Ethics, Environment and Innovation Energy Policy
Being an independent energy consultant present task is to advise UK Government on the Nuclear energy policy for the next thirty years. The main problem we are facing today is lack of adequate resources for the economic growth of mankind. The rationale behind this is the huge population on earth compared to the limited resources we have to use, this challenges us to use these limited resources in a very conservative and wise manner so that we do not leave any unhealthy traces for our next generations and helping them to lead a sustainable life. For this to happen we have to innovate and use non conventional energy resources but not at the cost of sustainable life and ethics. There have been many cases of undesirable behavior of companies in recent times which has left a deep scar on the human life like the incident of Chernobyl which may be seen as a small incident by some but from grounds of humanity it shows how under developed and immature we are and how biased is our approach towards our next generations.
This is the high time we should understand that any nation's development has a direct relation with the nation's utilization of energy but usage of dangerous energy resources which are unsustainable is not a desirable thing. In this report the focus is on what exactly ethics and innovation have relation in between and the problems associated with nuclear energy are discussed followed by a solution to this problem by a suggestion for consideration of utilization and investment in non conventional and renewable energy resources along with need for encouragement of green energy in public to achieve the desired sustainable growth of the nation with out any undesirable effects for our and next generations.
Ethics are defined as the set of principles and values followed by human beings which reflect moral beliefs and practices. Even though there are no rigid ethics clearly mention anywhere they vary from individual to individual, organization to organization to organization and nation to nation. Ethics play a great role in determining an individual's character and shape the person's life and are usually formed by upbringing and socialization.
ENVIRONMENT & INNOVATION
Environment is the surroundings in which man is living, which compromise of both living and non living things. The environment plays a trivial role in the life style of humans and the standards we set for our environment reflect our care for our environment as well as for our future generations. Innovation comes from necessity and invention; there is a dire necessity to take care of several factors which influence the environment. So it is often advisable to follow ethical principles while innovating to ensure a sustainable growth which is always the need of the hour.
RELATION BETWEEN ETHICS AND INNOVATION
The need to re iterate the importance of the ethics have evolved from the complexity of the human activities at various levels, as change is always a part of our lives and only thing that is permanent is change, human lives are changing more rapidly in various aspects and to support the ever increasing needs and demands of humans the energy came in to picture to support all the required. Energy plays an important role in the development of any nation. The innovations are needed with ethics implemented at right level to ensure sustainable growth. This explains the need for evolution of energy projects as well as other activities that are ethical and innovative.
CONVENTIONAL ENERGY AND ITS EFFECTS ON ENVIRONMENT
We are very much accustomed to use the fossil fuels at a very extensive rate that the time reached that we need to rethink our consumption levels of the fossil fuels as well as the effects that are the consequences of the fossil fuel consumption. There is also a threat to the whole globe regarding the pollution and emissions that are the results of the fossil fuel usage, it is also clear to us that the fossil fuels if not replaced by other energy resources will lead to the situation where no fossil fuel will be left on earth and will be depleted completely from earth. All the fossil fuels also leave a very bad impression on the earth and environment with carbon emission being the major concern we are facing serious environmental and climatic changes due to green house effect and other pollution consequences like acid rains etc. It is the high time we should feel responsible for our environment and sustainable growth for the next generations. This encourages us to look for new innovative energy resources that will start complimenting the fossil fuels in the initial years and slowly help in replace fossil fuels and act as a perfect substitute for the conventional energy resources
NUCLEAR ENERGY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
Nuclear energy is a very advanced and innovative energy source that can support enormous energy demand on earth. As it is evident that every activity and innovation has its own pros and cons the nuclear projects also have numerous advantages and disadvantages intertwined with its implementation. The main advantage of nuclear energy consumption is its huge capability to support the energy production at a mass level and meeting huge demands, it is often argued by many that nuclear energy is a perfect substitute to the greenhouse emitting energy sources as the nuclear reactors do not emit green house gases. Disadvantages associated with the nuclear energy production are also important while they may seem to over shadow the advantages when considered ethics and environment as well. It is clear to us that the nuclear energy is a good energy producing source, but one thing has to be understood is the consequences of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy reactors leave the dangerous spills and other radio active materials which has to disposed with utmost care and the radio active material is a serious threat to living beings and often the direct costs are considered in the cost estimation of nuclear plant but there are so many indirect cists like the protection of surroundings and safe disposal of the wastes. It will leave a deteriorating effect on the next generations for few thousands of years if the nuclear wastes are not taken care of.
