Alternative Energy – Maintenance Of Natural Resources 🌞
What Is Alternative Energy?
Alternative energy is sustainable energy that does not cause resource depletion or cause harm to the environment. Additionally, it gives us other ways of obtaining energy instead of fossil fuels and nuclear power production and consumption, which poses a huge threat to the environment.
Furthermore, it refers to all renewable resources and nuclear. Take note that even though nuclear energy is considered alternative energy, it is not classified as renewable energy. Replenishable sources produce renewable energy.
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Why Use Alternative Energy?
Have you heard of the term resource depletion before? If not, let me elaborate.
Resource depletion means unsustainable and fast-paced consumption of natural resources. Examples of these natural resources that are slowly on the brink of depletion are fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil, and natural gas. Additionally, these also include uranium, a type of nuclear energy.
One more bad news is that all these depleted resources are non-renewable energy. What can we do about it? Fortunately for us, there is alternative energy! How will it benefit us? Here’s how:
- Reducing the need for use of natural resources – obviously, this is the main reason why we seek alternative energy sources. In fact, it would be much better to use these alternatives instead of natural resources altogether.
- Lessens emission of greenhouse gases – fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide when burned. Additionally, some gas and oil production emits methane, another type of greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gas traps heat, therefore causing climate change in the environment. Alternative energy will prevent that from happening.
- Provides jobs for people – this includes the manufacturing, implementation, and maintenance of technology aimed at creating an environmentally friendly economy.
Some examples of alternative energy include the following:
In my opinion, this is the most famous source of alternative, renewable energy. Many people now use solar energy, ranging from different kinds of infrastructures to even the most common of items such as flashlights storing solar energy.
This type of energy is completely renewable, as you only need solar panels to absorb and store the light and heat that the sun radiates. The benefits it gives far outweigh the costs needed to implement and maintain it.
Solar businesses, particularly here in Australia, are abundant. One example would be Solar Power Australia. They provide renewable energy solutions for businesses and industries here in Australia.
Wind energy is another source of alternative energy. It makes use of renewable energy and does not generate waste, much like solar energy. They make use of wind turbines to generate electricity. Additionally, the wind turns the blades of a turbine – shaped like a propeller of an aeroplane – that spins the generator installed, which produces electricity.
Some major wind power companies here in Australia include the following:
- Macarthur Wind Farm, composed of 140 wind turbines
- Hallet Wind Farm, composed of 166 wind turbines
- Wattle Point Wind Farm, composed of 55 wind turbines
- Oaklands Hill Wind Farm, composed of 32 wind turbines
- Silverton Wind Farm, composed of 58 wind turbines
Tidal energy is power produced by the natural, raging tides of the ocean. It is produced by utilising tidal energy generators, much like wind energy. Turbines underwater capture the raging tides and turn it into electricity.
Much like the first two alternative energy mentioned, tidal energy is also a renewable source. Additionally, it is also an environmentally friendly energy source and predictable, so producing electricity by it proves to be easy.
Australia produces some of the largest tides in the world. As a result, it is considered to have the “highest technical maturity in the ocean renewable sector”.
Geothermal energy comes from the heat located underground. Water or steam, or both, carry the geothermal energy to the Earth’s surface. It can be harnessed to generate electricity. Additionally, it can also be used for heating or cooling purposes, as stated by Irena.
Much like the ones on the list, geothermal energy is reliable, sustainable, and an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. But unlike the others, it is a much more cost-effective way of harnessing energy. Geothermal energy is usually located near tectonic plate boundaries, because of its dependence in heat accessible underground.
Not Quite Environmentally Friendly
Some energy sources are kind of caught up in the middle. What do I mean by this? Well, let me state some example.
For example, we take a look at biomass energy. Although it can be considered as renewable energy because, in recent times, waste from landfills has been used to create biomass energy. As a result, it may release some amount of carbon, albeit relatively in lower amounts as compared to fossil fuels.
Another example would be nuclear energy. Although it is renewable because it is mostly man-made, using it as alternative energy proves to be detrimental to the environment. The detriments include:
- Causes air pollution (mainly due to its processing stage – i.e., mining, enrichment, and waste management)
Alternative Energy: Conclusion
For us to maintain the environment’s sustainability, we must first seek alternatives – specifically in sources of energy.
Alternative energy sources prove to be the solution in all of this. But the main problem is that a number of these energy sources are costly, so expect the development and transition process from fossil fuels to alternative energy to be a slow one. Additionally, you also have to consider the fact that it should be sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Help us in maintaining the environment’s sustainability.
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