Sunday, February 14, 2010

Top 5 Alternative Energy Sources

Nuclear Power
Nuclear power is energy derived from controlled nuclear reactions. Electric utility reactors heat water to produce steam, which is then used to run turbines to generate electricity.

Proponents of nuclear energy believe that nuclear power is a sustainable source of energy that does not pollute air. Though critics around the globe argue that nuclear power is potentially a dangerous energy source, citing the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 in Russia.

Despite concerns about safety and radioactive waste management, 15% of the world’s electricity needs came from nuclear power as of 2009.

Solar Power
Solar power is derived from converting sunlight into electricity. Currently, there are two way in harnessing the sun’s power.

First is through the use of solar cells that convert solar radiation into electricity. The second is by concentrating solar power where the sun’s energy is focused to boil water thereby creating steam. The steam is then used to drive turbines which in turn generate electricity.

Unlike other energy sources, solar power is intermittent or not available at all times. Because of this, solar power is often combined with other power sources (such as wind, hydro, and biomass) to provide continuous power.

Wind Power
Wind power is energy derived from the power of the wind. A strong blowing wind is used to drive wind turbines which in turn generate electricity. This is the opposite of the conventional desk fan wherein electricity is used to generate wind.

Wind energy, as a power source, is gaining worldwide attraction as an alternative to fossil fuels. Wind, in itself, is abundant, widely distributed, and produces no pollution whatsoever.

However, just like the sun, wind is also intermittent. Wind is also dependent on local geography.

Geothermal Power
Geothermal power is energy derived from heat deep within the earth’s surface. Geothermal plants make use of this energy to heat water into steam which then drives electricity-generating turbines.

Unlike wind or solar energy, geothermal energy does not rely on variable energy sources. Current geothermal resources are said to be adequate to supply the world’s energy needs.

Geothermal power generation is cost effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly.

Hydro Power
Hydropower (or water power) is energy derived from the force of moving water like in dams or natural falls. Hydropower produces essentially no harmful emissions and can be far less expensive than electricity generated from nuclear energy.

Main advantage of hydropower is its ability to handle high peak loads whether seasonal or daily. When demand for electricity drops, the dam simply closes and stores water.

The most common sources of hydropower – the dams, are not without its setbacks. Dam failures can be life threatening as in the case of Banqiao Dam failure in 1975 in China.

Other media: Learn to build your own wind / solar energy source
Do-it-yourself green energy source
Magnetic energy source

1 comment:

  1. Below are some top 5 alternative energy sources that are not only better for the environment but will also save you some good amount. καυστήρες pellet