Alternative Forms Of Energy
Research to explore alternative forms of energy is extremely important today, given the increasing role that alternative energy sources have to play in our society.
In turn, the demand for alternative energy sources is driven by several factors.
Energy and power generated from fossil fuels have led to high concentrations of harmful green house gasses in the atmosphere. But in spite of the harmful effects created, the demand and price of the fossil fuels continue to be pushing upwards relentlessly. At the same time, the world's supply of these non-renewable resources is diminishing. Given all these reasons, we are both pushed and pulled to explore the various alternative forms of energy.
In today’s world, the term “alternative energy” usually refers to energy sources other than non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil and natural gas. In turn, “alternative energy” is often associated with renewable energy sources that are often cleaner and greener.
The alternative forms of energy available today constitute a substantial range, and more forms are continually being discovered.
These sources of energy usually make use of commonly occurring processes in nature and hence can be constantly renewed in a short period of time. These sources not only reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants, they also help us preserve natural resources. Read more about the advantages of renewable energies.
Here are some commonly known alternative forms of energy.
Solar Energy: Solar energy is the energy from the sun. So long as the Sun continues to exist, it is always emitting light, heat and other forms of radiation energy. As such, solar energy is often considered inexhaustible.
According to NASA, it is estimated that the Sun radiates about 174 Petawatts (Pw) of solar energy onto the earth every day. Of this amount, about 30% of the energy is reflected back to space, while another large portion is absorbed by our atmosphere. Only about 10% of the energy (about 17.4 Pw per day) is retained on earth, but this amount more than meets the daily energy requirement of the world.
Solar energy power not only drives many important processes in nature, such as photosynthesis, but also can be converted into other form of energy, such as electrical energy through the use of solar energy panels.
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Wind Energy: Wind energy is another one of the alternative forms of energy. Wind is the movement of air resulting from the irregular heating of the earth and its atmosphere by the sun, as well as the rotation of the earth. This wind energy, when "harvested" by wind turbines, can be used to generate electricity. Wind turbines coupled with strong, steady winds can generate electricity in cost-effective ways without producing pollutants. In fact, wind energy is becoming one of the world’s fastest growing green energy technologies, creating a large supply of wind energy jobs.
Geothermal Energy: Do you know that the Earth’s center can reach 12000 degrees Fahrenheit? The large amounts of heat trapped under the Earth’s surface – in its core – can actually be used as a source of energy. In fact, it is the aim of geothermal systems to tap this heat, known as geothermal energy. Geothermal energy can be used for various purposes, including electric power production, heating and cooling of buildings.
Hydroelectric Power: Hydropower is energy that comes from the force of moving water either as it flows or as it falls. For large water bodies like rivers, hydroelectric power plants or dams are used to generate electricity from water on large scale basis. The hydroelectric power plant is usually built across a large river which has sufficient quantity of water. Flowing water through the dam generates energy which is captured and turned into electricity. This energy is called hydroelectric power or hydroelectricity.
Biomass Energy: Biomass energy is the energy acquired derived from plants and animal materials, for example, vegetation and crops, as well as organic remains from farms, residential or industrial waste.
Ocean Energy: Oceans contain at least two types of energy – mechanical energy from the tides and waves, as well as thermal energy from the sun’s heat.
The potential for alternate energy sources is tremendous. With the increasing need for alternative forms of energy in the world today, we are seeing an increase in the number of alternative energy companies all over the world.
They may invest in green technologies, explore and discover new forms of alternative energy, seek to improve the efficiency of existing forms of renewable energies, transform these alternative energy forms into useful forms like electricity, and even manufacture products (such as solar panels) that allow individuals to make use of alternative energy sources even in their own homes or offices.
Subsequently, this also means an increasing number of alternative energy jobs and green energy jobs appearing in the job market.
If you think that green energy is one of the amazing green innovations ever to be made, let others know about it.
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