Alternative Energy Facts
Alternative energy is one of the hottest environmental topics today and sweeping the entire world into its grip. It no longer revolves around the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity but also includes the use of alternative products like ethanol in vehicles.
Today it has become important to know about alternative energy, how it works, and its different forms, so that one can stay on the top of the presidential campaign policies and the environmental legislations and how it affects our house and family. This type of energy is formed from the sources that are neither harmful to the environment nor deplete the natural resources of the earth. So, this type of energy excludes everything such as coal and petrol that pollutes and harms the environment.
Renewable energy is a type of alternative energy, which makes use of natural resources like tides, wind, sunlight, and geo-thermal heat that is naturally refilled by nature and can never come to an end. About 13% of energy comes from renewable sources of energy. When countries started thinking about alternative sources of energy, they could never have realized that there can be such a large number to draw from. Some of the latest forms include:
- Hydro Power: This energy is formed through flow of water in dams.
- Tidal energy: It also works upon the same model as dams.
- Wave energy: This is very much similar to hydro energy and tidal energy.
- Fuel cells: These are usually associated to hybrid cars or electric cars. Electro-chemical devices are used to produce energy through chemical reaction without producing any harmful pollutants.
- Solar power: It is made of transferring sunlight into electrical energy by the use of silicon.
- Wind power: This energy is obtained by converting wind energy into kinetic energy to generate electricity. Sites like open farmlands that have lot of wind are excellent for wind turbines and other locations where power lines cannot reach.
- Ethanol: It is a fuel that is an alternative for gasoline. It is made from an alcohol made of wheat and corn, which is known as ethyl alcohol.
- Bio-diesel: It is produced from animal fats and vegetable oils and is an effective alternative for petroleum diesel.
- Hydrogen: It is produced from biomass, fossil fuels and through electrolyzing of water.
- Geo-thermal energy: It is excellent for use on a small scale for heating houses, small industries, and businesses. If needed on a bigger scale, the geo-thermal plants create steam from earth’s heat and provide energy to the turbine engines.
Alternative energy is a clean energy, which produces no or little hazardous emissions as compared to other sources of energy like wood and coal. Fossil fuels like natural gas and coal are limited in nature and when all of them become depleted after a few generations, humans will need alternative sources for generating energy. Alternative sources of energy can be replenished quickly and easily and the earth will never run out of them. As research on alternative energy is carried out, more sources are likely to be found in the near future. Perhaps, we will soon be able to heat our houses by transforming our wastes into usable sources of energy.