Apart from providing lighting to our homes, electricity keeps us digitally connected, powers industries, saves lives in hospitals and keeps the economy running. Although the power that reaches our homes or businesses is always similar, electricity is generated from different sources. Some of the sources are renewable while others are non-renewable. Here are some of the most common natural resources to make electricity.
This is energy derived from the sun. The biggest use of solar energy in the world today is water heating. However, it is also used in some places to generate electricity. This method involves harvesting of power from the sun, using solar panels. Solar energy is also eco-friendly. By obtaining energy from the sun, we can prevent the release of more than 500 tons of greenhouse gases each year.
Due to its clean nature, wind power generation is becoming popular around the world. Wind farms can be set up without any environmental costs. One of the leading countries in the world in terms of wind power electricity generation is Denmark. More than 25% of its average power consumption is generated from wind farms.
This is electricity that is normally generated from water stored in huge reservoirs or dams. The water released from this dams, is then used to turn turbines at high velocity, thus generating electricity. It is one of the most widely used sources of energy in the world today, accounting for more than 90%.
The main problem with this source of power is that, it has been attributed to the diminishing amount of drinkable water in cities and towns. This means that it cannot be a sustainable solution for the future. That is reason why governments and stakeholders are coming up with alternative means of generating electricity.
Biomass is electricity energy obtained from decomposing landfill material. The energy is derived from both plant and animal matter. Once the waste starts decomposing, landfill gas is generated. This gas would usually go to waste as well as cause environmental problems.
However, there are several areas where it has been tapped and processed to generate electricity. It can be used for heating and cooking in homes, as well as a reliable fuel in industrial production. It’s main setback is that it releases significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Geo-thermal power is commonly used in heating and lighting in homes. This energy is produced beneath the surface of the earth. It is eco-friendly, clean and sustainable for the long term. The steam produced from underground is channeled into pipes, and then used to run turbines. The main problem with this form of energy is that it can be only produced at selected geographical areas in the world.
The safety of nuclear energy is still a raging debate in the world today. In fact, several countries like Germany have started eliminating electricity generation plants, and replacing them with others. Nuclear energy is one of the most powerful and reliable sources of electricity generation. It is currently under use by several countries, especially the developed ones. However, its safety is still a contentious issue.
Key players in the energy industry are seeking sustainable ways of making electricity. At the center of these efforts is the need to balance development with environmental conservation. Overall, electricity remains one of the most important things for the home, business, and industry.