Alternative Energy Production

...must overtake fossil fuels as our main source of energy generation.

Alternative energy production is our only hope if we are to restore our planet and our health.
When you hear the term Alternative Energy, what is meant by that is; The Four Main Sources of Renewable Energy which are: Solar, Wind, Tidal, Hydroelectric. Geothermal energy is also on the drawing board now and already heats many people’s homes.

The main advantage of renewable energy is that it is able to be renewed without depleting the planet of a resource. For example, suck out all the oil and then there is none; and was all that oil a vital ingredient in the Earth's structure?

Solar Energy
is radiant light and heat from the sun and only the tiniest fraction of available solar energy is actually used. To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.
Solar technologies are broadly categorized as being either passive solar or active solar depending on how the energy is being captured, converted and distributed. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy.

Wind power
is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships.
At the end of 2010, wind energy production which about 2.5% of worldwide electricity usage but in some countries like Denmark this figure is as high as 21%. Wind energy, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation.

Tidal power
is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into useful forms of electricity. Although not yet widely used, tidal power has potential for future electricity generation. Tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power. While tidal power may take additional energy from the Earth’s system, the effect is negligible and would only be noticed over millions of years.

Hydroelectric power
is electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, it produces no direct waste, and has a considerably lower output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuel powered energy plants.

Geothermal energy
is Earth's heat energy which originates from the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, from volcanic activity, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, but in the past has been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries.

Recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for applications like home heating, opening a potential for widespread exploitation. This process harnesses the heat energy which is present underneath the Earth. Hot rocks deep in the ground heat water to produce steam. When holes are drilled into them, the steam that shoots up is purified and is used to drive turbines, which then power electric generators.

I believe we have a duty of care to protect our planet from unsustainable resource extraction practices whether that is mining, forestry, fishing or anything else. When all the planets natural resources are depleted, what will we do then? Now is the time to make the switch over to alternative energy. We can all do our bit too with some solar panels, and choosing green energy when it is offered by utility companies. Do you have any alternative energy working for you? Don’t be complacent and believe that fossil fuels will sustain our energy needs forever, because they won’t. Those resources are finite, but the above alternative energy sources are infinite.

Some definitions adapted from Wikipedia.

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The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil. ~ Sheikh Yamani, the oil-minister for Kuwait 1973