The Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Energy

It is essential that we find affordable and workable sources of alternative energy before the world completely consumes the already limited stock of fossil fuels. Many countries have started to introduce renewable energy schemes and more still have invested money into researching and even producing different sources of alternative energy. While it is essential that we become less reliant or not reliant at all on fossil fuels, many forms of alternative energy have their disadvantages as well as their obvious advantages. It has to be said though, that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages in many cases.
Wind Energy.
Harnessing the power of the wind and using it to our ends is hardly a new idea. Windmills have been and still are used for many different purposes and have been for a great many years, but the improvement of turbines combined with the improved technology to turn the motion of turbine blades into an energy source has seen the use of turbines explode.
Wind power is very popular, but in order to provide a reasonable amount of power it may prove necessary to have large amounts of turbines. On windy days, and even not so windy days some turbines make a noise that many residents consider to be unbearable. Areas of open countryside are protected by conservation orders, which means they can’t be built there either and if there is no conservation order there are still protestors willing to do almost anything to stop the turbines being built. The only viable option left is to use offshore wind farms and these are being investigated, developed and planned all around the world but it takes too many turbines to create a reasonable amount of power and eventually they will have to be built inland; a matter that will be contested wherever the wind farms are proposed to be built.
Solar Energy.
Solar energy is probably the most common form of alternative powers for everyday people and you can see solar lights ad other solar accessories in many gardens. Governments are beginning to offer grants to assist in paying for photovoltaic roof tiles; these tiles are easily fitted onto your roof and collect the heat from the sun. This heat can either be used to heat water or can even be converted into electricity. The advantage for the consumer is that by including a grid tie system you can actually sell unused electricity back to the grid. Photovoltaic tiles take the place of ordinary roof tiles and can be perfectly blended to fit the look of the outside of your house. With solar energy you too can help the environment.
Ask most people which renewable energy source is the most widely used and they would say either wind or solar, but they’d be wrong or at least they certainly would in America. Since 2000 Biomass has been the most highly produced alternative energy in the United States. Using plant and animal material to create energy isn’t without its downfalls. It would almost certainly meet with competition from residents if biomass power stations were to be created in built up areas. The decomposing plants and animal waste creates an awful smell that is incredibly difficult to mask but it is very renewable (there’s always plants and animal waste).
Other renewable energy sources.
These are the main three renewable energy sources that the countries of the world are creating at the moment but there are others. Whether nuclear power is a viable alternative or not is a debate that will undoubtedly rage on forever, but it is a renewable energy and some countries already have extensive capabilities to produce it. Modern technology means that nuclear power stations are safer than they’ve ever been and damage to people, animals or plantation is highly unlikely. However, it takes a long time to develop nuclear power station and even plants that are already being built may take ten years to come to fruition.
Hydropower is used in some countries and uses the motion of waves to create energy. While it is a possibility, the amount of energy produced is minimal and the outlay to set these schemes up is quite large. Without further investigation and improvement in the techniques used it is unlikely that Hydropower will become a major player in the renewable energy world.

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