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One day the world’s oil and gas reserves will run out; therefore, alternative sources of energy such as wind power, solar power, burning waste, and water power have been considered. However, it is said that these sources may cause as much as environmental waste as the oil and nuclear power sources that they are going to replace.
To what extent do you agree with this latter statement? Do you approve the use of the listed alternative sources of energy?


1. Brainstorm the examples for the criticism against the use of alternative sources of energy

  • wind farms in European countries: ugly even far away from the coast
  • burning waste: creates by-product that polutes the air
  • water power: expensive dams
  • ___________________________

2. Think of the reasons for your approval of the use of alternative sources of energy.

- the advancement of technology --> harmful by-product is minimized

- necessary equipment --> cheaper and more environmentally friendly

- water power --> safer than nuclear energy


Submit your writing in the comment section.


The idea that alternative energy sources such as wind power, etc. cause as much environmental damage as fossil fuel is reasonable, to some extent. Some people, for example, are strongly against the use of wind power. Indeed, the large wind farms in some European countries have been heavily criticized not just by environmentalists. They are very ugly, even if they are in the sea far away from the coast. Burning household waste for fuel also causes problems, because of the harmful fumes that are the by-product of the process. So while the amount of waste put into landfill sites is reduced thus preserving the environment, the air is being polluted instead! However, in my opinion, such sources need to be encouraged as a means of replacing fossil fuel as they have considerable advantages.

First of all, as the technology for using alternative sources of energy is becoming more and more sophisticated, any harmful by-product will be minimized. Moreover, the cost of producing the necessary equipment will decline. Take solar energy, for example. In the past, the panels that were needed to utilize energy from the sun were huge and not very environmentally friendly. Now, however, the same panels are small enough not to be noticed or are made to look like say roof tiles or normal parts of vehicles. The same will apply to wind farms as the giant turbines become smaller and less obvious.

Energy from water also comes in for a lot of criticism. This has come about from the many high profile dam projects around the world where huge areas have been destroyed both for people and local flora and fauna. However, it is a safer alternative to nuclear energy and a price that has to be paid.

Whilst any form of energy that we seek to utilize is going to cause some damage, I feel that wind, sun and water have to be harnessed for the good of the environment.

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