Monday, May 4, 2009

Types Of Renewable Energy Available Today

By Tim McDonald

As the world reaches its energy crisis we need to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources, and start generating renewable energy on a massive scale.

To date there are four main types of renewable energy that we can produce: wind power, solar power, hydro power, and geothermic power.

Wind Power:

Wind energy has been used for thousands of years. Initially windmills were built to tow boats, grind flour and pump water. But as industry developed, wind turbines were put into operation to generate electric power.

Although many people envision windmills as those ornate ones in Holland or the small wind-pumps on farms, they have been developed tremendously in the past decade. Now wind turbines are able to generate thousands of megawatts of power, and when used on a small scale at home, wind power can substitute conventional energy sources, helping households to get off the grid.

Solar Power:

The sun is the most readily available form of energy there is, so we should be using it to a larger extent. And as technology advances, households are provided with a number of ways to harness the power of the sun. These ways include solar electricity, solar heaters, solar dryers and solar cookers.

Passive solar design, solar power and solar heating are some of the the best ways to reduce your power consumption at home - these systems need very little upkeep, and they are also great for the environment. Solar cooking is a healthy alternative to using an oven or stove - the food is cooked slowly so more minerals and vitamins are retained, and no electric power is needed. This makes it ideal for camping and outdoor cooking in the summer months.

Hydro Power:

Like windmills, hydro energy used to be used in ancient machines to grind flour or transport water in aqueducts for irrigation.

Today hydro power is used in dams to produce electricity for households and businesses. Hydro-electric power is generate on a large scale where dammed up water is channeled through turbines, which spins a dynamo as it gushes through. The best example of hydro-electric power would be the Hoover Dam, which was built to provide electricity to Las Vegas. In fact hydro-electric power is efficient is popular nowadays that it accounts for over 90% of the worlds renewable energy.

The have been numerous concerns with building dams for hydro-power. They can lead to the extinction of various plant and animals, and entire villages and communities have to relocate when dammed up rivers flood their land.

Geothermal Energy:

It is normally in volcanic areas where you will find geothermal power being used. In places like Iceland, hot, molten lava is close to the surface, that heats large bodies of water and creates steam for geothermal electricity.

Here, large power plants are built over the geysers, where hot fast-moving steam from the geysers drives large turbines to make electricity. To speed up the process, water is sometimes pumped back into the geysers to make more steam, which is then used to drive the turbines once again, thus making it an endless cycle.

This brings us to the end of the various types of renewable energy explored. To find more in-depth information on each source, you can visit our website at DIY-Renewable-Energy dot com.

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