In recent years, the great threat of climate change, global warming, and environmental imbalance has driven us to other forms of energy sources that will reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels, coal, and other polluting sources. These problems have intensified the need for alternative energy.
What is alternative energy?
There has been a debate over the definition of this term; alternative energy.
Some refer to it as using those forms of energy that help us in not increasing our carbon footprint by including facilities like hydroelectric power, nuclear facilities, clean coal, and natural gas. Some refer to alternative energy as using those ‘non-traditional’ methods of energy such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, etc.
The main aim of using alternative energy is to reduce or eliminate the emission of substances and pollutants into nature which causes these climate change problems. This has come up as a long-term goal to replace the use of fossil fuel and coal for energy production and using non-harmful methods of production of energy.
Alternative energy and its types
This is a way of harnessing the energy directly from the Sun. In this, the sun rays are converted to energy with the use of photovoltaic cells. Sometimes, the heat produced by the Sun is also harnessed into energy; this is known as solar-thermal energy.
Large turbines and windmills produce energy which is spun by the airflow.
This is generated by the flow of water. Large hydroelectric dams have falling water, which is channeled through specific apparatus which helps to spin the turbines in return generating electricity.
Slow-fission reactions are the way of producing this type of energy. Rods of radioactive elements like uranium are used to heat water, which produces steam and in turn spins the turbines to produce electricity.
This energy is produced by the heat and steam produced by the activities within Earth’s crust. A type of pipe is placed in the ground above active geological regions to carry steam from the turbines which produce electricity.
This energy source is produced by using tidal turbines near shorelines. As the water flow changes, the turbines generate electricity and transfer it to power stations.
Biogas or biomass is a fuel that’s produced by plants and biological sources. These include bacteria, fungi, and ethanol.
Energy from the process of hydrogen gas. This can be used to generate various forms of energy, such as fuel cells, internal combustion engines, and nuclear fusion.
Alternative energy is still in its infancy. However, it is rapidly changing due to various factors
such as climate change, political pressure, and technological breakthroughs.