Most people appreciate the fact that the main energy sources that we use to heat our homes and power our lives are slowly, but surely, being used up. The oil, gas and coal we are currently using was all created many millenniums ago. Hence in terms of our lifetime, these forms of energy are considered non-renewable. When we have used them up, they will be gone for good.
In the longer term, the only way that we will be able to have energy for heat, light and transportation is by embracing and developing renewable energy sources. In this article I will look at four key sources of renewable energy that are likely to play a big role in meeting our future energy demands.
Ground source heat pumps (or geothermal heat pumps as they are sometimes known) take advantage of the fact that, in most parts of the world, the temperature at the Earth’s first 15-18 feet of underground remain at a constant 50-60 degrees for most of the year. Heat pumps use this temperature stability as a heat source. They work by means of pumping heat out from the underground and re-distributing it at the surface.
By harnessing small portions of the sun’s tremendous energy output, solar power is already being extensively used around the world to provide power for large companies, individual homes and an assortment of other clever uses, from powering remote electronic road signs to helping aeroplanes circumnavigate the world. Advances in photovoltaic technologies have increased the performance and accessibility of solar panels and their popularity is set to grow significantly over the course of the next few years as solar panels become more cost-effective and more readily available.
Huge spinning wind turbines are becoming an increasingly common sight around the world’s countrysides. The number of these large commercial wind farms (sometimes called â€˜wind parks’) is set to increase, as long as a compromise can be found with the conservation lobby that has concerns about their visual impact as well as any possible threat that they may pose to local wildlife such as birds. On the domestic scale, advances in wind turbine technology are, like with solar panels, making wind turbines an increasingly affordable energy option for people to make use of.
For hundreds and thousands of years, mankind has used the flowing water in rivers to turn water mills. Nowadays, when we think of water-generated energy, our minds turn to large Hydro Electric power stations on major dams, such as America’s famous Hoover Dam. These massive structures generate energy by letting the dammed water flow through pipes and channels using the natural force of gravity. The power of this water is so great that it can drive huge turbines that in turn generate electricity.
These four natural and renewable sources of energy give us a solid basis upon which to build our renewable energy future. I am confident that humanity’s latent ingenuity will, in future, develop many additional ways to generate power which we have yet to figure out. Let’s hope we manage this before too much harm is done to our planet in terms of pollution and waste.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to be associated with all of these types of renewable energy. While they are all implemented right now on some level, there is still quite a bit more that needs to be done if we are to get the maximum benefits from them.
At the same time, we need to learn how to reduce the costs involved with getting the vast supplies of power that we need out of our renewable energy sources. That seems to be the biggest hold up with getting them really rolling. The fact that they work and they reduce pollution is very positive aspects that encourage us to move forward with them and strive toward making them more efficient, both in terms of productivity and cost-effectiveness.
As we become more and more aware of the fact that we are depleting our world’s energy sources we need to take corrective action right now. The more we can learn not to depend on non-renewable energy resources, the better off our entire world will be. Take your time to learn all you can about renewable energy too so you can be aware of what is going on around you and figure out what you can do to help alleviate the world’s heavy energy demands.