Renewable Energy versus Fossil Fuels

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Summary 1

High-Titer Methane from Organosolv-Pretreated Spruce and Birch

Fossil fuels are not new to the world. During the industrial revolution, they were the primary source of fuel that was used to propel locomotives. Fossil fuels include gas, crude oil, and also coal. Since there have been many innovations that have taken the place of the transportation and manufacturing industries, the number of locomotives and machines has increased in the long run. As it is stated, the energy industry is estimated to be approximately 1.6 trillion dollars, and the key players in the market still remain to be fossil fuels. According to statistics given by the International Energy Agency, fossil fuels are the leading producers of energy in the long run. They account for approximately 80% of the entire world production (Matsakas, Nitsos, Vörös, Rova, & Christakopoulos, 2017). However, energy production can be segregated to distinct sources, which include: hydroelectric power that contributes to 2.5% of the total energy production, nuclear energy that accounts for 4.8% of the entire global production, combustible biomass that accounts for 10.5% among other sources. Over the past decades, there are multiple pieces of research that have been made to consider for the existence of fossil fuels, but they all conclude that the shortage of fossil fuels is imminent (Matsakas, Nitsos, Vörös, Rova, & Christakopoulos, 2017).

As the demand for renewable sources of energy continues to elevate, the adverse effects of fossil fuels, on the other hand, continues to increase. This has resulted in the use of novel raw materials in the long run. In the process, it has been discovered that lignocellulose biomass is very efficient in the production of biogas in addition to being used for anaerobic respiration. However, this process employs both spruce and birch as raw materials in the anaerobic respiration process (Matsakas, Nitsos, Vörös, Rova, & Christakopoulos, 2017). The impacts of distinct operational settings on organosol pre-treatment on the outcome of methane were studied. When acid catalyst was included in the anaerobic proves, the spruce output increased with no impact on the birch used. The shorter treatment period was very crucial, with both inputs in place. When the ethanol content used was low, the methane yields in the anaerobic process increased. However, for optimum activity of birch, ethanol needed to be in large quantities.

Summary 2

An Overview of the Portuguese Energy Sector and Perspectives for Power-to-Gas Implementation

Energy dependence is a parameter that is used to show the extent to which a country relies on foreign aid in order to finance its energy production. It is a measure through which a country relies on imports in order to meet the energy demands from different regions. The indicator is obtained through subtracting the net exports of energy from the net imports of energy whose result is divided by the sum of domestic energy consumption summed to international maritime bankers (Miguel, Mendes, & Madeira, 2018). According to statistics taken in 2015, Portugal had the most considerable energy dependence among the European countries. As compared to the other countries in the same period, Portugal seems to use more resources from imports to finance their energy demands. Most of the European nations are not affected by the prevailing energy dependence since they are in a position to satisfy themselves domestically. Portugal is a renowned country as a result of its fossil fuels that existed in the country from the beginning of the Second World War. The country is rich in coal, hydroelectric power, and other renewable sources of energy (Miguel, Mendes, & Madeira, 2018). Among the European countries, Portugal has the highest deposits of coal, natural gas, oil, and also infinite pool of renewable resources like biomass, geothermal, Photovoltaic, and hydroelectric power.

Here have also been endless perspectives of power to gas in the country. According to the IEA, daily electricity output in Portugal often exceeds the national demands, and the surpluses obtained in the process are either exported or pumped into the various hydrogen plants. However, the consumption of natural gas is increasing on a daily basis, and the power to gas technologies, especially the ability to methane techniques would be helpful in the long run. This will offer the opportunity to integrate both the gas and power grids (Miguel, Mendes, & Madeira, 2018). Implementing the process will make it possible for the country to temporarily store the energy in the form of gas, which can either be used in the spot, injected into the available natural gas grids, or stored for future is in the reservoirs. Power to methane applications in Portugal can benefit the advance wind power energy sources that can be installed within five miles of proximity from the gas infrastructure. This potential infrastructure of distribution and storage of energy makes Portugal a better place to implement the power of methane technologies (Miguel, Mendes, & Madeira, 2018). Nevertheless, it has to be in close proximity to the carbon (IV) oxide sources, and the supply of the gas needs to be adequate.

