By definition, alternative energy is any energy source used in place of another. However, when most people talk about alternative energy sources today, they’re specifically implying any energy source that is a renewable or sustainable alternative to nuclear, coal, and fossil fuels. At Hytech Solar, we got into business because finding alternatives to damaging and non-renewable energy sources is important to us, and it should be to you as well!
Why Alternative Energy?
As a country – and a planet! – we need alternatives to fossil fuels, coal, and nuclear energy because these energy sources will eventually run out and cause a lot of damage to our planet. In order to combat effects like global warming, we need to find alternatives and get them in place quickly and as widespread as possible.
What Other Energy Sources Are There?
As technology advances, we are developing more and more alternative energy options. Some of the options becoming more standard, you have probably already heard of, but there are researchers out there developing ways to power the world through some pretty creative means as well!
Renewable Energy Resources
Sun, Wind, Water
Some of the most prevalent alternative energy today uses resources widely available to us: sun, wind, and water. Options like solar panels, windmills, and dams allow us to produce useable energy from the movement of wind or water and the power of the sun’s rays – all of which are sources that we do get energy from without inhibiting nature much, if at all.
Lesser known but becoming more common is the move to create fuel by taking the waste from natural sources and converting it to a usable form of ethanol. Biofuel can be made from the waste of anything from sugar cane to wheat and potato. By using the waste of things we already grow large quantities of, we add less waste to landfills and use less fossil fuel to run vehicles.
As with solar or wind power, we can also generate power from the heat put off naturally from the earth. However, this means of alternative energy is largely inhibited by location; in order to generate energy from this renewable resource, a source such as a hot spring is needed. Generally, geothermal energy is only generated at the boundaries of tectonic plates.
Algae, Biomass Briquettes, and Marine Hydrokinetic Energy
These sources are less heard of, but present another layer of alternative energy options by harnessing resources that are widely available and easy to replenish. Developers are working on ways to use the energy put off by algae during photosynthesis in addition to the actual biological material. Algae has the benefit of being easy to produce in a lab- or factory-style setting, so we can harness energy from algae without disrupting the ecosystems in which it grows naturally.
Biomass Briquettes are formed by compressing nearly any plant matter into briquettes similar to coal. Making these briquettes is a way to hopefully cut down on charcoal production in endangered forests.
Marine Hydrokinetic (MHK) Energy is similar but different to hydroelectric energy. Instead of damming a river to capture the flow of water, MHK uses turbines in fast-flowing rivers and oceanic currents to produce energy without hampering the flow of the water.
If you want to add more sustainable energy sources to your life, let Hytech Solar help. Contact us today for more information on adding solar power to your home and helping the environment!