The 4 Major Types Of Sustainable Energy

It has come to a point where the world must look at sustainable energy. Alternative means of powering everything we need on a daily basis must be considered. With the rising costs of fuel and the adverse effects on our planet, we have no other choice.

To date, there has been much growth making the 4 types of renewable energy possible for the future. These are:

  • Solar Power
  • Wind Power
  • Hydro Power
  • Geothermal Power

SOLAR POWER

Without the sun life on this planet would not exist. But the sun is also a source of energy on tap.

Solar power, which is also called photovoltaics, is the most popular form of sustainable energy. We use it in varying degrees from devices like calculators to solar cookers. It is also used for heating, lighting, and drying. Through the use of grids ad on a larger scale, we will be able to use this renewable power source.

HUMAN POWER

Though it is an undeveloped idea and relatively unused compared to other forms of renewable energy, the harnessing of human power is also a possibility in the future.

Pressure sensitive walkway panels can be used to generate a current when somebody walks down the sidewalk. This ‘human kinetic energy’ can also be used to generate power for personal devices (as it already does in watches).

Of course, if this technology is to be developed more in-depth, people will need to have increased fitness levels if it is going to generate anything significant.

WIND POWER

This form of sustainable energy is created through the use of wind turbines. These wind energy producers have actually been around for thousands of years, and are a proven technology. Around the time of the American Revolution, it was found that turbines could produce electricity.

Wind power is considered as a very dependable renewable power source. It will not diminish when demand is high. If used correctly, wind power can fulfill 30% of the world’s needs by 2050.

Renewable wind energy is not exactly a new technology. In fact, it’s hundreds of years old. Windmills in Europe and Asia were used centuries ago to grind grain and pump water.

Granted the reason it was so popular was because it was so efficient compared to the alternatives available at the time. In other words, it was cheaper to use than animals or manual work.

Time passes and new technologies put wind power on the back burner for precisely the same reason that they were popular. Steam engines and internal combustion engines could do the tasks cheaper and more efficiently.

But now time takes another turn with the availability of fuel for those engines, namely fossil fuels, rapidly diminishing. On top of that fossil fuels have created an environmental nightmare with their greenhouse gases and global warming. Renewable wind energy is once again becoming a viable alternative power source

With what seems the whole world focusing on “energy”, wind has become increasingly popular among those looking to be energy efficient. Alternative energy has been trying to get tracking for years, and with the current global awareness at an all-time high it is finally finding the footing its needed.

There are many advantages to wind power, but with steep competition with the oil companies the benefits are almost always played down. As we gain momentum to diverge from fossil to renewable resources, our challenges are not easy. Social and economic barriers exist that will continue to pressure the mainstream ideals to keep us continuing down the same path. Listed below are the top 5 advantages of wind power

Advantages of wind energy

  • It’s renewable – the earth will never run out of wind, and in some cases wind speeds have been increasing over the years, making the case for wind energy even stronger. Also with the increased wind, existing wind factories will be producing at record rates.
  • Wind energy is 100% clean, there is no harmful effect on the surrounding eco system. Wind turbines are someone expensive to build, but once they are installed and operational there is no negative effects.
  • Wind energy is extremely basic – unlike nuclear power which is very complicated, wind energy is almost crude in design when compared to other complex power system.
  • Costs – one the wind turbines are installed there are almost 0 costs, besides maintenance. There isn’t harmful waste generated like nuclear power, or Co2 released into the atmosphere like coal power.
  • Since large generators are are usually built on high mountain tops, they are located in wind corridors far from residential development.
  • The technology can be applied universally, and even homemade windmills are becoming popular. The advantage the wind system is that it can be installed successfully in any country of the world provided there are isolated hill tops and beaches.

Also the infrastructure for harnessing the wind is very cost effective and the wind system is neither capital intensive or labor intensive in the construction and maintenance and it is very sustainable since the wind will always be there.

HYDROELECTRIC POWER

A perfect example of sustainable energy produced by water is Las Vegas. Hoover dam was specifically constructed to provide this well-known city with electricity.

Water in a dam is fed through turbines. When they begin to spin they create electricity. It is also considered a viable option for a sustainable energy source. This is because tides can be predicted and are constant.

GEOTHERMAL POWER

Iceland gets much its power through this form of sustainable energy. Geothermal power works in areas where there is consistent volcanic energy. To bridle this source, magma must be close to the surface.

Geothermal power plants are built over the geysers. Once again, turbines are used to produce this type of renewable energy. Steam causes the turbines to spin which creates electricity. This process can be accelerated by pumping water back into the geysers to produce more steam.

When considering all these options it is still a wonder that we are not using more of these sustainable energy sources. Although certain countries do make use of this we need to think on a larger scale. If not, we may not have a world left to power.