Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

Jeffrey Corbin




renewable energy, electricity, oil, alternatives, carbon


From consuming energy alone in 2009, the United States ranked second as a carbon emitter at 5,425 million metric tons annually; China was the leader at 7,706 million metric tons and India placed third at 1,591 million metric tons (EIA, 2010). Yet in 2009, the U.S. consumed more electricity than both China and India and was the leading importer of electricity (EIA, 2010). Incorporating more domestic sources of renewable energy can simultaneously alleviate two issues: mitigating climate change catastrophes and significantly reduce our dependence on foreign markets for electricity and other forms of energy. Additionally, evidence of dwindling international oil reserves (i.e., the main energy source used to generate electricity) further support that we need to act urgently and decisively to develop alternatives that are sustainable, clean and affordable renewable energy sources to enhance our future energy security.