirements for a year. Solar energy is currently most used for water heating. It canbe directly converted to electricity through solar cells. These non-polluting solar cells,known as photovoltaic cells use no fuel, mechanical turbine or a generator. Solar energyhas enormous potential as a resource of clean and unlimited electricity around the worldand with the increasing demand for energy coupled with increasing environmental pollutionfrom the burning of fossil fuel. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solarphotovoltaic, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture In Malaysia, installation of solar
PV cells is done mainly in rural areas where there is difficulty setting up electricity cables orit is used by individuals (private homes).BiomassBiomass is biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms.In the context of biomass energy, organic matters such as plants can generate electricity bydirect combustion. Certain amount of biomass is converted into liquid fuel by paralyticprocess to manufacture bio oil. Part of this paper is allocated to the development of biodiesel in Malaysia. Some biomass also can be converted into biogas as fossil fuels throughfermentation and gasification. Besides, biomass includes plant or animal matter also can beconverted into fibers or other industrial chemicals. For instance, the biggest biomass powerplant in Malaysia- TSH Bioenergy Company utilizes empty fruit bunches, palm oil fiber andpalm kernel shell as fuel resources. Malaysia produces 168 million tons of waste biomassannually, representing roughly 2 exajoules of energy which is the equivalent of around 330million barrels of oil.HydrogenHydrogen is the most abundant element on earth. But, it needs to be first separated fromother elements before it can be burned as fuel or converted to electricity. Hydrogen is anenergy carrier and not energy source, which delivers energy in a usable form. Moreover,hydrogen advocates promote hydrogen as a potential fuel for motive power including carsand boats, and also the energy needs of buildings and portable electronics. For instance,NASA has used liquid hydrogen to propel the space shuttle and other rockets into orbit. Thehydrogen fuel cells also power the shuttles electrical systems and producing a clean by-product, pure water.
NON RENEWABLE ENERGYCrude OilCrude oil also known as petroleum is a complex mixture of hydrocarbon molecules. Crudeoil is non-renewable and will eventually run out because we are using them much fasterthan they can be restored within the earth. Crude oil can be processed by refinery intovarious types of products such as gasoline, diesel fuel and airplane fuel. One of itsproducts, kerosene is mainly used to provide energy in transportation such as vehicles,aircraft and ships. The petroleum production also exported to other country and contributesto a high percentage of the country’s manufacturing income. Crude oil is the most powerfulenergy resources and we can get a number of by-products from it. •It is relatively stable andcontains high heating value.Natural GasNatural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture. It is an important energysource to provide heating and electricity. Natural gas also used as fuel for vehicles and as achemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organicchemicals. In the aspects of transportation, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a cleaneralternative to other automobile fuels such as gasoline (petrol) and diesel. It’s efficiency alsogenerally equal to that of gasoline engines. The using of this resource is more economical,comfort, reliable and clean compared to other resources. Malaysia is a significant naturalgas producer due to the strategic location amid important routes for the seaborne energytrade. In the past, Malaysia was the world’s third largest exporter of liquefied natural gasafter Qatar and Indonesia.
CoalCoal is a sedimentary rock or a fossil fuel that is commonly used in producing energy. It isformed from dead plant matter through biological and geological processes that take placeover a long period. Coal is primarily burned for the production of electricity and heat, and isalso used for industrial purposes, such as refining metals. Through combustion, coalproduces electricity and heat as fossil fuels. Besides, coal can also be converted intosynthetic fuels equivalent to gasoline or diesel by liquefaction process. Use of coal isrelatively low cost, easily combustible and good in accessibility. Hence, this importantresource is widely used in Malaysia to produce electricity and heat. Energy Consumption by Sources in Malaysia Hydroelectric Biomass 8.00% 4.00% Coal Crude Oil 15.60% 40.00% Solar,Hydrogen 2% Natural Gas 30.40%
Challenges in Shifting toward Renewable EnergyEnvironmental IssuesNuclear energy is not applied in our country due to some environmental issues. Theproduction of nuclear power creates radioactive waste that cannot be recycled or disposedof by conventional means. Some of the forms of radioactive waste include spent nuclearfuel rods, the most dangerous type of waste; radiation-contaminated material; and uraniummill tailings. We do not yet possess the technology to dispose of this waste properly, so it ispiling up at nuclear facilities all over the country. Thus, the nuclear power leaves a toxiclegacy to all future generations. It also produces global warming gases and far moreexpensive than any other form of electricity generation. The worst is that nuclear energycan trigger proliferation of nuclear weapons which can be used by the terrorists.Uneconomic costIn solar energy, energy storage makes up a substantial part of the cost for both solarheating installations and systems for the production of electricity for remote buildings andplants. Improved energy storage will therefore mean a lot for the solar energy’s possibilityto compete with conventional solutions. Another element that drives up the costs for solarenergy is that the markets and the players in the storage sub-sector are immature.Wind energy is also another extraordinarily expensive and inefficient form of renewableenergy. This is because the wind farms have relatively high operating and maintenancecost even though they require no fuel. The energy production is also very low. Thus, windenergy is actually not financial worthy.
Weather and Location DependentIn present technology, wind energy in Malaysia is not suitable to generate electricitycommercially because wind is not particularly good in Malaysia as compared to the UnitedKingdom or Denmark. But, islands like Pulau Perhentian can definitely gain a lot of powerespecially when wind turbine is jointly equipped with solar panels which Malaysia is rich in.The availability of wind resource varies with location in Malaysia and this ceases thedevelopment of wind energy.Besides, solar energy is also a dependent source of energy because it only captures andgenerates electricity from sunlight during the day. The energy has to be stored during thenight and when the sun does not shine. However, this alternative is impractical due to itshigh cost in energy storage.
ConclusionsTodays global challenge is to develop strategies that foster a sustainable energy future lessdependent on fossil fuels. As a proven and environmentally begin technology and with itspotential as a sustainable long term energy supply into the distant future, nuclear power canbe an important contributor to sustainable development. It is a multipurpose power sourceproviding base load electricity and offering a wide range of potential applications in the non-electric sector. To make sure we have plenty of energy in the future, its up to all of us touse energy wisely. We must all conserve energy and use it efficiently. Its also up to thosewho will create the new energy technologies of the future .All energy sources have animpact on the environment. Concerns about the greenhouse effect and global warming, airpollution, and energy security have led to increasing interest and more development inrenewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, wave power and hydrogen. Butwell need to continue to use fossil fuels and nuclear energy until new, cleaner technologiescan replace them. The future is ours, but we need energy to get there.
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