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The Emerging State of Renewable Energy


SIB-101 Globalization

Group 5
Nouf Abul-Hamayel - Interview
Samuel Halliwell Cogitation Interactions + Presentation
Jacob King - Evaluation
Jack Kradolfer - Articulation
Elza Sabirova Cogitation Interactions
Andi Trebicka Cogitation II

I.

Articulation
Typical forms of energy used today come from fossil fuels that are harvested from inside

earth. Coal, oil, and natural gas are used worldwide to power the machines that work based on
the consumption of these resources. The truth is that these sources of energy will not be
replenished after consuming the natural reserves, and on top of that, burning fossil fuel has
serious negative impacts on the environment. When burned, the carbon dioxide released into the
air is trapped in the earths atmosphere, causing a greenhouse effect where the suns radiation is
unable to escape the ozone, and in turn, heating up the planet. There is significant evidence to
suggest that human energy consumption is main the cause of this rapid heating phenomenon
(DOE 1). The alternative to using harmful and dwindling sources of energy is to create a world
based on renewable energy, and ultimately foster its use around the globe.
Forms of renewable energy include hydropower, solar power, geothermal, and bioenergy
(DOE 2). The most-used type is hydropower, which comes from flowing sources of water that
pass through a dam that captures the power of the rushing liquid and converts that force to
electricity. Large rivers can be found all over the globe, so this is based on creating the
infrastructure and storing that energy for use in large cities and surrounding areas. Next up we
have solar, which has very recently been on the popularity rise due to immense affordability for
the parts that make-up the panels which capture the suns rays and convert it directly into
electricity (Magill). Geothermal is energy that can be tapped into below the earths crust, and
bioenergy is using waste from corn and other plants to turn the carbohydrate-rich sources into
bio-fuel (DOE 4). The US is just behind China in renewable energy investments, partially due to
the domestic fracking boom in the US (Magill). The UK is another leader in renewable
innovation.

In order for the planet to shift gears into an environmentally safe state, the adoption of
renewable energies is a necessity. Although this change may take time, it is a cause worth
working towards on a global scale. The investments into renewable energy infrastructure and
technologies create jobs and lead us away from using fossil fuels. President Obama started his
term with an agenda to promote renewable energies for the United States, and hopefully future
presidents will follow suit. Bloomberg New Energy Finance advisory board chairman Michael
Liebreich puts our global efforts for a renewables-based planet simply and concisely: This is
about a future thats structured differently from the past (McDonnell).

II.

Cogitation
Interactions
Renewable energy crosses all sectors within globalization and a vital cog to a sustainable

existence, and the future of globalization. In fact the current rate in which we consume fossil
fuels is unsustainable and dangerous. Besides for just interacting with the political and cultural
domains, renewable energy also affects the economic, business, and physical domains within
globalization. More specifically renewable energy opens up vast new sectors and niches within
global and national economies. Globally renewable energy will allow for economies to adapt
away from expensive non-renewable modes of transportation/living. This will develop whole
new markets and innovation that will change the face of globalization. However this has a much
greater economic affect on nations. This will allow for once dependent nations to independently
produce their own power and energy and consumers/inhabitants to reap the rewards. For instance
Germany is attempting to become the first industrial nation powered by only renewable energies.

Now to do this, they have implemented many energy efficiency measures and laws in order to
more easily make the switch to renewables over time. (Burgermeister Jane) This will eventually
give way to a sustainable and healthy living style. Nations will be able to allocate a lot of money
away from non-renewables and focus on infrastructure and development. However this comes
with some drawbacks as countries that rely on western countries to buy their oil, will once again
become obsolete. This leads to the business side of things. Renewable energy will open entirely
new business sectors and job markets due to the need for innovation especially in the west. For
instance in England they consume more energy from offshore wind farms than all the other
countries combined. (Economist) This showcases that when we do adopt renewable energy, there
will be plenty of business and economic growth. More specifically in China they are developing
renewable energy in biomass, solar, hydro, and wind. They lead the world in installed energy
capacity and installed units. (Davidson Michael) This infrastructure coupled with subsidies to
develop renewable energy allows for a fantastic building and trading platform for the
globalization of the Chinese energy industry. This will allow China to be ahead of the game on
renewable energies and globalize themselves accordingly. If nations can help subsidize and
regulate renewable energy they can create a stable platform for businesses to thrive in.
Renewables also have major implications for the physical domain of globalization. Based our
current consumption of oil we will run out in the next few generations. (Reese Richard) In fact
since 1962 discoveries of oil reserves have dropped significantly and constantly year after year.
(Reese Richard) Even if we happened to find more oil, this type of fossil fuel consumption only
creates more greenhouse gases killing our environment. To create a sustainable existence we
must reform our methods and innovate. Renewable energies will greatly increase the business
and physical domains, but inhibit the global economic side. It will make countries more isolated

