How Alternative Energy Works and How it Can Help the Planet
Alternative energy is broadly defined as an energy source that’s sustainable and less harmful to the earth than other types of energy. Carbon emissions are one of the hurdles the world faces in regard to climate change. And alternative energy can help. Fossil fuels aren’t going anywhere any time soon, but alternative energy sources are now fueling many different aspects of everyday life. These sources use the sun, the wind, flowing water, and even the temperature of the earth. Read on to find out how alternative energy works and why it’s good for the planet.
Harness the Sun with Solar Panels
It’s estimated that every day the sun’s rays transfer more power to the surface of the earth than the entire population could use in a whole year. Of course, this energy isn’t lost. It’s used to help plants grow, which helps feed humans and keeps the world rich in life-giving oxygen. However, in terms of electricity, the sun has untapped potential.
Innovation and technological advances have made solar panels more and more powerful and useful. Now, in some places, solar panels can store energy and sell it back to the power grid if the homeowner does not use it. Solar panels with photovoltaic cells transfer the sun’s energy into electricity, which can then be stored for later use. More and more homeowners are installing these panels on their roofs, helping them save money and offset their carbon footprint.
Use Wind Power
Wind power is also coming into its own recently. Of course, humans have been harnessing the wind for travel and other things for centuries. But now, even on a small scale, people can transfer wind energy into electricity. This is done through wind turbines that generate electricity as they’re turned by the wind.
In some areas, homeowners can install small wind turbines on their homes to generate electricity. While wind farms with gigantic turbines account for nearly 6-percent of the US’s power generation, private citizens are getting in on the action. Smaller turbines hooked up to a private home can generate a significant amount of electricity, reduce fossil fuel consumption, and lower the energy bill.
Lesser-Known Alternative Energy Options
Hydroelectric power has been in use for many years. But never before has it been accessible on such a small scale. Many homeowners think that the only way to generate hydroelectric energy is by damming a water source, but this isn’t exactly right. A water wheel placed on a small stream can actually generate a surprising amount of electricity.
The near-constant temperature a few feet under the earth’s surface is also being harnessed for power. This is called geothermal energy, and geothermal heat pumps can be used to keep homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. When used in addition to an HVAC system, homeowners enjoy lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint. These heat pumps are a little expensive to purchase and install, but they usually pay for themselves within a decade.
No matter which alternative energy source homeowners utilize, they can feel good about helping the earth as they generate low or no-carbon electricity.
About Elite Electric & Air
Since 1988, Elite Electric & Air has been the premier electrical company in Jupiter, FL. They offer friendly, on-time service and honest recommendations. Their representatives are available 24/7 to answer calls and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Give them a call today for expert electrical services!