Alternative Energy Sources

Helen Schifter is a former arbitrage trader, writer for Conde Nast and editor for Hearst. She balances her life by studying Japanese Culture, notably the tea Culture. Notably an expert on fashion and living, Schifter is also a big advocate of anything alternative that makes sense, and that includes being a proponent of alternative energy sources.

What are Alternative Sources of Energy?

Essentially, alternative energies are sources of energy that are both renewable as well as safe. For example, oil, gasoline, diesel, burning coal, as well as nuclear fission all-cause serious environmental problems, and there are no new sources of these materials being created. On the other hand, solar, and wind energy are sources that are seemingly infinite. The sun comes up every day in all parts of the world and the wind continuously blows.

What are the Main Sources of Alternative Energy Now?

Hydropower is far and away the biggest source of alternative fuel energy in the world. Nearly 20 percent of the world’s energy capacity comes from hydropower.  By building a dam,  you channel the water into electric turbines that are turned by the water power. The big problem with hydropower, of course, is that you need to spend enormous amounts of resources creating the dam, and many homes are often displaced as well. So pollution-wise, Helen Schifter knows hydropower is a great source of alternative energy but the amount of property that is eliminated makes it somewhat less than ideal. Still, Norway produces 99 percent of its electricity from hydropower and New Zealand produces 75 percent of its electricity from hydropower.

Wind Power

Wind power is the second most plentiful source of alternative energy in the world. China produces 184 Gigawatts of electricity annually from wind power, and one single facility, the 8GW Jiuquan Wind Power Base currently ranks as the biggest onshore wind farm in the world. The US produces about half the wind power of China, but nevertheless is ranked #2 in the world.

Solar Power

Solar power comes in at number three but is rapidly catching up. The total wind power production in the world is around 563 Gigawatts, while the total solar energy produced is around 486 Gigawatts. Here Asia is excelling in particular with almost 70 percent of the new solar generation being produced in Asia.

Finally There is Biomass Power

Biomass is the use of excess crops such as stubble and weeds which is either burned directly for fuel or turned into liquified gas. Biomass produces around 117 Gigawatts of energy in the world, which makes it number 4.

There are of course other alternative sources of alternative energy such as Geothermal, using the tremendous heat and power of volcanoes to produce energy. The problem of course, is there are few locations such as Iceland, where geothermal can be produced.

What About the Future?

Bank on wind power and solar panel to take up much of the slack. There are thousands of places where both wind power and solar-powered plants can be placed.