Summary 3

Current and Future Trends of the Automotive Industry

The impact of the recession on automakers

The economy of most of the countries in the world has been deteriorating in the long run. Although investors had a lot of confidence in the recovery of the economy, the process often takes longer than anticipated. The primary considerations of the then future industry are to boost both productivities as well as the competitiveness of the automobile industry. However, there are internal forces that are affecting the industry in the long run. Like in the United States, the declining value if the United States dollar and the increased number of automobiles industries are affecting the overall price of the raw materials required for the production of automobiles (Minorikawa & Suda, 1990). Another variable that is changing the domestic automobile makers in the United States is the increased demand for high tech equipment which has improved the production growth as well as exports in the long run. The impact of the automobile industry is more felt in the growing economies where the prevailing economic conditions are not favorable. These factors may include the threats associated with inflation, pressure on the current exchange rates, elevating hazards of the overhead asset bubbles, and low debt (Minorikawa & Suda, 1990).

The future trends in the automobile industry are inspired by the continued invention and innovation in information and communication technology. The first trend is automated driving. There are already self-driven electric cars in the market today from different manufacturers all over the globe. However, the technology in this automatic vehicles is expected to change in the future (Minorikawa & Suda, 1990). Not only will artificial intelligence be incorporated in the cars, but also the setup of the machines will also change. The other anticipated trend in the future is electric mobility. This is the energy-saving process in all classes of vehicles in the future. The connectivity of electric power will be improved in the long run. Safety is also another trend that is slowly taking place in the automobile industry. Protection means that the number of accidents will be minimal to none, and the volume of traffic jams will also reduce (Minorikawa & Suda, 1990). Digitization of cars is another trend that is anticipated in the near future. Scanning refers to increased intelligence of vehicles, convenience as well as comforts in the long run. Finally, information and entertainment will be improved so that human-machine communication can be classified. In short, there will exist a means of dialogue between cars and people.

Summary 4

Strengths and weaknesses of renewable energy and fossil fuels


Fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy for an extended period of time since the industrial revolution began. In addition to its ease of storage, it is also easily transported to the area of consumption. It is easy to store and transport gasoline, coal, fuel oil, and other means of transport. Fossil fuels can, therefore, be excavated in one area, processed in a different location, and finally consumed in another region (Al-Sarihi & Cherni, 2018). On the other hand, renewable sources of energy are easy to produce since the sources of energy are natural. There are no expenses incurred to get sunlight, wind, or waves. There are also unlimited opportunities in the production of biomass and mass decomposition of the final products.


Renewable sources of energy require a large surface area to volume ratio in order to get the expected amount of energy. Solar panels and windmills require enough space in a strategic region. These sources of energy also share into the vagaries of nature. In the event the weather is not favorable, then there will be no energy consumed. This illustrates why there is a need for storage, especially if the projects are being done in rural areas (Al-Sarihi & Cherni, 2018). On the other hand, fossil fuels are mainly composed of chemicals. Once they are ignited, they release hydrocarbons that often mix with other gases to produce the greenhouse effects. The second disadvantage of fossil fuels is that they can cause environmental degradation after mining is done. The oil spills and open sites are harmful to worldwide communities. Since fossil fuels are distributed by companies, they may end up suffering from interruptions and price fluctuations as a result of uncontrollable factors like political stability.

Name one thing that was most surprising to most of the group members and why

The most interesting aspect that I found among the group members is the fact that both renewable and fossil fuels are being used complimentary. While a country may have a vast pool of fossil fuels, it is also investing heavily in renewable sources of energy. The shift in this situation can be attributed to the change in technology over the long run. As a result of the increased innovation in technology, there are many methods that are being incorporated today to produce energy at a lower cost.


Matsakas, L., Nitsos, C., Vörös, D., Rova, U., & Christakopoulos, P. (2017). High-Titer Methane from Organosolv-Pretreated Spruce and Birch. Energies10(3), 263. DOI: 10.3390/en10030263

Miguel, C., Mendes, A., & Madeira, L. (2018). An Overview of the Portuguese Energy Sector and Perspectives for Power-to-Gas Implementation. Energies11(12), 3259. DOI: 10.3390/en11123259

Morikawa, H., & Suda, S. (1990). Current Status and Future Trends of Electronic Packaging in Automotive Applications. SAE Technical Paper Series. DOI: 10.4271/901134

Al-Sari, A., & Cherni, J. A. (2018). Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of renewable energy initiatives in Oman: an analysis with strategic niche management. Energy Transitions2(1-2), 15–29. DOI: 10.1007/s41825-018-0008-9