Saturday, March 2, 2013

Alternative Energy Sources

Renewable energy is created from naturally occurring events within our world. These natural events are sunshine, water, wind, and geothermal heat. Each energy source is created freely but the cost is incurred when a company harvests the source.

Solar energy comes from the sun and is stored in cells. Many commercial and residential consumers use solar energy to heat their businesses and homes. The solar panels are expensive to purchase but they will pay for themselves as they are used to capture the sun’s rays. Excess energy, which is created by consumers, can be sold back to the power companies, which helps lower energy consumption from non-renewable sources.

Hydroelectric power is generated by flowing water, generally the more forceful flowing of the water the greater the energy output. This is currently the most popular source used in the United States and supplies forty-nine percent of the renewable energy need. The cost of harvesting this type of energy can be costly to the company as well as the local climate. When the Hydroelectric plants are built on the river, the river is channeled or dammed which may conflict the local land environment.

Turbines and windmills harness the wind. Kinetic energy is the air in motion. This type of energy is easy to harness if the climate is windy. The harvesting of this type of energy can be troublesome if there is little wind, too much wind or there is a problem with the turbine itself.  

Geothermal heat in theory is enough to produce sufficient energy for the entire populace. However, this type of energy is harder to harvest the expense of it being deep within the earth’s core. Occasionally geothermal heat is harvested from the areas where the tectonic plates are located. It is cheaper to harvest from these areas because the energy is closer to the surface and does not require drilling into the core.