Friday, 19 March 2010

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels.

The term "alternative" presupposes a set of undesirable energy technologies against which "alternative energies" are opposed. As such, the list of energy technologies excluded is an indicator of what problems that the alternative technologies are intended to address. Controversies regarding dominant sources of energy and their alternatives have a long history. The nature of what was regarded alternative energy sources has changed considerably, and today because of the variety of energy choices and differing goals of their advocates, defining some energy types as "alternative" is highly controversial.

In general, alternative energy is that which is produced without the undesired consequences of the burning of fossil fuels, such as high carbon dioxide emissions, the major contributing factor of global warming according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Sometimes, the less comprehensive meaning of "alternative energy" also excludes nuclear energy. Official use of the term excludes nuclear energy.

Future of Alternative Energy

As we strive to build viable green sources of power, future alternative energy sources will be various because:
a) one single source cannot meet an ever-increasing demand and
b) to avoid dependence on a dominating source which is the case with fossil fuels.

Solar and wind power will be the main forces to be reckoned with in terms of future alternative energy. Solar has been making significant technological and economic leaps and it seems set to carry on this way. Wind power is already a established source of energy, supplying millions of homes worldwide. With the advent of offshore wind farms, the future of this alternative energy looks indeed very powerful. Another source of power that has been talked about is ground heat, which means tapping into the ground to regulate household heating and cooling. In the United States, the ground below the frost line maintains an average temperature between 50 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit in most areas of the country. Using geo-exchange systems, it is possible to keep temperatures constant and save up to 70% in home climatization costs.

From a financial market point of view, future alternative energy will be at the center of the next booming market, say economic pundits. According to a report in The Economist, the energy market is worth about $6 trillion a year, based on a yearly consumption of 15 terawatts worldwide. By 2050, it is estimated that consumption will have grown to 30 terawatts. With such a gargantuan market, companies specializing in future alternative energy will be able to move to the mainstream and, unlike the tech boom of the 1990s, benefit from a market characterized by longevity where technologies can co-exist with, instead of replacing, existing ones.

Alternative Energy and Corn

Corn has proven itself to be one of the most effective alternative energy sources, placing it in the ranks of coal, gas, wood, etc. Corn is an excellent energy source because the corn cob is very dense and slow burning. When corn is burned in a heating system, it generates more heat than the conventional furnaces, and it does so at a lower cost. This is because the cost of the corn source is much cheaper than running gas or electric furnaces, and its heat output is extremely high.

In the U.S., many people use corn furnaces to heat their homes. Because it can be burned in a typical wood stove, there is no special equipment to buy. It produces fewer emissions than wood and generates great heat, just like wood does. It is a very effective energy source which can inexpensively and efficiently heat a home. Because the corn husk is not used after harvest, it can be purchased in bulk from farmers or farm supply companies. It is much cleaner to store than wood, and will not carry termites or spiders into the home, which means that it can be stored close to where it is burned.

There are various types of corn burning stoves on the market which are designed to generate a lot of heat and prevent energy loss. There are several, high quality stoves which are reasonably priced so burning corn as a means of alternative energy can be a reality for everyone.

Corn burning stoves are very easy to function and can generate heat in a rather quick amount of time. Maintaining a corn stove or furnace is easier than conventional furnaces or stoves. With all the alternative energy sources available, corn is a very promising, yet overlooked, option. You can save on your energy bill in the present economic crises by adopting corn as an alternative source of energy in heating your home.


Wikipedia & Energyrefuge

1 comment:

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