What Is Alternative Energy?
With the ever increasing green school of thought and the want for a green life the question of whether it is possible to start your own Home Renewable Energy Project is now a common one.
First we have to understand what alternative energy sources are available to be harnessed either on a large or small scale. Much research has been carried out into renewable energy technology and there are many alternative energy sources to fossil fuels and non renewable energy such as the old electrical grid system. This can be achieved by simply researching and using many of the earths natural energy sources such as solar power and wind energy.
Wind Power or Wind Energy is a resource that is free but has to be harnessed by the ever more common wind turbines. These wind turbines continue to be developed so that they are increasingly more energy effecient and less expensive to produce. Small turbines are available to generate electricity for single households or small communities but on a much larger scale Wind Farms have been appearing in many areas to supply electricity to towns and cities, and in the UK they have now just opened the worlds largest offshore wind farm.
Solar Energy is another alternative energy asset that is abundant is probably still the most common one that people know and use. This involves the manufacturing of solar cells which gather and focus the energy given off directly by the sun, and convert it into electricity or in some cases hot water. As with wind energy, solar energy creates absolutely zero pollution thus is the perfect solution for those who wish to Go Green.
Wave Energy is seen by governments and investors as having tremendous energy generating potential, but not by all conservationist. A generator in France has been in operation for many years now and is considered to be a great success, and in the UK they are now running observational facilities.
Hydroelectric Power has been with us for some years now and where it is in operation it is a powerful generator of electricity. Unfortunately it has one major limitation and that is the availability and suitability of the sites.
Geothermal Energy is extremely abundant, since it lies immediately beneath our feet, just a few miles below the earths crust. This energy is produced by the heating of water through the actions of the earths incredibly hot molten core. The water turns into steam, which can be harnessed and used to propel turbine engines which in turn create electricity.
Waste Gas Energy is fundamentally methane and reverses the usual energy pollution relationship by producing energy from waste that lies in dumps and land fill sites. This gas is used in fuel cells and in basic gasoline generators to produce electricity.
Ethanol is a gasoline substitute and is created from such things as wheat, sugarcane, grapes, corn and even wood chips and wood cellulose. There is contention over this fuel with regards to it ever becoming truly economical except in very localized areas, but technologies for its extraction and add mixturing are continuously being refined.
Biodiesel Energy is created out of the oils contained in plants. So far the commercial biodiesel has been created using soya bean, rapeseed and sunflower oils. Biodiesel is typically produced by entrepreneurial minded individuals but commercial interest from the large companies is on the rise as it burns much cleaner than normal diesel.
Atomic Energy is by far the most contraversal energy source and is created in atomic energy plants using the procedure of nuclear fission. This energy is extremely effective and can create huge amounts of power. There is anxiety from many people about what can be done with the relatively small amount of waste produced by this process, since it remains radioactive and takes hundreds of years to change into harmless material.
As you can see there are many alternative renewable resources and many governments have now set up alternative energy funds and incentives to try and encourage us all to Go Green and do our best to reduce the harmfull effects we make on the planet. After all mankind is the only species that has the ability to make that choice.