What is Alternative Energy?Alternative energy refers to the energies generated from sources other than fossil fuels, viz, coal, oil and natural gas. Sometimes it is also called alternative renewable energy since almost all types of it can be generated from renewable sources as opposed to fossil fuels which is non-renewable and cannot be replenished once consumed.Types of alternative Energy and sources thereofSeveral types are available in the world. Most common and popular ones along with their sources are:1. Solar energy- Sun ray;
2. Wind energy- blowing wind;
3. Wave Energy- ocean waves;
4. Bio-Energy- Biogas or Bio-diesel;
5. Geo-thermal energy- Heat under the earth;
6. Tidal energy- High and low tides.Why alternative energy?
Massive usage of conventional energy sourced from fossil fuels during the entire second half of the twentieth century has severely endangered the environment. Millions of tons of carbon- di-oxide-a greenhouse gas, discharged to environment through burning of fossil fuels are causing global warming by trapping solar heat on the earth’s surface. Rise in temperature of the earth’s surface leading to climate change is a matter of concern not only environmentalists but also to all the governments of the world. Due to increase in temperature, sea level will rise and inundate a very large portion of coastal areas causing huge devastation since coastal areas are generally highly populated. Melting of ice caps and glaciers due to rise in temperature in earth’s surface will cause flooding of the rivers and its basins at first instance and drying up of the rivers thereafter with consequential economic disaster. Million of hectares of fertile land will become barren. To combat this ensuing devastation due to climate change world leaders are emphasizing on the use of alternative energy. Usage of more and more alternative energy will lessen dependence of fossil fuels and consequently will reduce generation of carbon di-oxide. As a result chance of devastation due to global warming will be minimized.
Moreover, fossil fuels being non-renewable ones will exhaust today or tomorrow. Hence people are thinking over alternative renewable sources of power for sustaining the development and growth.Benefits of alternative Energy
1. It is environment friendly, it helps reduce global warming.
2. It is renewable.It’s sources are not exhaustible.
3. It helps reduce geo-political tension arising out due to availability of fossil fuels only in limited countries contrarily every country is endowed with some kind of alternative energy sources.DisadvantagesIn spite of several technological breakthrough still production cost is very high which restricts it’s use. Till date the consumption of alternative power has not reached to desired level.ConclusionAlternative energy is the energy of the future. Scientists all over the world must augment their research for further technological breakthrough so that adequate quantity of alternative power is available in affordable price.