People are becoming ever more conscious of climate change due to the buildup of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. People want to find a way to take action, both for the planet and to save on their own energy costs. There is debate about whether fossil fuels are really cheaper than various types of renewable energy. You have to look at overall costs, including government subsidies and cleanup costs, to be accurate. Fossil fuels are cheaper in their upfront costs to the consumer, in the short run. But people considering renewable energy are looking at the long term and also the effect on climate. Here are some tips if you are looking various sources of renewable energy.
The use of tidal power is still largely in the planning stage, but the prospect is exciting. The pull of the moon raises the water levels on earth. In the oceans, this creates a huge potential source of energy. The tidal flow–for which we expend no energy–may be harnessed to produce electricity, just as hydro-power now does with the flow of rivers and waterfalls. This type, needless to say, is not for individual home use. But if it can be successfully harnessed, it may bring down everyone’s energy costs while producing no greenhouse gases. Plus, it is a very, very long lasting source of power.
Solar is at the forefront for home energy use. As its technology continues to advance, it becomes more and more viable. Here, location is important. The more “solar hours” your location receives, the more solar energy you can produce. If the amount is high, you may be able to produce all your home’s electricity needs and even sell power back to the grid. But if you live in a cloudy and northern region, you can still use solar panels to produce part of your power. Solar power works viably to heat hot water almost anywhere. Solar can save on your energy costs over a 20 to 30 year period; even more so when government tax credits are applied.
Wind farms are much in the news and are being built throughout the country. Gigantic wind turbines by the hundreds can produce a considerable amount of power. Storing that power is still a problem, and transmission to the place that needs it is a technological problem. Still, wind is producing an increasing amount of our power. An exciting development is in smaller wind mills that can be used by an individual home owner. For those living in an area with steady winds, it can be a great low-cost source of power in the future.
Geothermal is another type of renewable energy whose technology is still developing. It can be ideal in the right location. It works through a temperature differential. You need a couple of wells or a pond on your property. A heat pump is used to take advantage of the difference in temperature between the water and your home. Geothermal may also be used on a larger scale, especially in areas with hot springs.
Nuclear power is green energy inasmuch as it does not produce greenhouse gases. It has not lived up to its original billing, which predicted that nuclear power would be so cheap you wouldn’t need meters. Its safety problems are an inhibiting factor. Still, most people see it as part of the global warming solution.
This brief survey can introduce you to the possibilities of renewable energy. Harnessing the earth’s own energies instead of burning fossil fuels can lead to solving the problem of global warming.