Alternative energy is mostly renewable energy because it comes from natural sources, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. These sources are used as an alternative to coal and oil which diminish in supply. Alternative energy sources, on the other hand, are usually replenished naturally so their supplies do not diminish and they are also cleaner than oil and coal based energy sources as they do not pollute the environment.
Different Types of Alternative Energy Sources
1. Solar Energy
This is one of the most popular renewable source of energy that is used. It comes from the sun and is commonly used to heat and light homes. It is also used as an electricity source in industrial and commercial buildings either partly where it is used to subsidize electricity or it is used wholly as the only source of energy.
2. Hydrogen Energy
This is produced as a fuel. The process of extracting hydrogen for use is complicated but the benefit of using this energy source is that it is the most abundant element that produces alternative energy. It is however found as a compound with other elements such as oxygen.
3. Bio Energy
This is energy that is produced from organic matter which can be dead or living. It also includes biodegradable wastes which include tree branches, waste timber which are burnt to produce heat and act as fuel. Industrial biomass is that which is made hemp, corn, willow, sugarcane and others. These materials can generate electricity.
4. Compressed Natural Gas
This gas popularly known as CNG is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline, diesel, or propane fuel. This is mostly used a vehicle fuel as it is cleaner than oil based fuels.
5. Geothermal energy
This is energy that is derived from a geothermal heat pump for domestic uses or from a geothermal power plant mostly for commercial or industrial purposes. It is used for generating electricity. Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly but capital costs tend to be high.
6. Tidal Energy
This alternative energy is generated either by barrage generation or tidal stream generators. It is used for electricity generation but it is not a very popular method though it is more reliable as compared to solar energy or wind power.
7. Wave Energy
This is where energy is captured from ocean waves and is used to generate electricity. However it is unreliable because of the unpredictable nature of the waves which makes it rarely used.
8. Wind Energy
This is harnessing wind energy to produce mechanical or electrical energy. This form of energy is steadily growing popular especially in areas with large farms.
This is electricity that is generated by using gravitational force that is found in falling or flowing water. Solar energy and hydroelectricity are the most used types of alternative energy. It is expensive to set up a hydroelectric generating plant but it is cheap to maintain.
10. Radiant Energy
This is a natural form of energy that when generated works the same as electricity. It is very cheap to use but it is not popular as there is not much research on this form of energy.