As the global population increases in size, the demand for electricity surges along with it.
This ultimately means more fossil fuel usage, which causes damage to our environment.
That reason alone is one of the biggest motivating factors for the quest of developing renewable energy options.
The burning of fossil fuels causes pollution as well as smog, acid rain, and global warming to name a few.
In the past, nuclear power was seen as the answer to our electricity problems; however, we know now the many hazards that it causes.
The best alternatives to fossil fuels use solar power energy from the sun’s radiation, wind power using wind turbines to generate electricity, and marine energy from the waves and tides can be all used to generate electricity.
With all these alternative renewable energy options, why would we continue to burn copious amounts of fossil fuels?
This article will answer this question as well as many other questions you may have about alternative sources of energy.
Alternative renewable energy is an energy source that is continually replenished such as the sun, water, and wind.
Renewable energy is often preferred because no emissions of greenhouse gases are involved in the energy creation process.
In a perfect world, as a society, we should make use of the energy sources that come from nature and avoid everything that causes damage to our environment. This includes fossil fuels and nuclear power.
The electricity generated from wind does not generate any greenhouse gases and it is possible for it to be used to meet our growing need for electricity.
Using wind as an alternative renewable resource has been on the back burner for many years. Windmills have been used to grind grain and pump water for centuries that go back well before the Middle Ages.
The way that wind power works is that the radiation from the sun warms up the atmosphere, and this is what causes the wind to blow.
In essence, wind power is just an extension of solar power. Wind power is one of the fastest-growing forms of energy generation that is being developed worldwide.
It is a fairly easy process using giant wind turbines. Rotor blades are attached to a shaft of an electricity generator and are placed in a windy location.
The power of the wind spins the blades, which turn the generator, and electricity is produced.
There are a number of wind farms worldwide that generate alternative renewable energy by use of the wind.
However, much research and development are going into finding ways to set up wind farms out in the ocean, where strong winds blow more frequently.
We are a long way off in developing this solution, but when we do, wind power might be able to supply a large portion of the world’s energy.
Advantages of Wind Energy
Unlike electricity that is generated by fossil fuels such as coal and oil, wind energy does not generate any pollution or greenhouse gases whatsoever.
Wind power is often said to be one of the best sources of natural energy other than solar energy. In all fairness, wind power is actually a derivative of solar energy, because the heat from the sun causes changes in weather patterns and that is where the wind comes from.
There are a number of advantages of wind energy, but the reason that is always mentioned whenever you hear about wind energy is the fact that wind is a free, vast, and renewable resource.
A renewable resource is a resource that is continually replenished. For example; the wind is going to keep blowing for all of eternity, so we do not have to worry that we are going to run out of wind in the next 50 years.
The same thing cannot be said about fossil fuels.
Like other alternative forms of energy, the biggest cost involved with wind energy is the setting up of the wind system. This means that many people will choose wind power over other forms of electricity because it is such an affordable option.
There will be maintenance costs involved, but these will be very similar to the maintenance costs involved with electricity. Wind turbines will need to be checked and oiled regularly so that the wind power continues to work to its full effect.
Another advantage of wind energy, and it’s worth repeating, is that once the wind turbines are built, wind energy does not cause any pollution.
In contrast, the continual burning of fossil fuels causes big problems for the environment.
This includes smog, acid rain, and global warming. Global warming is the biggest issue that we face.
Scientists and Climatologists have indicated that the reason why the seasons are so messed up at the moment is because of global warming.
Sulfur dioxide is released into the atmosphere and this causes a warming effect and forces the temperature up.
Currently, the world isn’t at a Cataclysmic stage yet, but in the next 50 years, whole Eco-systems and environments may be destroyed because of this warming effect.
There will be no arctic circle if the world keeps warming up and no polar bears either. It makes you think, doesn’t it?
It was the fact that fossil fuel resources are stretching thin now and that the burning of such fuels was causing damage to the environment that made scientists look for other alternatives.
Considering that we have this option now and there are many advantages of wind energy, it makes sense that we develop this wind industry much further.
We are in full swing of the global recession now and it makes sense for us as an economy to invest in wind power.
The major advantages of wind energy in this sense are that it will be a major economic boost and create an abundance of new and well-paying jobs for people.
Other new businesses can be formed too, such as building your own windmill books, publications, and DIY kits where you can build your own in your workshop.
The many advantages of wind energy definitely override any of the disadvantages of this new technology. As a society interested in preserving our beautiful environment as long as possible, we really have no other option but to invest in wind energy as part of our overall strategy.
The energy from the sun is an abundant renewable energy resource and it makes sense to tap into it to generate electricity.
