It’s hard to imagine a human’s life without any energy. We all got used to using fossil fuel, such as coal, gas, and oil, as a source of energy. However, their reserves in nature, as it’s known, are limited. And, sooner or later the day when they run out will come. The question “what to do before the energy crisis will start?” already has its answer: it is necessary to look for an alternative, non-conventional, renewable sources of energy. What are the main alternative sources of energy at the moment?
All kinds of solar units are using solar as an alternative source of energy. Solar radiation can be used for both the needs of heating and to generate electricity (using photovoltaic cells). The advantages of solar include as well renewability of the energy source, no noise, the absence of harmful emissions into the atmosphere during the processing of solar radiation into other forms of energy.
One of the disadvantages of solar is the dependence of the intensity of solar radiation on daily and seasonal rhythms, as well as the need for large areas for the construction of solar power plants. Another serious environmental problem is the use in the manufacturing of photovoltaic cells for solar poisonous and toxic substances, which creates a problem of their disposal.
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One of the promising sources of energy is wind. The principle of wind turbines is very simple. Wind power is used to drive the wind wheel. This rotation, from the other side, is transmitted to the rotor of the electric generator.
The advantage of the wind generator is, first of all, that in the windy places, the wind can be presented as an inexhaustible source of energy. In addition, the wind turbines, while producing the energy, do not pollute the environment with any harmful emissions.
The disadvantages of wind energy production include the volatility of wind power and the low power of the single wind generator turbine. Also, wind turbines have been known to produce a lot of noise, so now they are mainly built far away from the places where people live.
A huge amount of heat energy is stored in the depths of the Earth. This is due to the fact that the temperature of the Earth’s core is extremely high. In some parts of the world, there is direct access of a high-temperature magma to the surface of the Earth: volcanic areas, hot springs, etc. Supporters of that geothermal energy propose to use this one particularly as an alternative source of energy.
There’re different ways to use geothermal sources. Some sources are used for heating, the others – to generate electricity from heat. The advantages of geothermal energy are inexhaustibility and independence from the time of the day and season. The negative sides include the fact that the thermal waters are highly mineralized and, often, saturated with toxic compounds.
This makes it impossible to dump the wastes thermal water into the surface of water reservoirs. Therefore, the wastewater has to be pumped back into the underground aquifer. In addition, some seismologists oppose any interference in the deep layers of the Earth, arguing that it could trigger an earthquake.
As you can see, the alternative to traditional sources of energy exist. And it gives hope that, in the future, humanity will be able to overcome the energy crisis caused by the depletion of non-renewable energy sources. Thank you for attention!