and self-reliant since they have their own energy and food supplies. However renewables will
allow for massive technological innovation and rapid economic and business growth that will
outweigh the isolation. But most importantly to save our own existence we must forge
sustainable living for future generations. Even if renewable energy slows down globalization
among countries, it is necessary in order to adapt to a sustainable lifestyle.
It is known that transport is almost completely dependent on fossil based fuels such as
gasoline, diesel fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, and compressed natural gas. As the amount of
usable fuel decreases, the demand for alternative pathways to produce fuels that could help
prolong the inevitable bottom of the barrel and combat the global effects of the shortage of
transportation fuels increases. However, this approach only prolongs the issue at hand. To truly
combat climate change, a transition to renewable energy must take place quite rapidly, within a
century at most. Thus, the rate of diffusion of new policy and technology becomes a central
issue. (Readfearn, Graham) The major political and environmental obstacles carry a modest price
if we consider total costs to society without the transition to renewable energy. There is high
importance in supporting national and sub-national policy that supports the development of
successful alternative energy. Furthermore, policies that support restructuring our energy
consumption habits in conjunction with policies that specifically provide incentives for the
private sector to become involved, are most likely to result in global environmental safety,
international cooperation, and a better economy. Renewable energy sources have a large potential
to alter the socioeconomic and environmental backdrop of global society. However, existing
policy has put emphasis on the environmental implications of renewable energy, while
socioeconomic impacts have not received comparable attention. These include diversification of
energy supply, enhanced development opportunities in the public and private sector, and the

creation of an industry that could supply numerous economic benefits through increased
employment. With the exception of increased energy options and security through
diversification, the analysis of the global, cultural, and political impacts have been too general.
Additionally, a focus on the regional and, even more so, the local level has been lacking as
existing studies have only provided infrequent evidence of regional and local benefits. (Pembina
Institute) Renewable energy sources that use local resources have the potential to provide low
cost energy services of both air pollutants and greenhouse gases. More specifically, a transition
to renewable energy has significant socioeconomic implications. If alternative energy were to
become widely accepted culturally, the partisan politics that are currently subverting the issue
would suddenly become less relevant. Political parties originally placing less emphasis on
environmental issues would be forced to address them in a more liberal manner if they ever hope
to appease the majority of voters. It is important to note that as the cultural landscape changes,
the political landscape necessarily changes as well. Al Gore, a major advocate for environmental
protection through renewable energy once said, Our entire civilization depends upon us now
embarking on a new journey of exploration and discovery. Our success depends on our
willingness as a people to undertake this journey [] we have an opportunity to take a giant leap
for humankind. (A.A.Gore)

Convergence/ Divergence

Renewable energy is a global issue. Many countries have different policies and views on
renewable energy. Having every country agree on one viewpoint is close to impossible in the
world we live in today, but everyone can agree that renewable energy is better than burning fossil
fuels. Through this common agreement, the countries of the world can work towards eliminating
fossil fuels and using renewable energy instead. Renewable energy brings the world together as
one place.
Countries are already looking towards the future and investing in renewable energy. By
2035, renewables will hold a 30% share of the global power mix, but only 1% of the world's
fossil fuel-fired power plants will be equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS), reports
the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its newly released World Energy Outlook (WEO-2013)
(Brown). The Internal Energy Agency already is forecasting that renewable energies will supply
nearly one third of the worlds energy by 2035. Nearly half of the increase in global power
generation will be from renewables--and generation from wind, solar, and hydro will make up an
expected 30% share of the global power mix by 2035. That will put it ahead of natural gas and
just behind coal as the leading fuel (Brown). This is a global prediction, which means many
countries around the world will use the same types of renewable energy such as solar, wind, and
hydro. Doing this will bring the world closer together by having different countries using the
same types of energy. As time goes by more and more countries will follow other countrys
examples and converge towards renewable energy.
Countries have been trying to solve the problem of climate change for a very long time.
Whether its by investing in renewable energy, or trying to decrease the level of carbon dioxide
emissions, everyone wants to live in a cleaner world. President Obama plays a large role in
fulfilling this goal of a world powered by renewable energy. Just days after the election, Obama

addressed the Governors Global Climate Summit, and expressed priorities diametrically
opposed to his predecessors. My presidency will mark a new chapter in Americas leadership
on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process
(Kincaid, and Roberts). Obama is taking a more active role in climate change than Bush ever
did. This gave other countries hope that they would be able to come together and reach an
agreement. The international community looked to Obama to restore a positive American
identity in the world after years of obstructionist foreign policy under George W. Bush. At the
Governors Global Climate Summit, Obama assured the audience that the United States will
once again engage vigorously in these negotiations, and help lead the world toward a new era of
global cooperation on climate change (Kincaid, and Roberts). Obama has taken the first step in
bringing nations together by declaring that he would work hard to create a global agreement on
climate change. Im certain Obama will bring up renewable energy at these summits in the future
and with other countrys cooperation the world can come closer to solving the energy and climate
change problem that it is facing today.

III.

