Renewable energy refers to energy which, as opposed to fossil fuel energy, is produced by resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale. Solar, wind, biomass, hydroelectric energy, geothermal power, hydrogen and fuel cells are some of the most common renewable energy forms that are expected to act as alternatives to fossil fuel energy in the future. All of these come with lower environmental costs as compared to fossil fuel use and therefore promote sustainable living and green living. In addition, development of these energy forms has also become highly necessary due to the rapid depletion of fossil fuel resources (coal, oil and natural gas).
Prior to the development of coal in the mid nineteenth century, biomass used to be the most widely used energy source. Wind power was used for sailing ships over the seas. However, everything changed with the rapid industrialization in Europe from the start of the 19th century. The fear of the fossil fuel crunch was first voiced around 1873. Consequently, solar energy was declared to be the most viable alternative for future. Development of solar energy started in the first decades of the 20th century and solar energy was started to be used for heating and cooling purposes. However, solar firms with solar panels only came to existence in the 1980s. Today, development of renewable energy resources and technologies as a substitute to conventional fuels is encouraged and promoted by a growing number of countries across the world, including both developed and developing nations. According to one report, the renewable energy supply is expected to grow from 1700 gws in 2014 to 4550 gws in 2040.
Some of the basic areas where renewable resources can replace conventional fuels include motor fuels, electricity generation, space heating/hot water and rural off-grid services. Direct solar power still remains the most viable alternative to fossil fuels. Solar energy relies in the ability to collect and convert the nuclear fusion power from the core of the sun. This can be done in different ways. Complex technologies can directly convert solar power to electrical energy, but there are also solar collectors which can be used for water heating, solar attic fans for attic cooling and other ways of using solar power for domestic use. Biomass, wind power and hydroelectric energy are also dependant in one way or other on sun and sunlight. Hydrogen and fuel cells are not strictly speaking renewable energy but hydrogen can be used as motor fuel with only water as combustion product. This has the considerable advantage of reducing the pollution in cities to a significant level. However, the initial production of hydrogen gas requires enormous amount of power and until solar energy can be used for the production, use of hydrogen as fuel or in fuel cells cannot contribute much towards the cause of green living.Apart from the ones mentioned above, other renewable enrgy forms include energy from hot hydrogen fusion, from the oceans, and the tides. Currently, more and more research and development works related to renewable enrgy are afoot in many different parts of the world and in a large way, our future hopes for sustainable living depend on them.
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In the last couple of decades, a rising concern has developed amongst nations everywhere about the massive energy consumption that the modern industrial world has brought about, and has led the way toward electric wind power becoming a very viable option for many people looking to turn toward an alternative, cheaper source of energy. Home wind turbines and other similar devices have become very popular on the market as of late and are starting to be utilized more and more often. If you’re looking for a cheaper source of electricity and power, or you just want to become completely self-sufficient, I can recommend no better way than wind power.
One of the main reasons that electric wind power is a better source of energy for your home or business than electricity provided by an electric company is no doubt the cost. On average, Americans pay anywhere from 100-200 dollars every month for their electric bills alone. This is a huge cost for something that a lot of people have no conscious control over, and a huge cost for larger families especially. In the wintertime, if your heat isn’t on you run the risk of getting extremely sick, or possibly freezing to death. Alarm clocks and other devices need to remain on constantly throughout the day and night for various reasons, and these costs can quickly soar into the dozens of dollars per week. The only real wind power cost involved if you’re looking to replace your electric company with self-sufficient electric wind power, is the wind turbine itself.
Wind turbines themselves go for about 200 or so dollars. More expensive wind turbines with extra features can certainly be found on the market if you want particular qualities added to your wind turbine, but the 200 dollar range is the general cost for the majority of them. Not only are wind turbines that cheap, but it’s the investment that you make when you purchase one that really saves you a boatload of cash. Once you’ve acquired a couple of wind turbines, you’ll never once have to pay for the electric wind power itself. If you buy three, you’ve just spent 600 bucks on your entire energy costs until the wind turbines become faulty or break down. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that that’s one heck of an investment.
Other than that, wind turbines and electric wind power are well-respected for and known to produce no environmentally-damaging pollution, no annoying noises, nor produce any emissions. They’re the friendliest, safest, and most environmentally-sound sources of energy that you could ever come across. With that in mind, what are you waiting for? Saving yourself lots of money, becoming entirely self-sufficient, and helping the environment all in one stroke is something that you should be doing anyway. With wind turbines, it makes it a whole lot easier. Start looking into investing in a few today.
Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains the complexities of today’s solar-power systems. (See below for steps.)
Steps for Understanding Solar Power:
1. Solar thermal panels are used to create domestic hot water. The panels are filled with antifreeze or evacuated tubes.
2. A typical thermal-panel system can produce 65 to 70 percent of a home’s hot water needs.
3. A photovoltaic (PV) system transforms the sun’s energy into direct current (DC) electricity.
4. An inverter mounted inside the house converts the DC power to standard alternating current (AC), which is then used to power lights, appliances, and other electrical devices.
5. If the PV system produces more electricity than you can use, the excess gets sent back to the power company and you receive a credit on your electric bill.
6. Solar companies are now offering power purchase agreements to homeowners, which include a free solar system in exchange for government rebates.