What are fossil fuels?
Essentially there are three fossil fuel sources available to the world but each of them are dwindling. The most abundant is coal; coal is widely used and inexpensively extracted. As such, we have come to rely exceptionally heavily on coal and while there is still quite a large amount of coal left it is estimated that America’s remaining coal will sustain the country for the next 200 too 300 years but it is by no means a perfectly clean form of power.
The biggest problem is that coal is made up of carbon, like living beings, and the burning it needs to go through in the production of energy forms carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxides traps the earth’s heat and is a major contributing factor that scientists believe to be causing global warming. On a more positive note, though, scientists have created a more effective method to burn coal that traps 99% of the impurities and harmful gases that are emitted.
Apart from coal we heavily rely on natural gas and oil that are also in limited supply, and this is where the problem lies. The human race is consuming more and more energy with every day that passes and our resources of fossil fuels are being seriously depleted thanks to the way we live. The answer to this problem seems to lie in alternative energy.
What is alternative energy?
Alternative energy are non fossil fuels and do not deplete the earth’s resources of fossil fuels any further. Countries across the world are being pushed into investing money into the research and production of alternative energy and many countries already have natural energy sources producing usable energy.
One of the first used forms of alternative was wind energy. Many countries have developed wind farms, both off shore and mainland wind farms. Turbines are turned by wind, creating a viable renewable energy source. The problem with wind energy is that turbines can’t be located near housing districts because of the noise they create, although with further research and investment technologies associated with wind energy and wind turbines will undoubtedly keep improving.
In many countries grants are now available to help pay for photovoltaic tiles which collect the heat from the sun’s rays and convert it into an exceptionally safe and renewable form of alternative energy. Whether used to create electricity or to simply heat water or a central heating system, solar energy is easily obtained and the technology is very affordable. With solar energy consumers are assist with the protection of the environment.
Biomass is still a relatively unused form of energy in many parts of the world but more and more money is being put into funding of biomass. Biomass is the creation of energy using plant materials, and is another source of clean, renewable energy. America is one country that uses Biomass to quite big effect, being the largest source of renewable energy every year since the year 2000.
These are only a few alternative energy sources that are available around the world, and more and more funding is becoming available for the production and research of these sources.