Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is Alternative Energy?

Alternative energy is sweeping the nation, and the world, as today's biggest environmental topic. Alternative energy topics no longer revolve around nuclear energy for electricity, but also include the use of products such as Ethanol in cars. It is important to learn what alternative energy is, how it works, and the different types to stay on top of environmental legislations and presidential campaign policy, and to make the best choices for your home and family.

Basic Definition
Alternative energy is the process of energy being formed from sources that do not harm the environment or deplete the Earth's natural resources. So, polluting and wasteful forms of energy producing, such as coal and nuclear, do not fit with the definition of what an alternative energy source is.

Renewable energy is a class of alternative energy that uses natural resources such as geothermal heat, tides, sunlight, and wind, which are naturally replenished through the earth and sun and never run out. About 13 percent of the world's energy comes from renewable energy. Renewable energy is what many call not very reliable because of its dependence on nature, but if one uses a combination of renewable energy sources, it can be every bit as reliable as traditional energy sources.

Kinds Of Alternatives
When people first really started talking about alternative forms of energy, they never could have realized how many would come about. What is alternative energy, today? Here is a short list of all the latest forms:

Hydro Power - Hydro power is formed by small water generators called micro-hydro turbines that are set into flowing water's stream.

Solar Power - Solar power is made by converting sunlight into electricity using cells made from silicon, which, when exposed to sunlight, creates and electric charge.

Wind Power - Wind power is created by a turbine on a tall tower using the wind to kinetically make electricity.

Ethanol - Ethanol is an alternative fuel to replace gasoline, made from ethyl alcohol, a common alcohol made from corn or wheat.

Biodiesel - Biodiesel is an alternative fuel for petroleum diesel and is produced from vegetable oils and animal fats.

Hydrogen - What this alternative energy is is the most abundant element in the universe and can be produced from fossil fuels, biomass, or by electrolyzing water.

As you can see, there are many alternative energy sources out there. What they can be used for is just about as limitless as traditional forms of energy.

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