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What Alternative Electricity Generation Is Right For Your Home

What Alternative Electricity Generation Is Right For Your Home


What Alternative Electricity Generation Is Right For Your Home

by Adrian Fletcher

Research in alternative electricity generation has taken off as concerns of the cost and damage to the environment have increased. Most energy, particularly electricity are produced from burning coal, petroleum and natural gas. These fossil fuels account for almost 80% of al electricity production. Some areas of interest for alternative electricity production are in wind power, solar energy, biomass and hydropower.

There are three main reasons to start using alternative electricity generation methods. The first being that fossils fuels will one day run out and as supplies dwindle fossil fuel driven electricity will become very expensive. The second reason is that renewable energy is not harmful to the environment. You are not diminishing a natural resource but using something that uses gravity, the sun or wind to produce electricity. The third reason is cost; there will come a time when renewable energy will have almost no associated costs besides the purchasing of equipment.

One brand new field of research on renewable energy is to transform slow moving water currents into energy. This method takes the vibrations in the water and transforms it into energy. By using 0.1% of the power of the ocean's currents, electricity needs of over 15 billion individuals would be meet. This option will not solve the problem but it is a feasible option. The University of Michigan is undertaking this current research.

Research into solar cells is going much further than before. Solar energy is a great source of alternative electricity generation. Groups at MIT have designed a solar cell that is 50% more efficient then any that are currently available on the market. Most solar cells are expensive due to the usage of silicon but the new cell only uses 1% of refined silicon.

Turning waste into electricity is also a great alternative electricity generation method and has been used for over 100 years. However this method is not widely used though the world certainly produces enough trash to generate a sufficient amount of electricity. Eliminating waste helps the environment and can also tap into electricity supply. This is a great combination that should be used more then it is, especially since garbage is being frequently dumped into the ocean.

Although it may appear that burning garbage is an inexpensive way to generate alternative electricity, it is uncertain how viable this option really is. Given the current state of technology, the hazards of creating toxic fumes or adding to carbon emissions are greater than the potential benefit of reducing the amount of garbage put into city landfills.

Wind power and solar energy are really the best forms of renewable energy as the sun shines whether it is cloudy or not and wind power is the most efficient form of renewable energy. With the energy challenges to face in the future researchers are investigating electricity generation from the pH difference between soil and trees, cyanobacteria and wind current to name but a few research projects.

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