Alternative Resources Of Energy

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Some alternative resources of energy are practicable now and, in fact, are increasingly being installed to provide home and commercial power. California solar and wind systems have jumped in popularity in recent years, perhaps a direct result of the energy crisis in the state. Frequently, these two renewable energy sources are used together; wind tends to be strongest in the morning and evening, solar rays most intense mid-day.

Some scientists and energy resource specialists believe solar-produced hydrogen is the most important power source of the future. Stored for use when the sun is not shining, hydrogen would be used in fuel cells to create electricity whenever needed. Presently, hydrogen, a gas, takes up too much space to store--and it is flammable!

More Options for the Future

You might not think you have heard of biomass as an energy source, but you have probably read about methane and ethanol in relation to the federal Energy Bill. The oxidation of vegetation by burning can create pollution; this is just one of several problems that must be worked out for this process to be environmentally-friendly.

Hydropower uses the downhill flow of water to produce electricity. Though cheap, dams create many problems for people and animals. Ocean waves can be used to produce electricity; the first commercial wave-power plant was established on the island of Islay off the coast of Scotland. Tidal energy, ocean thermal, geothermal--all these alternative resources of energy are being explored for future use.


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