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Alternative energy is no longer a secret. Most of the world's energy needs are fulfilled by fossil fuels including gasoline and coal. It cannot be denied, however, that their supply is no longer in a stable state, their prices have gone up and they have been found to cause damage to the environment.
The negative effects of the use of fossil fuels are taking its toll on Mother Earth and mankind. Pollution mainly from the burning of fuels has long been pointed as a major cause of the earth?s deterioration and man?s health problems notably those related to respiratory illnesses. Additionally, world prices of fuel don?t show signs of going down to its original level forcing man to search for alternative sources of energy.
Alternative energy basically pertains to sources of energy other than those that involve the burning of fossil fuels or splitting of atoms. The earth has actually a huge supply of it which can be used free of charge and what?s great about this is that they?re environment friendly and renewable.
Today, there are a number of alternative energy forms that are clean to use and causes very little or no harmful effects to nature at all. These are solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy, tidal energy, nuclear energy and biofuel.
Every year, the earth gets more than enough energy from the sun as much as 35,000 times the total energy needs of man. One-third of this solar energy is either absorbed by the outer atmosphere or reflected back into space. Today, this form of energy is used in furnaces for homes and for heating swimming pools. Its major applications are in power plants, space ships and in running cars.
The power of the wind is never harmful to people and the environment. It is one of the oldest and cleanest forms of energy. While it is dependent on the weather and location, wind energy is very helpful in a lot of ways specifically in generating electricity through the use of windmills. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the worldwide wind market will grow by more than 155 percent by 2012. The total capacity is expected to reach 240 GW.
This type of energy comes from the earth?s core where temperatures are high and constant all year round. This is ideally used in home heating systems because of its benefits. It can also be used to generate steam to operate a steam turbine.
This form of energy is also very old and a well developed one. It utilizes the potential energy existing in the water. Basically, this comes from the damming of rivers which helps in generating cheaper electricity. However, it still has a limited capacity for expansion.
This is also useful in electricity generation and works in the same manner as that of the conventional hydroelectric dams. The natural motion of tides is used to fill water reservoirs which are then slowly released via turbines that produce electricity.
This used to be known as the ?jewel in the crown? among the alternative sources of energy. However, due to the Chernobyl accident and the ?Three Mile Island? incident, it has received negative feedback. While nuclear fission can be a good source of energy, many people are objecting to its use due to safety reasons. The only hope is nuclear fusion which poses no safety and waste issues. Unfortunately, no solution has been created to develop its potential.
This can be made from organic matters such as plants, wood and animals. Its main ingredients are ethanol from plant materials and methane from animal wastes. Today, its main use is in the transportation industry as an alternative gasoline to run land vehicles. While it is commonly used in developed nations, many developing countries are also now using biofuels.
A carbon offset is an emissions credit (also known as a ?carbon credit?) earned by eligible projects that sequester, destroy or displace greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.