5 Renewable Energy Alternatives to Fossil Fuels
Renewable energy can be described as the type energy that won’t run out, and doesn’t rely on using oil or coal to create the fuels and power we rely on.
Traditional fossil fuels, such as those derived from oil and coal will run out one day, and there are currently biomass renewable energy many different types of sustainable alternatives which could be utilised instead.
The ever-increasing demand for electricity, gas and vehicle fuel, combined with the soaring costs of gas and electricity, means that finding reliable affordable and clean alternative energy sources is of paramount importance.
1. Solar Power
Solar power is probably the best known and most widely used form of renewable energy. It works by converting sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic cells, (PV). As sunlight hits the PV cell, some of the light is absorbed, transferring the energy to the PV cell. This loosens electrons in the PV cell which then flow freely, and can be controlled using electric fields. The electrons then become a current which can be harnessed by putting metal contacts at the top and bottom of the cell.
Solar Power technology is improving rapidly, and production of PV cells doubles approximately every 2 years, making solar power one of the fastest growing technologies in the world. Solar power can be used for heating and creating electricity in both domestic and commercial settings. Even in countries or areas that are traditionally not thought of as sunny, solar power can still be used, as the technology can use daylight, as well as bright sunlight. Small solar panels can be found on domestic goods such as calculators, battery chargers and garden lights, whilst larger solar panels can be found powering homes or even providing electricity for whole towns.
2. Wind power
Wind power is another popular source of renewable energy. Wind turbines are used to create electricity. Often found inland and off shore to make the most of the weather, wind turbines are able to produce more electricity as the wind speed increases. China perhaps surprisingly has the 5th largest wind power installation in the world.