The energy that we use comes from different sources. Non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels are the most commonly used but as the name implies they are not infinite sources and will eventually run out. With the rate that we are using them, they would cease to exist in a few years. That is why experts are looking for alternative sources of energy that is renewable. Good thing nature has provided us with different resources where energy could be derived. Listed below are the top renewable energy sources we could use as alternative.
10. Tidal Power
Tidal power is energy that is gained from the ocean tides and is converted into power. It is achieved by installing tidal turbines underwater which captures tidal movement. It has to be located therefore in a place with high tidal activity. Tidal power suffers though from its expensive costs. One of the most successful tidal power station in the world is found in France located at the mouth of the La Rance river.
9. Wave Power
Wave power is obtained by placing electricity generators on the ocean’s surface. Wind on the ocean’s surface causes the waves. The energy from the wind is then transferred to the waves the generators capture this energy. Other factors involved in power generation include wave speed and water density. The wave power technology is still in its experimental phase right now.
8. Solar Power
Solar power is power derived from capturing sunlight into solar panels. The sunlight is then converted into electricity. Since the sun sets at night, the power generated is then either stored into a storage medium or transmitted for immediate use. The cost of operating a solar power plant has fallen and now more and more countries are employing the use of solar power. The use of solar power is forecasted to generate a considerable percentage of electricity generation by 2050.
7. Wind Power
The wind is a very efficient energy source as it is very consistent on our planet. Wind power is obtained from wind turbines which extract energy from air flow. This is a very good alternative energy source as it is renewable, inexpensive, and produces no greenhouse gases. Right now, more countries are discovering the potential of wind power and production outputs of wind farms have increased rapidly.
Hydroelectricity is created by hydropower. Fast-flowing water produces power through dams or hydroelectric power plants and is then converted into electricity. It is the power generation method that is widely used in the world. Almost all countries have hydroelectric power plants and it is generating a big portion of the global energy supply. Hydropower is also free from greenhouse gases and is a good alternative to fossil fuels.
5. Radiant Energy
The energy generated from electromagnetic radiation is called radiant energy. Sources of radiant energy can include x-rays, gamma rays, and heat. Nikola Tesla developed a system to capture radiant energy using an antenna and capacitor. The heat from the sun is transmitted through electromagnetic waves. Right now, a great deal of research is being done to see the potential of radiant energy as a reliable and renewable energy source.
4. Geothermal Power
Geothermal power is power generated from the internal heat of our planet. This heat from the Earth’s core then produces steam to turn turbines in order to produce electricity. The heat content inside our planet is very high, capable of melting some rocks. Geothermal power is a good sustainable alternative source and only a small portion of the Earth’s huge heat content is used.
Biomass is obtained from an organic matter that stores energy. In this case, it is from plants which stores energy from the sun through photosynthesis. Animals and their wastes can also be used if they eat these plants. Biomass is obtained through combustion or by converting it into a biofuel. Biomass is widely used today because of its sustainable nature and relatively low cost.
2. Compressed Natural Gas
Most of the natural gas is a fossil fuel and is therefore a non-renewable source of energy. This natural gas however can be compressed and stored at high pressure to form compressed natural gas. They are essentially biogas and thus can be derived from landfill as the wastes decompose. Methane production could also animal manure at livestock operations or from a wastewater treatment. A number of countries now use compressed natural gas to run their vehicles.
1. Nuclear Power
By splitting an atom, a process known as nuclear fission, nuclear power is formed. Right now, nuclear energy has become one of the main sources of electricity worldwide. A number of countries now have several nuclear reactors in operation with more looking to start their nuclear program in the near future. Incidents such as the Chernobyl accident raise safety concerns with regard to nuclear power plants.