- 14 Oct
Renewable Energy vs. Alternative Energy
Renewable energy or alternate energy sources have become increasingly necessary to combat the effects of global warming. In addition, the savings of traditional energy in the future is extremely important since they are depleting at a rapid rate. Alternative sources of energy help to reduce air pollution, cut global warming emissions, creates new jobs and industries, diversification of power supply and decreased dependence on coal and fossil fuels.
Most energy companies are investing in alternative sources of energy with some being more safe than others. The U.S. Government has encouraged the use of alternate energy by offering tax credits and rebates on solar equipment. The government has also recommended investing in companies that promote the use of renewable energy and that develop technologies that use alternative methods of producing energy. Solar energy has become increasingly popular making the installations of solar panels more affordable than ever before.
The sun is the ultimate source of energy and is used over any other source. It is a non-depleting source of energy that is converted to electricity through the use of solar panels. Most new “green” homes install solar panels during the building process. By doing so, it will decrease the electricity bill of the buyer and will help contribute towards saving our environment.
Biomass is another type of renewable energy. There are a number of technological options available to make use of a wide variety of biomass types as a renewable energy source. Conversion technologies may release the energy directly, in the form of heat or electricity, or may convert it to another form, such as liquid biofuel or combustible biogas. While for some classes of biomass resource there may be a number of usage options, for others there may only one appropriate technology.
Water and wind energy source have their limitations. They usually require large amounts of funding and require a large infrastructure to generate energy. However, it is clean power and safe to the environment.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) (Methane stored at high pressure) can be used in place of gasoline diesel fuel and propane. CNG combustion produces fewer undesirable gases than the fuels mentioned. It is safer than other fuels in the event of a spill, because natural gas is lighter than air and disperses quickly when released. CNG may be found above oil deposits, or may be collected from landfills or wastewater treatment plants.
Shale Gas is the last type of energy source we’ll mention. Shale gas is a natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. Shale gas has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States since the start of this century, and interest has spread to potential gas shales in the rest of the world. However, the process used, called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is highly controversial and the long-term effects of this process is not yet known. Large amounts of chemical are injected into the earth for fracking. The waste is held underground in large wells but research shows that many of these wells are leaking and poisoning the drinking water in many areas where drilling is happening.
Compressed Natural Gas and Shale Gas are not necessarily renewable energy sources, but an instead are alternative energy sources. The process of retrieving natural gas through fracking puts itself into the fossil fuel category. While it is cleaner to the environment versus coal, the manner in which it is collected is not one that is friendly to the environment like solar and wind power are.
As our natural resources become depleted, we must find new ways to create energy. In turn, we should try using methods that are environmental friendly and not just new methods that may cause continued harm and problems to our plant.
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