Many people choose to make use of solar power because it is free, vast, and renewable.
Currently, the most common use of the sun’s energy in homes is for light and warmth.
This is what windows are designed for, but in the past several years, people have seen the potential of using the sun as a source for providing hot water too.
There are a number of technologies currently being put to use such as solar hot water systems, and solar heaters for swimming pools.
Advantages of Solar Energy
For years we humans have been exhausting the resources of fossil fuels and have been causing a great deal of damage to the environment, and it is now time that we look at alternative energy sources to stop or even reverse some of the damage that we have caused.
That is where solar energy comes in. Solar energy uses the power of the sun to provide energy and electricity to all its inhabitants.
There are a number of advantages of solar energy and these include such things as it is free, vast, and Eco-friendly.
One of the main advantages of solar energy is that it is abundant and widely available.
Some scientists have actually said that every day the sun generates more energy than the six billion people who live on earth would use in more than 30 years.
The sun will never stop shining, it’s a huge star millions of miles away, and we will always be able to get energy from it.
The sun provides the energy for practically all life on earth and keeps the planet warm enough for all to exist.
Despite the clear advantages of solar energy, the impact of solar power on society has been very small, in fact, less than 0.05% of the nation’s electricity comes from solar generating stations.
As I’ve mentioned several times already, burning fossil fuels causes smog, acid rain, global warming, and other forms of pollution, and because of this, we need to cut down on the number of fossil fuels used.
If you want to understand how damaging the burning of fossil fuels is to the environment, you should watch documentaries created by real scientists on climate change.
Once you have watched a few of these documentaries, you will be stunned and will never want to switch on another light switch ever again and will want to switch fully to solar energy.
Another real advantage of solar energy is the low cost involved. First of all, sunlight is free, so when you install a solar energy system, you will not have to pay for a kilowatt of electricity ever again.
Although there are costs involved with the initial setting up of solar energy, you will actually be saving a lot of money in the long run.
It is becoming even more affordable to set up solar energy technologies now because the government offers incentives if you use solar energy.
Probably the most publicized incentive is the Energy Policy Act 2005, where you receive a tax credit if you use clean energy to power your household.
The act provided tax credits aimed at reducing the cost of building solar power plants and because of this, a number of solar energy plants are being brought in the solar industry is going through a big growth spurt just like the wind power industry.
By cutting down on the number of fossil fuels burned and using energy alternatives such as solar energy, health risks will be reduced as well.
Many people underestimate the damage that the continued burning of fossil fuels is doing to the health of our plants, animals, and human beings.
Therefore, one of the many advantages of solar energy is a decrease in health costs. You probably have noticed that over the past 20 years or so the number of people developing diseases and cancer has increased ten-fold, and arguably, a lot of this can be blamed on the burning of fossil fuels releasing Sulfur dioxide into the air.
Rain energy? Many people have heard of wind, solar, and even geothermal energy, but haven’t a clue about rain energy.
Scientists have proved that there actually is a way to get energy from falling water drops, and this water turns into electrical energy.
This is still quite a new idea and hasn’t been taken off the ground quite yet, new technology is being developed every day.
Hopefully, sooner or later rain energy will be as well-known as other renewable sources of energy.
Good things take time…
While rain energy is currently not a practical source of renewable energy, I thought it would be fun to include it in this article to at least make you aware of the possibilities.
Geothermal energy is the last source of renewable energy that I’m going to discuss.
The easiest way to take advantage of geothermal energy is by saltwater and steam that is trapped in the many layers of rock underneath the earth’s core.
Natural hot springs are the most popular form of geothermal energy that has been used in the last few centuries.
However, geothermal heat pumps are the new “it” energy product. Although geothermal energy is sustainable, it is not readily available.
This is due to the fact that not everybody lives by a geothermal reservoir and that often the technology is far too expensive.
It’s nice we have the option though because every renewable energy source that we can harness can help overall to reduce global warming.
I hope this article has been beneficial in helping you learn and understand some of the most common renewable sources of energy that are available.
There is constantly new technology being developed, and because of this, there will be a chance for the traditional forms of energy to be minimized so that renewable energy can be used instead.
Collectively, this approach will be better for the environment by helping to reverse some of the existing damage and protecting what hasn’t.
However, more systems need to be developed if we are going to use alternative renewable energy as our only source of power without the use of fossil fuels.
Of course, this will not happen overnight and will take a global effort in order to create an impact strong enough to stop global warming.
Be certain to do your part, no matter how insignificant you think it is because doing so will help to reduce your carbon footprint.
And if you have millions of people doing the same, these small efforts alone can help to slow down the effects of global warming!