It was Svante Arrhenius that first discovered that the use of fossil fuel could contribute to global warming, back in 1896. In the past decade, the issue of global warming has now become a hot-button topic as there is now a general shift towards environmental awareness.
This shift has now caused the common sources of energy (fossil fuels) to come under close scrutiny. Due to the scrutiny, there has now been a rise in the number of alternative energy sources.
Although the viability of some of these alternative energy sources could still be argued, when compared to fossil fuels, they all contribute something positive. These positive contributions include lower emissions, lower fuel prices and the reduction of pollution.
Here is a list of some of the leading alternative energy sources.
It is no news that when someone mentions alternative energy sources, solar power is the first that comes to mind. This is because over the years the technology has evolved massively, and it is now the go-to source for large-scale energy production and power generation.
Solar power is completely renewable, as it converts the energy from sunlight into electricity with the use of photovoltaic panels. Although the cost of installation might be substantial, it is outweighed by the money saved from energy bills. It has become widely accepted as several countries have begun to introduce initiatives to promote its growth. So if you contact a local solar installer, they can help you take advantage of this limitless power source.
When it comes to abundant forms of alternative energy, nuclear power ranks very high on the list. This is because it not only creates direct benefits in terms of emissions and efficiency; it also boosts the economy by creating jobs in plants operation and creation.
Nuclear power generates energy from splitting uranium atoms through a process called fission. The heat generated from the process (steam) is used by a turbine generator to generate electricity.
Interestingly enough, the USA is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power – we use 30% of worldwide nuclear generation.
Hydroelectric energy is one of the earliest means of creating energy that begun to see a decline, with the rise of fossil fuels. It uses the energy gotten from flowing water (Typically water is trapped into a reservoir or dam) to generate electricity. When the water in the dam or reservoir is released, the force it generates rotates a turbine, which in turn powers a generator to create electricity.
Hydroelectric energy is considered the least expensive form of clean energy as it only costs about 3 cents per kWh to operate.
In recent years, wind energy has become increasingly popular as it offers much the same benefits that many other alternative fuel sources do. Wind energy is generated by converting the kinetic energy (generated from the blades of the windmill rotating the turbine when exposed to wind forces) to mechanical energy. The mechanical energy that is generated is then used to power a generator that creates electricity.
The investment into the technology for wind energy continues to grow. There has now been some form of wind energy set-up in millions of homes across the world.
The probability of alternative energy sources gaining further importance is pretty high as the issues that result from the use of traditional fossil fuels is becoming more prominent. The benefits of alternative energy sources solve some of the problems been caused by fossil fuel use, especially emissions.