What are the alternatives to fossil fuels?
There is around 85% of the world’s population using fossil fuel energy. That’s why the fossil fuel industry is widely considered the largest contributor to global climate change. To combat the climate change issue, we should leave about 80% of the fossil fuel reserves underground and rely on the other sources of energy, such as alternative energy sources. Let’s have a look at what the alternatives to fossil fuels are!
What is an alternative energy source?
Alternative energy doesn’t use fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, and gasoline. They use wind, solar, hydroelectric, tidal, biomass, and geothermal to produce energy.
Why do we need an alternative energy source?
These energy sources reduce the carbon footprint; reduce fossil fuel imports, and development of the local industry with green energy production.
Some differences between fossil fuels and alternative energies:
Electricity or heat produced with fossils is often obtained by combustion, a process releasing fine particles and colossal amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Alternative energy advocates point to the dramatic drop in emissions during the power generation phase. The fable of the energy transition evokes the eventual replacement of fossil fuels – or at least part of it – by alternative energies. Global primary energy consumption shows the addition of green energies to fossil fuels, and its consumption continues to grow.
Wind energy comes from the movement of air masses on the surface of the earth. People have used the wind to travel by sailboat since ancient times. Later, it became the windmills that exploited this resource. Today, modern wind turbines transform mechanical energy from the wind into electrical energy. A distinction is generally made between onshore wind farms built on dry land and offshore wind farms built off the coast in the Sea.
There are two techniques for obtaining electricity using light and heat from the Sun.
Solar thermal energy
In the case of a solar thermal power plant, the power of solar radiation is used to heat a fluid that is subsequently transformed into steam. This drives turbine which produces electricity.
Photovoltaic solar energy
In the case of photovoltaic solar panels, the cells that compose them react to sunlight by producing a continuous electric current.
Hydroelectric power or hydroelectricity
Humans have used hydraulic energy at least since ancient times due to water mills. Currently, the energy resulting from water movement is used for the production of alternative electricity (waves, tidal, hydroelectric dams). In the case of dams, the force of the water drives turbines, thus producing electricity.
Geothermal energy extracts energy produced by the earth’s core from the ground. Caloric energy from hot springs or groundwater is used directly or converted into electricity. Water is pumped into the surface; it heats upon contact with hot rocks, then rises loaded with caloric content and produces electricity.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), consumers rely on wind and solar power from 8% to 10% of global energy usage. By combining the above mentioned alternative energy sources, we may be able to combat issues like climate change, global warming, and pollution more positively.