Present-Day and Future Alternative Energy Sources
The major past energy sources have included petroleum and coal. With the sharp increase in energy prices, depleting non-renewable sources of energy, the increase of green house gases impacting global warming, the future of using alternative ‘green’ sources of energy looks bright. Governments around the world are feeling the pressure of consumer demands for alternative renewable energy sources that will not harm the environment.
Wind Power is one method of producing ‘green energy’ that is becoming popular all over the world. Wind turbines are used to create power. Wind turbines can be placed wherever there is sufficient amount of wind. The higher the number of installed wind turbines, the more electricity will be produced.
Solar energy is one alternative energy source that is expected to see an increase in use in the future. This form of energy makes use of the sun for power and heat. Solar panels harness the power of the sun without polluting the planet and atmosphere. The solar panels power generators provide the electricity. The solar panels are installed on the roofs of residential and commercial buildings. In the future, larger solar panels will be built that can power hundreds of thousands of homes Solar energy requires does not require any other energy source to operate and it is free of pollution. Sunlight can be harnessed as usable heat or converted into electricity using photoelectric cells, solar panels, or using synchronized mirrors called heliostats that follow the sun as it moves. Methods for using solar power to replace a gas-powered engine by heating hydrogen gas in a tank have also been developed. There have been positive results with powering a generator.
Hydro Power is another alternative energy source with proven results. The flowing water drives the turbines which produces the energy. The energy created is dependent on the strength and force of the water flow because rapid flowing water drives the mechanisms that help with producing electricity. The current is then sent through a transformer where the electricity is transmitted over power lines. This is an eco-friendly form of energy and in the future, it is expected that more hydro power stations will be erected where there is a suitable water supply.
Current technologies for new renewable green energy sources, particularly solar power and wind power, are proving to be quite promising for the future. As well, Geothermal Energy which is heat energy extracted from the earth to create steam to power the generators that produces the electricity, is another potential future large energy source. There is also much research and development going into Nuclear Fission. Salinization of water at river estuaries as an energy supply is another possible source of alternative energy because many experts suggest that it will be millions of years before there is any impact. Nuclear fusion and artificial photosynthesis are two other energy technologies currently being researched as possible future energy sources.
Much of the traditional sources of energy are becoming unsustainable making new greener sources of energy the wave of the future. Many corporations, ‘green’ entrepreneurs, and governments are investing in the future of the planet and its inhabitants by investing in alternative renewable energy sources. An investment in ‘green’ energy means a future of low energy costs and a greener sustainable environment.
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