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Renewable Energy Ideas

It’s Time to Put Those Renewable Energy Ideas into Action


While it’s convenient for oil companies and some world leaders to dismiss their claims as exaggerated, leading scientists and climatologists continue to emphasise the urgent need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to action some of the renewable energy ideas they propose as alternatives. These authorities hold fast to the belief that all life on this planet could be faced with extinction within the lifetimes of many of those already born. It’s time we face the fact that our continued existence needs to take precedence over profits, convenience, and political gain.


Solar Power

There are essentially four main technologies that can help to reduce our carbon footprint and stave off the visible and growing threat posed by global warming. Of these, there is just one that’s open to, at least, the nation’s better-paid individuals. For domestic purposes, solar power has been the most widely adopted of the various renewable energy ideas. In many countries, governments offer subsidies to homeowners who choose to install solar panels and may also pay them for feeding any surplus power they generate back into the grid. In addition, huge solar farms, several hectares in area and operated by private or public utility companies, are being built in many countries, including sunny South Africa.


Wind Power

Competing with solar farms are the vast 3-bladed wind turbines that have been popping up in all sorts of locations from private farmlands and disused playing fields to offshore islands and even the sea itself. Based on the old-fashioned windmill, the second of these renewable energy ideas harnesses kinetic energy from the constant movement of air currents and converts it into electricity. Like solar farms, these turbines are frequently assembled in large numbers.


Water Power

Water is one of nature’s most powerful forces and that power can be leveraged in one of two ways. Hydroelectric schemes are, of course, nothing new and make use of dams to create the necessary head of water to drive the turbines of a generator. A more recent adaptation of this principle forms the basis of yet another renewable energy idea – wave power. In these systems, it’s most frequently the up-and-down motion of floating devices on the sea’s surface that acts to convert movement into electrical power.


Geothermal Power

Unfortunately, geothermal power is only a viable option in limited locations. Nevertheless, where it is viable, the heat trapped deep below the earth’s surface can provide the means to produce steam to drive turbines and avoid the need to burn coal or oil. The soil acts as a natural heat trap and this so-called earth energy can be used in conjunction with heat pumps to heat or cool buildings as required and thus reduce dependence upon electricity from non-renewable sources.

One of the renewable energy ideas, upon which many have been pinning their hopes of the ultimate solution, is still under development. The cold fusion of hydrogen atoms promises unlimited cheap power for all. To date, however, all attempts to achieve the necessary sustained reaction have met with limited success. While hydrogen itself offers the prospect of a clean-burning fuel or can be used in fuel cells to power electric motors, it is not strictly a renewable option. While some propose the use of biomass as a renewable energy idea, burning plant material emits vast quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is, however, an option that can be applied to the production of methane gas and alcohol as clean-burning fuels to power vehicles and electric power plants.

Despite high costs and other setbacks, that there is hope for the future is made clear by the progress towards 100% renewables in countries such as Paraguay, Norway and Costa Rica. Implementing those renewable energy ideas today is no longer just a topic for debate; it is a dire necessity.

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