Alternate Sources of Energy

Topics: Solar energy, Nuclear power, Fossil fuel Pages: 11 (4298 words) Published: June 16, 2013
The increased content of Carbon Dioxide in the air increases the warmth of our planet and is the main cause of the “Global Warming Effect”. One answer to global warming is to replace current technologies with alternatives that have comparable or better performance, but do not emit carbon dioxide. We call this Alternate energy.

According to Oxford Dictionary, Alternative Energy is energy fueled in ways that do not use up natural resources or harm the environment. Alternative energy refers to energy sources that have no undesired consequences such for example fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Alternative energy sources are renewable and are thought to be "free" energy sources. They all have lower carbon emissions, compared to conventional energy sources. These include Nuclear Energy, Wind Energy, Solar Energy, Geothermal Energy and Hydroelectric Energy sources. Combined with the use of recycling, the use of clean alternative energy sources such as the home use of solar power systems will help ensure man's survival.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is the generation of electricity from the sun. It is split up into two types, thermal and electric energy. These two subgroups mean that they heat up homes and generate electricity respectively. Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent energy problems the world now faces. The Earth receives an incredible supply of solar energy. The sun, an average star, is a fusion reactor that has been burning for over 4 billion years. It provides enough energy in one minute to supply the world's energy needs for one year. In one day, it provides more energy than our current population would consume in 27 years. In fact, "The amount of solar radiation striking the earth over a three-day period is equivalent to the energy stored in all fossil energy sources."  Solar energy  has been used for thousands of years in many different ways by people all over the world. As well as its traditional human uses in heating, cooking, and drying, it is used today to make electricity where other power supplies are absent, such as in remote places and in space. It is becoming cheaper to make electricity from solar energy and in many situations it is now competitive with energy from coal or oil.  After passing through the Earth's atmosphere, most of the Sun's energy is in the form of visible light and infrared light radiation. Plants convert the energy in sunlight into chemical energy (sugars and starches) through the process of photosynthesis. Humans regularly use this store of energy in various ways, as when they burn wood or fossil fuels, or when simply eating plants, fish and animals.

Types of technologies
Many technologies have been developed to make use of solar radiation. Some of these technologies make direct use of the solar energy (e.g. to provide light, heat, etc.), while others produce electricity. Solar power plants

Solar power plants strive to convert sunlight into electricity, either directly using photo voltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaics converts light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.[3] Solar cooking

Solar cooking uses the sun as the source of energy instead of standard cooking fuels such as charcoal, coal or gas. Solar cookers are an inexpensive and environmentally sound alternative to traditional ovens. Solar cookers are now becoming widely used in areas of the developing world where deforestation is an issue, financial resources to purchase fuel are limited, and...

References: * Wikepedia.Org (2011),”Geothermal Energy”
* Renewable Energy World (2013) “Geothermal Energy”
* Alternative Power Sources (2013) “How does wind energy work?”
* Renewable Energy World (2006) “Wind Power-Wind Energy”
* Wiley Online Library (2001) “Wind Energy”
* Wind Energy Development Programmatic EIS (2010) “Wind Energy Basics”
* Wikepedia.Org (2013) “Solar Energy”
* Solar (2012) “Solar Energy”
* Wikipedia.Org (2013) “Hydroelectricity”
* Environmental Protection Agency United States (2012) “Hydroelectricity|Clean Energy”
* Energy Matters (2011) “Hydroelectric Advantages and Disadvantages”
* U.S.G.S (2013) “Hydroelectric power water use”
* Library Think Quest (2011)”Nuclear Energy”
* Westinghouse (2013) ”What is Nuclear Energy”
* Nuclear Energy Institute (2013) “Nuclear Energy”
* United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2013) “What is Nuclear Energy?”
* How Stuff Works (2007) “How does Nuclear Energy Work?”
* Community Sciences Action Guides (2001) “The Benefirts of Nuclear Energy”
* I Answer 4 U (2011) “Nuclear Energy”
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