Alternative energy sources underutilized in Maine



Dear Editor:

My name is Darby Mutagoma and I am a student at King Middle School. I am concerned about what this planet will become if we continue emitting carbon dioxide. “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” – U.S. President Obama. Climate change has become a big problem on Earth. The effects of climate change are getting worse and we need to do something about it. We need to switch our energy source to more sustainable and renewable energy sources. The combination of energy sources Maine should utilize to become carbon-neutral is wind power, solar power and hydropower.

Wind is one of the energy sources that we need to use to become carbon-neutral. When the wind blows, it blows the wind turbines, which spin the generator that creates electricity. Wind turbines are an efficient and sustainable way we can switch our energy source. According to Union of Concerned Scientists, the wind power industry has created 101,000 jobs around the United States. Recently the cost of wind turbines has decreased, so they are more affordable than they were before, which is why we need to take advantage of it. If we use wind power, we are not only creating jobs for the people who need them, but we are also using efficient and sustainable energy that will help us protect our environment.

Solar energy is the next energy source we should use to become carbon-neutral. When the sun’s heat energy hits the solar panels the heat then generates electricity. Though solar panels are expensive, the government is working on ways to make them cheaper knowing that they are much needed. Solar energy is easy to use and is more sustainable; it also creates jobs. According to the Solar Foundation, solar energy provides 260,077 jobs all around the United States, so just like wind energy, we would be helping the unemployed population in Maine to secure jobs. Solar energy doesn’t release any CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. It is efficient, sustainable and doesn’t harm the Earth, which is why I believe we should use it.

The final energy source we should use is hydropower. Hydroelectric energy is efficient, sustainable and good for our environment. This works when water flows into the turbines that spin the generator, which creates electricity. Hydropower has a few negatives, but the government has been working on these effects. For example, the dams can mess up the coordination of fish and the flow of the water, but scientists have created fish stairs that help the fish to travel safely and make sure they get where they need to go with no problem. Maine has a lot of open waters, so we can use these waters to create efficient electricity.

In conclusion, wind energy, solar energy and hydropower are the three energy sources that will help Maine become carbon-neutral. Potentially, they can create jobs around Maine, without the danger of releasing CO2 emissions. We need to take action before things get worse, and I am convinced that with these natural sources of energy that are provided, we can become carbon-neutral.

Darby Mutagoma

Portland

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