SOLUTION IS RENEWABLE ENERGY
Safer and cheaper alternatives to nuclear power are available now , many research and studies have shown that energy efficiency measures and other renewable energy resources like solar energy and wind energy can be a perfect substitute for nuclear energy which does not add to the carbon emissions to the surroundings like fossil fuels. United kingdom has a great potential of unutilized wind energy and to use the energy effectively with out causing harm to the environment it is high time we should shift from fossil fuels to other energy sources which are non conventional like wind energy.
In many parts of UK the winds are very robust and even at some points like outer Herbides in Scotland can reach up to 5 KW per meter. This clearly indicate that there is a lot of scope to utilize the energy in wind form and convert it in to suitable electrical energy which can be stored and transmitted at convenience. There is a lot of need to further research in effective energy conversion devices so that they can withstand very robust winds as well and can work efficiently in extreme conditions.
UK is also surrounded by water body; this gives us another option to tap energy from tides. Tidal energy is also an effective energy collecting procedure where the powerful tides are tapped and the energy stored in it is used and converted in to suitable energy form for storage and later usage. It is recommended to provide some special discounts to the public on purchase of the solar and wind energy conversion devices. Reduction on prices and special promotions to the green energy users can slowly but surely have a very good impact on the public and definitely help in encouraging the usage of green energy more than the other conventional energy resources.
ENERGY POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
We are responsible for the living standards of our future generations and we should endeavor to preserve the foundations of life and nuclear energy consumptions disturbs life. We are the responsible persons for nuclear materials, spills and emissions. Transportation of radio-active materials for disposal may be hazardous as possibility of accidents is present and consequences are disastrous. Research and development of technologies that are least dangerous have to be adopted. The formation of policies regarding energy need full participation of public as well, so it is advisable to explain to the public regarding the pros and cons of nuclear energy and take their opinion as well. Education of public about the containment and utilization of nuclear energy in compared to other have to be made.
Nuclear energy is not that much attractive in implementation as it seems to be on paper, the costs involved in the nuclear power plant are in fact variable and they are almost double when all the hidden costs are added to the direct costs, for example in United States the cost involved in generating electricity from nuclear power plant is about $1.4 only but if indirect social and environmental costs are also included, figures will almost double to this. There is no match and monetary calculation for the health hazards and consequences that deteriorate health of living beings on earth is possible. In comparison the renewable energy resources like wind and solar can be used to produce electricity at almost half rate with no long term consequences and no carbon emissions with pollution as well. Even though the initial costs of these projects are little bit more the sustainable growth is always appreciable. The UK Government need to play a very vital role in promoting the wind energy and green energy, the green energy term is explained as energy generated with out causing harm to environment in a fair manner.
RENEWABLE ENERGY SAFER AND SUSTAINABLE
There are so many challenges associated with nuclear energy production and for sustainable growth, keeping ethics as main agenda UK government has to take steps in such a way that the research and development has to be taken regarding the safe utilization of nuclear energy efficiently with possibility of accidents and a very safe and ecological way to dispose nuclear radio active wastes. At the same time the other energy resources should be used at a more extensive rate as the renewable energy like wind is abundant, cheap and risk free. Wind energy does not threaten security and safety of present and future generations; this eliminates unnecessary devastation of the environment which is likely to happen in case of the nuclear energy usage if not in present will definitely in long term. Safe energy is much more beneficial than the rest even though it may look costly and expensive to a normal economist's eye from an environmentalist view it is much cheaper and viable.
Adoption of the nuclear energy by the UK Government for the next thirty years is not a very ethical decision as it leaves the environment at threat for future generations. There is a dire necessity to develop much more advanced technologies for safe utilization and disposal of nuclear material. The safe option is to go for the green energy production and consumption at an extensive rate. Government needs to intervene in the energy consumption of public and should take steps in such a way that public should prefer renewable energy to fossil fuels.
In its energy policy the UK Government should take the nuclear indirect costs seriously and should understand the consequences it will leave on the future life on the planet. Unutilized energy like wind energy and tidal energy has to be tapped effectively and efficiently, so that the environment remains safe and growth is ensured sustainable.
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