Sustainable Energy Sources Compared

sustainable energy

Sustainable Energy Sources Compared

Sustainable Energy does not always equal to Renewable Energy, but Renewable Energy is a Sustainable Energy Source.

What are the different forms of sustainable energy and how do they compare? Sustainable Energy is a good alternative to fossil available today. New sources of Sustainable Energy Sources are being developed for the future. How reliable are the different forms of Sustainable Energy Resources and will they be sustainable in the future to form part of the energy mix? Below we will discus the different forms of Sustainable Energy and their advantages.

Solar Power

Solar power is generated through photo voltaic (PV) solar panels. Solar panels convert the sunlight into electricity. It is a viable solution in many countries and Solar Power systems are currently installed in many countries. New technology makes the the solar panels more effective than older systems. Currently about 16% of the sunlight gets converted into electricity. With new developments this should greatly improve and they will become more affordable. The improvement in efficiency and lowered costs means that solar power will play a greater part in our energy mix. There are alos some interesting installations where Solar Power is installed on top of parking bays. Not only creates this energy, but it keeps the cars parked underneat protected from heat and other elements.

Solar Heating

Solar Heating is the conversion of sunlight into renewable energy for water heating using a solar thermal collector, or used to cook food with a solar oven. Solar heating is a cost effective method to save electricity. When you invest in Solar Heating you will use less electricity and you can get away with a smaller Solar Power (PV) System. Solar heating can also be used to heat up pools.

A solar oven uses the power of the sun to cook food. By directing the sunlight into a solar oven you can raise the temperature of a box (Solar Oven) in order to make the temperature high enough to cook food. This is very sustainable solution in areas where there is little access to other energy resources like in many parts of Africa.

Solar Tubes & Skylights

Many houses have areas like passages which have not enough windows and tend to be dark. Instead of switching on a light why not install skylight or Solar tube to bring natural daylight into your dark room or passage. Some Solar Tubes have a natural ventilation system installed as well, which is great for areas like a bathroom with no windows.

As you can see there are many ways we can harness the energy of the sun.

Wind Power

Wind power has been harnessed for centurions, in the form of commercial shipping, windmills to mill grain and pump water. Nowadays wind power is being used to generate electricity through wind turbines and to pump water with wind pumps. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of electricity in the world and it’s not hard to see why. Wind energy does not pollute or contaminate the surrounding area on which they are built. One wind turbine is capable of generating power for over 500 households. The only environmental impact is the dead of birds caught in a wind turbine and the visual pollution.

Hydro power

Hydro power is energy that is generated by the movement of water. Energy gets generated through water falling or flowing down a river and channeling it through a turbine.

Flowing water was used in ancient water mills to power various machines, from saws to cranes, mills, lifts and more.

Most hydro power requires the building of Dams & Reservoirs they can have an adverse affect on the environment and displace many people. A lot of research into the environmental impact has to happen before one can go ahead and built a dam.

One lesser know Hydro Power source is energy produced from the movement of ocean waters, through tidal, waves and others. This is often refereed to as marine power.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is generated by using or drilling into the thermal energy or heat generated at the Earth’s core. This energy can easily be harvested at tectonic plates and by drilling deep into the ground, then pumping in a heat transfer fluid such as water or steam.

Some countries using geothermal energy are New Zealand, Iceland, China, Japan, United States, Italy, Turkey, France & China.

Denmark’s wind farms generated 140% of the country’s electricity needs yesterday

A very windy day broke a record in Denmark on the 9th of July. They produced an astonishingly 40% more power through their wind farms as their daily needs. This feat was accomplished due to an unusually windy day.

Energy not gone to waste.

The extra energy didn’t go to waste. It was exported to Germany, Norway, and Sweden via interconnections between the countries electricity grids.

Denmark is at the forefront of clean and renewable energy and they proven that on the 9th of July 2015.

Source: http://qz.com/450737/denmarks-wind-farms-generated-140-of-the-countrys-electricity-needs-yesterday/

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