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February 24, 2018 9:45 pm

A Primer On Alternative Power

Thanks to the advent of alternative power, no longer must we rely on depleting the planet of its natural resources, burning fossil fuels that cause pollution of the atmosphere, depletion of the ozone layer, can potentially be unstable (as in nuclear energy), and continues to increase in cost year after year. The main sources of alternative power are the following:

• energy producing crops: synthetic biofuels and direct combustion;
• wind power and power from waves and tides;
• hydroelectric (water) power;
• solar power: heat and electricity;
• heat power: from man-made and natural waste products and from the making of synthetic bio-fuels;

By definition, an energy resource is renewable if it is replaced at a rate equal to or faster than the rate at which it is consumed. Renewable energy is therefore also considered sustainable energy, since it will continue to be available in unending supply even as it’s being utilized. Renewable energy has also been given the moniker alternative energy in reference to the alternative it offers to conventional, non-renewable sources.

Renewable energy can be utilized in one of two ways:

• directly: as in water mills, windmills, solar ovens, geothermal heating;
• indirectly: using the renewable resources to create other sources of power, either as fuels (biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas) or by generating electricity (wind turbines, solar panels).

Before renewable energy replaces the conventional sources of power that we’re used to (ie. public utility grid power), it will take years of research and development, continually studying, experimenting, improving, and innovating. The study of renewable energy, its applications and repercussions is concerned with environmental, economical, social, and political factors.

The reasons for switching from conventional, non-renewable energy to renewable energy are vast and varied, and the list grows larger every day. Among them are:

• it has a small to nil environmental impact with little to no harmful emissions, as a result supporting and protecting our natural ecosystem for future generations to enjoy;

• supplementing utility power with renewable power allows you a precious and invaluable backup system in the case of emergencies such as power outages and shortages;

• once a renewable energy system is installed, the energy costs a consistent amount to use year-round – as opposed to utilities that fluctuate in price throughout the year based on seasonal as well as socio-political factors;

• it is “distributed” energy, or energy that is used in the same location where it is produced – this cuts down considerably on transportation and distribution costs;

• many local and state governments as well as the federal government offer incentives in the form of tax breaks for the production and use of renewable energies;

• if you produce more power using renewable resources than you need for your own personal use, you can actually sell that power back to the utility companies in a program called “net metering”.

To complete a truly well-rounded discussion on renewable energy, there must be equal time given to its drawbacks as to its benefits. The most prevalent concerns about the long-term viability of renewable energies are that it is extremely dependent on numerous climactic factors and that it is considered “diluted” energy in that much more is needed to generate much less power. These so-called drawbacks, however, are no reason not to continue a fervent pursuit of incorporating renewable energy usage into more and more parts of our everyday lives. They are only to keep us present to the issues we must address in order to make a widespread switch to renewable energies a viable reality.

For easy to understand, in depth information about alternative power visit our ezGuide 2 Biogreenlife.

Article from articlesbase.com

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