Alternative Energy


Ever since it has become apparent that our dependence on fossils fuels has greatly depleted our resources, has been a factor in global warming and has caused some countries to be totally dependent on other countries for a supply of fuel there has been a need to look at alternative energy sources. If you look at any item that you own or that you have in your house, its production has been through several stages and would have required energy for the production and for distribution.

To reduce our dependence on fossil fuels there are now several options that are available. Looking at travel in some places we now have the option not just of gasoline or diesel but also ethanol. The use of this new option much also take inconsideration, production costs, distribution costs, efficiency (as in miles per gallon) and the effects that it may have on the engines of older vehicles that may not run as efficiently as they would have done on gasoline due to design and lack engine efficiency. This needs to be traded off against the lower emissions.

Still staying with vehicles, there are other alternatives but have to be used in specially designed vehicles. Enter the electric. Quiet and efficient but cannot only be recharged in especially dedicated fuel stops. They have virtually no emissions that pollute the atmosphere, but the electricity has to be produced efficiently without the use of fossil fuels. Electric cars would be truly low carbon emission if the electricity they use has been produced by hydro-electric power. One of the newest forms of alternative energy is the refinement of human waste. This has produced a fuel that currently powers a bus in Bristol, England. The bus is known as a “poo bus”. It is surprisingly efficient and has no smelly emissions.

Electricity can also be produced by solar power, but the efficiency of producing this can be a little hit and miss depending in the local weather and the season. Solar power is good if it is used in conjunction with electricity produced by the national grid. Other options can include Wind power and also harnessing tidal power. There has been a lot of opposition to wind power turbines, mainly as a lot of people find the presence an eye sore and they can make some noise. Use of barrages to harness tidal power may damage local eco-systems. But there has to be a trade-off here as both tidal energy and wind energy is free and does not draw on already depleted fossil fuels.

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