Alternative energy is becoming more appealing as energy costs and environmental concerns rise. Two of the most exciting alternative energy breakthroughs are solar and wind.
Solar energy is harnessed by by placing solar panels where they can absorb the most sunlight and convert that heat into electricity. Wind energy is when the power of the wind is used to turn a wind turbine that’s connected to a generator, once again to produce electricity.
As the cost of power lines and power has been soaring, alternative energy is rapidly becoming more affordable and reliable than ever. However, despite what some might say, alternative energy is not necessarily a “zero carbon emitter” but it does come very close and it is generally sustainable.
When you factor in the ecological impacts of fossil-fuel and nuclear generated power, alternative energy is certainly lower impact. The timing for alternative energy is now, putting electric companies and electricians in a great position to capitalize on this booming business.
The most common forms we consider as alternatives to burning fossil fuels are solar and wind power. Solar energy is our oldest energy source, humans have always used the sun’s energy directly (eg, for drying clothes, heating air or water and drying food), as well as indirectly to power some of the agricultural equipment that supplies us with food. We can all use this solar energy directly, simply by capturing sunlight..
Solar systems are a reliable and cost effective method of harnessing the sun’s energy with many benefits. Solar power is a fast growing sector in the alternative energy industry.
This century we have started to use solar energy more effectively and it is looking like we’ll increase its use in the future. The great feature of solar energy is the fact that it will continue to exist so far into the future that we can think of it as being unending.
In addition, unlike fossil fuels, using solar energy doesn’t cause air pollution or involve damaging the Earths surface.
Farmers across America are discovering that they can control the impact of soaring fuel costs with cost-effective solar thermal and electrical systems. They are slashing up to 70% off their energy costs by using solar alternatives for:
1. Water and air heating for dairies
2. Heating and temperature control for greenhouses
3. Heating & LED lighting for meat-bird houses
4. Crop drying
5. Water and combustion air heating for food processing
6. Remote area water pumping
8. Electric fences.
These days many governments offer subsidies to encourage people to convert to solar power systems for their homes. For systems installed before 2009, a federal solar tax credit returns 30% of the first cost of a solar system to you in the first year. In addition, up to 65% of the installation cost of your solar system may be recovered by Focus on Energy rebate incentives and Federal tax credits that dramatically reduce the time it takes your system to pay for itself.
As well as helping the environment, converting to a home solar energy system also helps the health of your finances and adds value to your home. But, if you are a handy type of person you can build your own solar power and small wind turbine systems yourself. By building your own wind turbine and solar powered generator you can save yourself money when setting up home green energy systems.
Wind energy has been harnessed on land since the first windmill was developed by the ancient Persians in the 7th century a.d. Wind energy continued to be harvested over the following centuries, early windmills were used to power millstones, pumps, and forges.
Wind energy is a resource which is abundant and easily accessible in most parts of the world. Wind energy, a renewable source of electric power, is the worlds fastest growing energy source. Wind energy or power is the newest way to generate energy without running up an electrical bill.
Because it’s available all year round and is a more permanent type of energy, wind energy can be used for practical purposes like generating electricity, charging batteries, pumping water or grinding grain.
Wind energy systems offer a clean affordable alternative to fossil fuel generated electricity. They are among the most technologically advanced and cost-effective renewable sources currently available and are easily installed using minimum space.
Wind energy is a clean, cost-effective option from an abundant, domestic resource and can be converted into electrical energy by the use of an electrical generator. Winds as low as 10 mph are all that’s needed to produce useful electricity.
Wind energy advantages over traditional methods of creating energy, emerge from the fact that as it gets cheaper and cheaper to produce, it may soon be the cheapest way to produce energy on a large scale.
Wind farms are springing up everywhere to harness the wind energy to power our communities through the main electricity grids. Because winds are stronger higher up off the ground, wind turbine towers are about 30 metres tall to allow the rotor to catch more wind.
Design improvements such as more efficient rotor blades combined with an increase in the numbers of wind turbines installed, have helped increase the worlds wind energy generating capacity by nearly 150 percent since 1990. Each megawatt hour of wind energy that’s generated currently avoids the generation, on average, of one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions.
Alternative energy is cleaner than fossil fuel energy, is renewable, gives you independence from foreign oil, helps control rising electric bills and allows development of new venues in more areas.
The other thing is that fossil fuels (natural gas, oil and coal) are not a renewable resource and, apart from the negative effects on our environment, they’re running out and will eventually be completely exhausted.
In the USA, wind energy accounts for less the one percent of the electricity generated, but installed capacity has been expanding at an average annual rate of more than 20 percent, plus there are a number of small wind energy devices that you can use to generate power, and most of these are very cost effective in providing a substantial level of electricity.
Source by John Leith