Two Alternative & Renewable Energy Sources

Wind Solar Energy

Two Alternative & Renewable Energy Sources

As the world consumes and produces more energy we must cut back our us fossil fuels, and begin using alternative energy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels

Currently we have 4 sources of renewable and alternative energy that we are able to produce: wind generation, solar energy, hydro power, and geothermal energy. Here we will discuss the most common two.

Wind Power

Wind as a source of power has been around for ages. Previous generations used wind in many different ways like, pump water, sailing ships, flour mils, saw mills and more. but at the start of the industrial and economic revolution, wind mills have improved and wind turbines were developed to supply electricity.

Lots of us learned about the old windmills in The Netherlands which were used to pump water or mill grain. The technology has improved developed hugely since the past decade. In this day and age wind turbines manage to generate thousands of megawatts of power, and once used on small scale projects, wind generation to create power will substitute standard energy sources, contributing to many households to get off the grid.

Solar Energy

Solar is the one of the most abundant form of energy available, we really should harness this great energy resource. We can use it on a large scale or a small scale. Technology is constantly improving and becoming more affordable. Households have many choices in regards Solar Energy. It can generate electricity, heat, be used for cooking etc.

Both electricity and heating systems powered by the sun are cost-effective, great for the environment and planet. Solar Installations require hardly any maintenance and after the initial investment have no running cost saving you on bills. Solar cookers are a great way of cooking food. They are affordable, portable and easy to use. It is a great solution used in many African countries where one has no power available.

Solar Energy or Wind Energy

Solar Energy or Wind Energy which is the best? This really depends on your location. Sometimes solar energy is the best solution and sometimes wind energy is the best solution. At certain locations both will be an excellent solution to your energy and electricity needs.

Solar Energy

The sun which produces solar energy through several means like solar heating, photo voltaic which produces electricity and solar cooking. The sun rays can be used in many ways and are probably one of the most available and reliable sources of solar energy. There is not a single place on earth which would not receive at least some sun (which means solar energy a day). Solar energy can be implemented on a big scale or a small scale. It is easy for households to produce solar energy by installing solar heating or installing solar panels.

Of course in certain places in the world solar energy is more abundant then other places, but this did not stop Germany to become one of the leading countries in solar energy. Germany is not the most favorable country to produce solar energy but they are leading the world. Talk about defying the odds.

Wind Energy

Unless Solar Energy, wind energy is less viable. Wind Energy is mainly available at coastal areas, but it can be available 24 hours a day. Solar energy is not available 24 hours a day. Wind energy is also more difficult to implement on a smaller scale as it will require construction of huge structures. But there are countries which have successfully implemented wind power or wind energy. One of those countries is Denmark Wind Energy vs Solar Energy which even managed to produce more wind energy in one day as what was required.

Conclusion Solar Energy vs Wind Energy

Solar Energy & Wind Energy can both be very viable and can complement each other to power our earth now and in the future

Load Shedding

Load Shedding is in full swing at the moment. It will be a fact that South Africans will have to live with & endure. Load Shedding will be here for many years. Load Shedding occurs when demand is greater than capacity to generate electricity. To avoid a total blackout of the power grid Eskom has to implement Load Shedding.

Load Shedding is implemented by switching of the power to certain areas for a certain time. There are several levels of Load Shedding. Load Shedding increases with the severity of the electricity demand & supply.

The following stages of Load Shedding are currently in place

  • Stage 1: Generation shortfall of up to 1 000 MW
  • Stage 2: Generation shortfall of up to 2 000 MW
  • Stage 3: Generation shortfall of up to 4 000 MW

How to reduce the effects of Load Shedding.

Load Shedding is an inconvenience to everybody in South Africa, from people to businesses. Some ways you can work around the effects are

  • Plan your schedule around publicized Load Shedding schedules.
  • Implement Renewable Energy Sources like Solar Power/Solar Heating or Wind Energy.
  • Use a generator (not environmental friendly, but for long periods of Load Shedding a viable but expensive option).
  • Start cooking and boiling water on LPG/Gas or a wood fire.
  • Have a battery/invert-er backup in place.

How to help Eskom by reducing your electricity consumption

One of the best ways to help Eskom & the rest of South Africa if everybody plays their part in reducing their electricity consumption. There are some quick and easy ways to accomplish this.

  • Switch off all equipment/lights which are not needed. (TV’s, Computers, Geysers Etc)
  • Increase the temperature of your air-conditioner or switch it off altogether.
  • Start preparing meals on a Gas stove or make a braai.
  • Change to energy efficient equipment & lights
  •  Become self sufficient by investing in renewable energy and get of the grid or become grid tied.

In periods like this we South Africans have to stand together to avoid a total blackout of our electricity supply which can take weeks to resolve.

Microsoft is going green

As part of an effort to become carbon neutral, Microsoft Corp. has entered a 20-year deal to buy power from a new wind farm in Texas, the first time the tech giant is directly purchasing electricity from a specific source.  Microsoft said it will buy all of the energy the wind farm generates from RES Americas’ 110-megawatt Keechi wind project, which is under development near Jacksboro, about 70 miles (113 km) northwest of Fort Worth. RES Americas is a unit of privately held, UK-based renewable energy developer RES Ltd.

Data Centres are power hungry and every effort to source this energy on a sustainable level should be encouraged.

Microsoft also is looking for ways to make data-storage systems and servers more efficient, to develop software and other products that could make “green” buildings more efficient and improve and expand a setup that allows servers to operate in warmer temperatures, giving some data centers the ability to use natural air and water for cooling instead of traditional, power-hungry air conditioning units, Janous said.

The power of wind

Wind power or wind energy is getting more popular as an renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuel and one of the best known of the renewable energy sources. Wind Power has been in use for hundred of years to power the wind mills in Holland and to power the sailing boats of yesteryear. To generate electricity through the use of wind power requires wind turbines. Wind turbine generators do little to harm the environment and are clean and preferable source of energy compared to fossil fuels. The only disadvantage of wind power is that wind power cannot be used everywhere. To make effective use of wind power and use turbines to generate wind power you would need an average wind speed of at least 21 kilometers per hour. Obviously those wind speeds are not found everywhere. You will find that most large scale wind power farms can be found near coastal areas.

Wind Power in South Africa

There are currently no large scale wind farms operational in South Africa, though a number of wind farms are in the initial planning stages. Most of these wind power farms are earmarked for locations along the windy Eastern Cape coastline. Eskom has constructed one small scale prototype wind farm at Klipheuwel in the Western Cape and another demonstrator site is near Darling with phase 1 completed.

Wind Power the future of renewable energy

Wind is a sustainable fuel source free of pollutants of any kind and its free energy can be harnessed without causing any damage to the environment. The energy used to manufacture and erect a wind turbine is recovered in the first 3 to 6 months of operation. At the end of a wind turbine’s lifetime, typically 30+ years, it can be removed, leaving behind no lasting legacy.

Cost effectiveness of wind power

Although the initial investment in a wind power farm is higher than a traditional fossil powered system, with no ongoing fuel cost the price of generating electricity works out cheaper over the lifetime of the investment with the added benefit of being kinder to the environment.

The power of wind

Windmill