My region, New York City, is a city that holds more than seven million people. Many people from other states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania come to the city in order to work. In order to support residents and commuters, a city must have a reliable and big energy supply. NYC utilizes its power source from upstate New York. All power sources used in New York state have a percentage of their overall power from nonrenewable resources. As of now, 76% of the power used is from nonrenewable resources and nuclear power.
Nuclear power is dangerous. A large amount of radiation, if not maintained, can kill humans and wildlife. Nuclear powerplants need a lot of water in order to be cooled, like a car needs antifreeze. Without this water, these plants would become too hot and explode. The water that is released back into the water body is at a higher temperature – almost 20 degrees higher – than normal temperature. High temperature water can cause algae to bloom and fish to die; the hotter the water becomes, the less oxygen will be present. Transportation of nuclear waste also contributes to climate change as waste must be transported through three facilities. These facilities control the waste as carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal and natural gas power plants, and CO2 is another contributor to climate change. In order to create energy, fossil fuels need to burn through a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction creates the energy for electricity. With climate change rising rapidly, we need to find better ways to mitigate climate change. I propose hydroelectric power and solar power be used as the technologies to help mitigate climate change.
Hydro power utilizes the power of water by converting the energy of water into electricity. This process is a renewable resource: as the sun evaporates water vapors into the sky, the water returns to the earth through precipitation, replenishing the water supply. Every borough in NYC is surrounded by a body of water, enabling each to have the means to make as much energy as is needed to power the city. In order to have an efficient hydroelectric system, a constant flow of water must be present. The flow of water spins turbines, and electricity is created by the energy. New York already utilizes a hydroelectric system that is located in the Niagara Falls area. NYC can also utilize hydroelectricity within the city as each borough is surrounded by water that is deep enough to house the units needed to create that energy. While it can be a challenge in some boroughs like Manhattan, as its shorelines have many piers, many other shorelines can be used for such a system. This can help keep NYC sustainable and utilize an energy source that will never run out.
Solar panels also use renewable energy. These panels capture the energy of the sun and convert it to electricity. They are placed on houses at ground level or are placed on the roofs of buildings. Any building, whether it is classified as commercial or residential, has the ability to use these systems. Solar panels are already used in many buildings in NYC, reducing the cost of energy needed to be operated. A few units alone do not have the power run a city, but solar panels are an innovative technology to reduce climate change. There are also many other technologies that can help mitigate climate change. The position and temperature of the region of New York City will enable it to use both hydroelectricity and solar energy efficiently and also help self-sustain the city.
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- Wasserman, Harvey. “How Nuclear Power Causes Global Warming.” org, 21 Sept. 2016, https://progressive.org/dispatches/nuclear-power-causes-global-warming/.
- Rueb, Emily S. “How New York City Gets Its Electricity.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 10 Feb. 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/10/nyregion/how-new-york-city-gets-its-electricity-power-grid.html.
- How Hydropower Works, http://www.wvic.com/content/how_hydropower_works.cfm.
- “Hydro Power Niagara Falls.” Hydro Power – Niagara Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant, Ontario, Canada, http://www.infoniagara.com/attractions/hydro_power/index.aspx.
How solar panels work | https://news.energysage.com/solar-panels-work/.
Where NYC obtains their power | https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/10/nyregion/how-new-york-city-gets-its-electricity-power-grid.html.
Niagara Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant | http://www.infoniagara.com/attractions/hydro_power/index.aspx