Sunday, April 29, 2012

Denmark Aims to Completely Depend on Renewable Energy

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. renewable (adj.) 
[ri-noo, -nyoo] – able to be used again
Example: The business contract is renewable after it ends.

2. fluctuation (n.) [fluhk-choo-ey-shuhn] – constant change
ExampleFluctuations in the price of oil may lead to unstable prices of products.

3. back (v.) [bak] – to support with influence, authority, money, etc.
Example: The leading candidate in the elections is backed by businessmen.

4. skyrocket (v.) [skahy-rok-it] – to unexpectedly and suddenly increase
Example: Prices of goods will skyrocket if the tax increase is approved.

5. formality (n.) [fawr-mal-i-tee] – something done to keep with rules or accepted ways of doing things
Example:  Board members have already approved the plan, so the meeting will just be a formality.

Read the text below.

Denmark recently announced that the country aims to completely run on renewable sources of energy by 2050.

With the increase of demand for oil in growing economies such as China and India, Danish policymakers are aware that oil prices will continually increase.  They say Denmark’s economy will suffer from fluctuations in world energy prices if the country keeps depending on fuel from other countries.

According to the suggested plan, by 2020, at least a third (1/3) of the country’s energy should come from solar and wind power. Additionally, the proposal is backed by most Danish politicians which is a somewhat unusual scenario.

However, Denmark’s goal will be challenging. Power supply stations need to be rebuilt and redesigned to store energy for times when the sun is not shining and winds are not strong. A very big investment is also needed for building infrastructures and cables that will distribute energy from wind farms out at sea to the cities.

But Denmark's energy minister, Martin Lidegaard, still believes the plan will have good results. He says that it is better to have cheap and clean sources of energy than to deal with the threat of skyrocketing fuel prices.

Denmark's proposed energy policy still needs to be debated in the Parliament, but the talks may just be for formality since many politicians already support the plan. However, once the proposal is agreed on, the government’s problem will be to find ways to make the idea a reality.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

      Is it possible for a country to run completely on renewable energy? Why or why not?
      What are the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable energy?

Discussion B

      What do you think will happen if the price of oil continues to increase?
      How can the use of energy be lessened?


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