Discussion Question Environmental Health Management

Respond to your peer’s post to the question below.

Please respond to the following:

  • According to your Understanding Environmental Health text, there are several renewable energy sources that could reduce dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Assess the role U.S. government agencies have played in supporting the use of renewable energy sources, and then conclude one potential health risk associated with the use of a renewable source of energy that the government would need to address. 
(Lauren Thomas post)

Renewable energy is derived from naturally replenished sources with flow-limits. Renewable resources are inexhaustible in duration but limited in amount of energy that is available per unit of time. Major types of renewable energy sources include wood, biomass, hydropower, geothermal, wind, and solar. The U.S. total renewable energy production and consumption has increased over the years. Renewable energy provided about 12 percent of U.S. energy consumption. The electric power sector accounted for about 60 percent of total U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2020, and about 20 percent total U.S. electricity generation was from renewable energy sources. Renewable energy plays an important role in U.S. energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy helps reduce energy imports and reduces fossil fuel use, which is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), $37 trillion of investment will be needed in the world’s energy supply system from 2012-2035. Government’s role in renewable energy includes: energy security and affordability, potential for job creation, future economic strategic positioning, and addressing environmental and other externalities. Investing in renewable energy has numerous social and environmental benefits, where governmental policy can assist with changing allocation of risk; or guide business and technology choice investments. Government in the past has used finance to promote development of new energy sources and technologies,  improve extraction and production of energy sources, or encourage domestic production of an energy source. Financial tools include: direct grants and investments, loans and loan guarantees, and tax incentives. Geographic limitations in the U.S. would be a potential risk to renewable energy sources. The diverse geography with varying climates, topographies, and vegetation could create concern for some areas that are not as suitable as others in regards to renewable energy sources. For example, a farm with open space would be a great area for a wind turbine or solar energy system, while a home in the city covered in shade from tall buildings and skyscrapers would not be as suitable for those types of renewable energy sources.

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