Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Alternative electricity generation at home is possible

By Bart Forcey

Alternative electricity generation is the wave of the future and will be very important for providing electricity years to come. Specifically the focus has moved from burning fossil fuels to using renewable energy sources. Burning gas, coal, and petroleum currently produces the vast majority of all electricity generation. Some renewable energy sources include hydropower, solar energy, biomass and wind power. There is a lot of research being applied to renewable energy sources.

The three main reasons to using alternative electricity generation come down to supply and demand and effects on the environment. Fossil fuels do not magically regenerate and will one day run out. This finite resource will also become more expensive as the supply dwindles but the demand remains the same. The majority of all alternative electricity generation focuses on using renewable energy that will not run out one day. Finally all renewable electricity sources are 'green' energy and do not pollute the environment.

Electricity has recently been generated from slow moving water. This is a brand new are of research that transforms the vibrations in the water, for example from swimming fish, and turns it into energy, which can be converted to electricity. Over 15 billion individuals could be supplied with electricity of only 0.1% of the oceans currents were accessed for energy production. This method of alternative electricity production can supply electricity for the world but it can certainly supply a large amount of electricity.

Solar power will soon be even more affordable then ever as research at MIT has produced an even more effective solar cell for less money. Researchers have managed to increase effectiveness by 50% and decrease the amount of silicon in the cell. The silicon is what makes cells expensive so in essence you are getting much more for your dollar then ever.

It is quite possible that waste will be turned into an alternative electricity source, as a new waste to energy project will take care of much of the waste disposed. Garbage is a problem to the environment and this is a great renewable options. Municipal trash is burned to produce steam and electricity. This has been know to produce electricity for over 100 years yet it has not been a popular source of electricity. This is a fantastic way to get rid of landfills and produce electricity at the same time.

Although it may appear that burning garbage is an inexpensive way to generate alternative electricity, it is uncertain how viable this option really is. Given the current state of technology, the hazards of creating toxic fumes or adding to carbon emissions are greater than the potential benefit of reducing the amount of garbage put into city landfills.

Wind power and solar energy are the most effective alternative electricity generation methods but some cutting edge technology focuses on harnessing the energy from the change of pH between the soil and trees, cyanobacteria, and more. There are many areas of renewable energy yet to be discovered and it is with hope that world embraces renewable energy production over the consumption of fossil fuels.

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