Saturday, February 1, 2020

What is sustainable energy?

These days we hear a lot about global warming and sustainable energy.  There are so many people expressing their opinions on the subject that it leaves many people confused and scratching their heads.  But what exactly is sustainable energy?  By definition, it is energy that can be used to meet the needs of our present day society without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their energy needs.   In other words, sustainable energy sources are not expected to be depleted within a time frame that would have any impact on the foreseeable future.

Many people demand an end to using fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas.  In response, more and more companies are making an effort to lower their use of these fossil fuels by turning to sustainable energy resources.  But others, such as Douglas Healy, caution that making a complete switch to sustainable energy is not a good idea if you want to have an uninterrupted power supply.  They suggest instead that both traditional power sources such as fossil fuels and nuclear power be interwoven with sustainable energy sources.  But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be using sustainable energy.  It simply suggests that they be used in addition to the traditional sources.  

There are so many types of sustainable energy that it would be foolish not to utilize them.  Here are some examples: 

Wind Power:  Wind Power is harnessed using windmills or large wind turbines.  If you visit Sweden, one of the first things you will notice is the wind turbines.  They are everywhere, scattered throughout the country.  The turbines convert the power of the wind into energy.  

Solar Energy:  Solar Energy is actually the best form of sustainable energy.  By using solar panels in your home, you can greatly reduce or even eliminate your need for traditional power sources. 

Geothermal Energy:  Geothermal Energy comes from beneath the earth.  Geothermal power takes heat coming from inside the earth and uses it to generate electricity.  But because this requires high temperatures, this method will not work in all areas.  It is used in areas with high seismic activity that are prone to volcanoes.

Ocean Energy:  The ocean is powerful, approximately 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, so harnessing that power makes sense.  Tapping in to the power of the tides can generate enough energy to power millions of homes.  The kinetic energy of waves can be converted by ocean thermal plants into the mechanical energy of turbines, which can in turn be converted into electrical energy by generators.

Biomass Energy:  Biomass Energy is produced by the burning of wood, timber...even landfills and both municipal and agricultural waste.  It is very sustainable, as well as providing a useful service in reducing landfills and the waste.

Hydroelectric Power:  This is created by capturing the power of the moving water of rivers and waterfalls and using it to turn turbines to generate power.  This is one of the most common sustainable energy sources and is used all over the world.        

Using sustainable energy like the ones mentioned above is a good idea, and it is good for the environment.  They are very sustainable and do not have an environmental impact, making them perfect for the world's future energy needs.

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