Evaluation

Individuals will benefit from renewable energy as the increase of available jobs becomes
substantial. Specifically, the U.S. wind energy industry provided 80,700 full time jobs in the U.S.
during 2012(AWEA). Also, the solar industry in the U.S. has grown to 142,698 solar workers in
2013 which is an increase of almost 20% over 2012 (Solar Foundation).
Individuals will benefit as the amount of renewable energy increases, the burning of fossil
fuels will decrease. People will not have to heavily rely on fossil fuels. They will also be able to

live in a cleaner world as the decrease of fossil fuels will decrease the amount of toxic waste in
the environment.
Individuals will also benefit as prices of renewable energy products decrease, specifically
solar panels. Solar panels will allow individuals to install solar panels on their house to generate
electricity.
Certain business will lose and others will win. Corporations that are in the business of fossil
fuels will lose as people begin to switch to renewable energy. Corporations will begin to lose
profits once people understand that renewable is the correct choice.
Corporations that are in the business of creating renewable energy sources will benefit
greatly. They will see an increase in profits as people begin to buy into renewable energy.
Tesla Motors will benefit from renewable energy. Tesla produces extremely technological
vehicles which utilize lithium-ion battery packs, instead of fossil fuels. The Tesla vehicles are
easily rechargeable at charging stations. The charging stations electricity is generated by solar
farms. This enables Tesla to run on solar energy which is becoming increasingly cost effective.
Certain nations will be greatly affected and others will not be. Nations that are heavily
reliable on fossil fuels will lose as they begin to see a decrease in demand. It will be harder the
the nations that heavily rely on fossil fuels to switch because there is so much capital involved.
Nations will want to hold onto the fossil fuel business for as long as possible before switching to
renewable energy. These nations will lose as other nations flourish in the renewable energy
sector.
Nations that rely on fossil fuels will begin to transition into renewable energy and will end up
winning. Certain nations will have an easier transition to renewable energy than others.

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We need to decrease the amount of subsidies given to oil, coal and gas producers and
consumers. These subsidies given by the government is the key issue. In order for renewable
energy growth, we need to reduce these subsidies.
It will be difficult to reduce the number of losers because most of them will stand by fossil
fuels until it is no longer possible.
Money equals power; money allows the rich to continue to generate wealth. Corporations
continue to influence our way of life. The large corporations involved in fossil fuels will not back
down because renewable energy is a serious threat to their business model.
If we are able to reduce the amount of power that these large corporations have, we will be
able to grow renewable energy to a productive stage. It will be a win for everyone including our
delicate planet. It will only be a loss for corporations that rely on fossil fuels.

Interview

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Interviewee: Sami Al-Khoadri


Position: Renewable Energy Specialist
Company: Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA)

What makes an energy source renewable?


A definition of a renewable resource is a resource that can be replenished naturally with
the passage of time. In other wordsits a source that will never be depleted. Typical examples of
renewable sources of energy include solar thermal & photovoltaic, wind, water, geothermal, and
biomass.

What is the difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy?


The difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy is that nonrenewable energy
can be used up. Renewable energy sources are unlimited and cannot be used up. Nonrenewable
energy cannot be used again once it is all gone. Coal and oil are main examples, since their
supply on earth is ultimately limited. Water, heat and wind are the best example of renewable
energy, because it will never run out.

What is the best form of renewable energy?

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Personally I like solar thermal power because it stores energy as heat, it can be used for
base load power. Also theres a great amount of heat available on this planet, especially in
deserts, so for counties in dry and hot areas can turn to this form of energy. The efficiency rate
for Solar thermal is increasing and the cost is decreasing, soon it will hit the magic cost-effective
numbers and explode across this country.

Where do you see renewable energy in 15 years?


There would definitely be a better infrastructure because the sources needed are
available, but I believe that the world needs more time to learn how to use and organize the
technology properly. It will also be more common because it will be cheaper and widely more
available.

Which country in your opinion uses the renewable energy technology most?
Most Probably Germany, they are extremely dedicated to renewable energy. Germany is
one of worlds largest producers of solar power; about 39% of their electricity comes from
renewable energy. They have a diverse portfolio of renewable energy technologies, such as solar,
wind, biomass, and non-hydro energy.

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Price of Silicon Cells Used In Solar Panels

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http://i0.wp.com/cleantechnica.com/files/2013/05/price-of-solar-power-drop-graph.jpg

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Oil discoveries and production

Reese, Richard. "Oil And The Future.

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Kincaid, Graciela, and J. Timmons Roberts. "No Talk, Some Walk: Obama Administration FirstTerm Rhetoric On Climate Change And US International Climate Budget
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Readfearn, Graham. "Australia's Renewables Adviser Scrapes the Bottom of the Climate
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Apr. 2014.

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Reese, Richard. "Oil And The Future." Oil And The Future. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
"Rueing the Waves." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 04 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Apr.
2014.
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(2014) www.thesolarfoundation.org Acc. 10 Apr. 2014