Before the world reaches it’s much anticipated energy crisis, we need to lower our reliance on non-renewable sources of power, and start producing different types of renewable energy on a large scale.
So what exactly is renewable energy? Well, as the name implies, it is energy that can be renewed or replaced as quickly as it is used up. As expected, it is energy that occurs naturally.
And what forms of renewable energy exist? Currently there are 4 types that can be identified: solar energy, wind power, hydro-electric power, and geothermal power. These are explained in more detail below.
Solar energy solutions:
Sunlight is the most readily available energy there is and there is no reason we shouldn’t be harnessing this energy to a larger extent. With the advancement of technology it is possible for every household to live a variety of solar energy solutions. These include solar electric panels, solar heating systems, solar cookers, and solar dryers.
Apart from being cost-effective and environmentally safe, solar electric and heating systems are low on maintenance and the energy savings provide you a return on investment rather quickly. Solar cookers are considered a healthy way to cook food, and are ideal for people on the move, since they are very portable.
Wind energy solutions:
Windmills have been in existence for centuries, even as far back as before the birth of Christ. Back then they helped pull boats, pump water, and grind flour. But as the industrial revolution came, they started to be used to generate electricity.
Although most people view windmills as the small wind-pumps operating on farms, or the ornate windmills on postcards of Holland, they have improved drastically in the last decade. More popularly known as wind turbines these days, they are now capable of generating thousands of megawatts of electricity. When used at individual homes, wind power can replace traditional energy sources, thus it will go a long way in providing a promising future for upcoming generations.
Hydro energy solutions:
The hydro energy or water energy is an effective renewable energy. Traditionally is was used for industrial purposes in streams and waterfalls to power waterwheels that ground flour and other foodstuff.
Nowadays, hydro energy can be converted into electrical energy to power vehicles and household appliances. Hydro energy is usually produced on a large scale in dams, where dammed up water is released through turbines, spinning them as it gushes out. A prime example is the Hoover Dam, which was built primarily to power the bright city lights and casinos of Las Vegas. In fact hydro power is so widely used that it produces 90% of today’s renewable electric power.
There have been some critiques of this form of energy since the dams can adversely affect plants, animals and even communities of people by flooding the land where life once thrived.
Geothermal energy solutions:
This form of energy is usually produced in areas where ongoing volcanic activity occurs. A place that comes to mind is Iceland, where the majority of the country’s power is generated from volcanic geysers. Large power plants are built over these volcanic geysers, where hot, fast-moving steam drives turbines to generate electricity. So as long as the geysers are active, power will be generated. In some instances water is pumped back into the geysers to produce more steam, ultimately renewing the cycle.
So what is the future then of renewable energy? We believe, as the word spreads and more public figures promote renewable energy as the solution, people will learn to adopt it on a small scale at home. In fact it is already possible to make your own renewable energy at home. And it does not cost that much either. Just have a look at our reviews section, where the current types of renewable energy diy solutions are discussed, and perhaps you’ll be starting your first family energy project soon.
Originally posted 2008-11-11 20:08:48.