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Sustainable energy may be on the global horizon with wind, solar

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Expansive wind farms emerged deep into oceans and miles of solar panels installed across a once barren field may be visions of the future if companies continue to install sustainable energy sources around the globe.

Construction of one of the world’s largest wind farms has begun in the North Sea. London Array, to be completed in 2017, is a joint project by Dong Energy of Denmark, Madsar of Abu Dhabi and E.ON of Germany, according to the New York Times. The project will cost $3 billon, and will generate enough energy for almost 1.5 million people. Another offshore wind project in the North Sea, Gemini, is expected to be completed in 2017 as well.

Windmills and Sailboats on the Ocean

Europe is encouraging countries to introduce renewable energy practices by achieving an Energy Union, according to the European Wind Energy Association. The European Energy Union aims to consist of five priorities: Stable frameworks, supply of energy security, complete internal energy market, manufacturing growth and combating climate change.

“It is in everyone’s interest that energy not be used as a political tool,” President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said on the EWEA website. “It’s time Europe stood tall on its own feet, pooling our resources, combining infrastructures and uniting our negotiating power.”

Producing zero greenhouse gasses and consuming no water, wind energy may be considered an emerging tool that can be used to combat climate change. Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular among global countries as well.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the United States received more than $350 million in funding to combat modern energy challenges. SolarCity, a rooftop solar energy provider in the United States, has been working to draw consumers away from the utility industry.

Nellis_AFB_Solar_panels

Early in March, SolarCity announced their project to develop micro grids that will enable universities, military bases, cities and communities to rely on an independent power network. Micro grid technology is becoming increasingly popular on college campuses as well.

The 2015 Green Energy Challenge, sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association, encourages university students to develop a sustainable energy plan for a building in their community. This year, a back-up power grid is one of the requirements.

Colorado State University’s Green Energy Team recently proposed sustainable renovations to the Natural and Environmental Sciences Building on campus. Since the building contains rare ice core samples, a reliable energy source is necessary in order to keep the cores frozen. If the proposal passes, a micro grid will be established through the installation of solar panels. The micro grid enables the building to independently stay cold in the case of a conventional power outage.

However countries may choose to consume energy, it is becoming increasingly apparent that renewable energy sources may result in lessened economic and climate stress around the globe.

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