Renewable Energy

An overview of alternative energy sources

It's a fact: to sustain our current standard of living, we're going to have to move to renewable energy resources to meet our demands. This could mean a future with more electric cars. At current consumption rates, our reserves of nonrenewable energy may not last the century, especially given that the global population is expected to swell in the upcoming decades. Conventional means of producing electricity and energy do the planet an unsustainable amount of harm.

If you're wondering what you can do to help build a greener tomorrow, getting to know your options in the world of alternative energy is an excellent start. You can choose these technologies to supplement or replace your reliance on the local power grid and to help reduce toxic emissions and the harmful environmental and socioeconomic effects of using oil and natural gas.

Renewable Energy Sources You Should Know About

There are five major green energy sources that are being developed for use by the end consumer. They include:

  • Water power. Wherever water flows, the potential to generate energy exists. Hydropower is usually generated from powerful waves, tides and waterfalls which feed the water through penstock piping that in turn powers a generator and creates electricity. It is currently one of the most widely used forms of sustainable energy.
  • Solar energy. The sun offers a free, safe and unlimited source of power. Solar power is harnessed with special silicon-based solar panels, which absorb its energy and convert it to electricity.
  • Wind energy. Blowing wind has kinetic energy, which can be tapped with the help of a wind turbine, which turns the wind into a mechanical force that can feed a generator to produce electricity.
  • Geothermal energy. There is a great deal of latent energy trapped inside the Earth, resulting from the decay of radioactive elements as well as the primordial leftovers from the planet's birth and formation. These clean, safe and powerful energy sources have been in use since the early part of the 20th century.
  • Biomass power. One other interesting development in the world of alternative energy production is biomass power. Biomass technologies extract the methane found in biodegradable substances and turn it into a dry and safe form of natural gas.
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