Sustainable Energy Future
For those unfamiliar with the term, Sustainable Energy Future refers to sources of energy that address the issues of the present without bargaining the requirements of future ages. The kinds of energy that this article will inspect incorporate Solar Energy, Hydroelectric Energy, Wind Energy, Wave Power and Geothermal Energy.
This is perhaps the most well-known source of sustainable energy. Solar Energy refers to energy that is generated by converting sunlight into electricity. This is done through either Photovoltaics (this is the method used with solar panels) or Concentrated Solar Power.
The Sun is a source of immense power and due to its virtually limitless nature would make an excellent source of energy. Only around one hundred millionth of a percent of the sun’s energy reaches earth and experts estimate that if we could harness 100% of this for 1 minute, it would be enough to meet the demands of the earth for a whole year.
This is another famous source of sustainable energy. Hydroelectric power refers to power generated by water running through and turning turbines and thus driving generators – usually in a dam. Once constructed, electricity can be produced very cheaply. There are a number of famous dams around the world that are used for this very purpose; the most famous example is probably the Hoover Dam.
Wind power has been used to some extent for a very long time, even back in the middle ages windmills were used to grind corn, but is it a realistic source of sustainable energy these days?
Wind power refers to power generated due to wind driving a generator; this is usually in the form of a wind turbine or wind mill.
The basic idea is very similar to that of hydroelectric power, except the generators are powered by wind instead of water.
The more of these turbines that there are and the bigger they are results in more electricity being produced. This is why there tends to be wind farms rather than stand-alone turbines.
One of the big advantages of wind power is that wind is free and that any land that turbines inhabit can still be used for other purposes such as farming.
Finally, many people see wind farms as an eye sore, it is usually a case of ‘I’m all for wind energy as long as I can’t see or hear the turbines!” Villages and towns have been known to hold formal protests and demonstrations against them! You can’t have it both ways, people.
Wave power, also known as tidal power refers to using the tide to generate electricity. The tide is responsible for moving a huge quantity of water each day, being able to effectively tap into this could provide a huge amount of energy. In principle, tidal power is the same as hydroelectric power, except the ‘dam’ is much bigger.
The term nuclear power refers to power generated through a chemical reaction called nuclear fission. The fundamentals of a nuclear power station are much the same as conventional fossil fuel plants; the biggest difference being that rather than through burning fossil fuels, nuclear power plants generate heat through the chemical reaction that