Fossil Fuel Energy Pros and Cons
Fossil fuel energy is currently one of the most widespread sources of electricity production. Many energy plants burn fossil fuel in order to generate enough heat to create pressurized steam that is used to spin a turbine generator. Learn about the many pros and cons of fossil fuel energy to understand why this type of electricity production has become so popular.
Fossil Fuel Energy is Cheap
The big advantage of burning fossil fuels for energy is that it is relatively cheap. While many of us complain about gas prices, the truth is that fossil fuel is still fairly abundant and less expensive when compared to other sources of energy production. For example, the start-up fees associated with alternative fuel sources such as solar power and wind power are remarkably higher than the start-up fees associated with fossil fuel energy plants. While this may change in the future due to depleted reserves of oil, for now fossil fuels remains the simplest and most affordable short-term solution for energy production.
Fossil Fuel Energy has a Built in Infrastructure
Another advantage of fossil fuels is that its use has been built into the infrastructure of our society. Gas stations, gas engines and factory equipment are all readily available and complementary to fossil fuel production. In contrast, switching to alternative fuels such as hydrogen fuel cells creates additional transportation, storage and refueling costs.
Fossil Fuel Energy is Not Environmentally Friendly
The biggest concern about fossil fuel energy is the negative impact it is creating for our planet. The process of burning fossil fuels results in the emission of a number of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases have been linked to global warming and may serve as a major contributor to ozone depletion. More eco-friendly energy sources produce a small percentage of greenhouse gases when compared to fossil fuel combustion.
Fossil Fuel Energy is Not Renewable
Fossil fuel energy is derived from oil, which must be drilled out of reserves deep within the earth. Given that it takes thousands of years for these oil deposits to form, oil is becoming increasingly scarcer as the years go by. Eventually, all usable oil will be depleted entirely. In contrast, solar energy, wind power, hydroelectric power and other alternative fuel sources make use of renewable energy sources that will never deteriorate.