Some of the most well-known alternative sources of energy are solar, wind, and hydroelectric. However, there are emerging energy sources from renewable biological sources that are becoming increasingly affordable to generate and provide.
The new diversification of energy sources has been embraced by many alternative energy corporations making it easier than ever for consumers to choose exactly where their energy comes from. Companies such as Direct Energy Calgary are helping consumers navigate the deregulated energy industry.
Solar power has recently been in the news due to the dramatic fall in associated costs. For many years, proponents of solar energy were urging individuals to install solar panels and use their own resources to go off grid or at the very least lessen their dependency on the energy grid. With the advancement in solar technology over the last several years, many power companies are now actively using solar power to generate their power.
One of the reasons power companies are looking more intently at solar as a viable alternative to fossil fuels is the explosive growth in the field of battery storage. Some of the most promising innovations of the past several years have involved more reliable methods of storing solar energy to provide power when capturing solar energy is not possible.
Most people don’t realize wind energy is actually a type of solar energy. This is because winds are caused by the energy of the sun unevenly heating the surface of the earth due to various geographical features and the rotation of the earth around the sun.
Wind turbines can be installed to capture the wind as it blows over the surface of the earth. As the wind hits the turbine it will cause the blades to turn and activate an electric generator that then creates an electric current. These turbines come in many forms but the two basic groups include vertical-axis and horizontal-axis design. The larger the turbine the more energy it is able to create.
Hydroelectric power is most often associated with large damns on natural waterways. This type allows the water to pass over the machinery and move it to create energy in a way similar to that of a wind turbine. While these large damns are the first thing most people think of there are much smaller versions that are less visible but equally effective. One of the newest innovations in the field of hydroelectric power uses buoys in the ocean to transform the movement of the waves to move hydroelectric turbines and generate power.
Biologically generated fuel sources have been around for a while. Many vehicles are now powered in part by ethanol which is derived from a source of starch. It can be made from corn, barley, potatoes, wheat, sugar cane. In the United States, it is usually produced from corn and in Canada ethanol is typically made from wheat and corn.
This has been so successful in supplementing fuel for automobiles that scientists have been working to find other types of green energy that are literally green. One of the most successful endeavors has been in the development of algae. Large farms of algae are able to cultivate new crops every few weeks. Some types are able to store energy in the form of oil which can then be converted into biofuels. While this is still not commercially viable, the process is being developed as yet another way to diversify the energy market.
There are very few large-scale alternative energy producers in North America. However, as an increasing number of energy providers begins to source their energy from smaller green producers it is possible for consumers to choose where their energy will originate. By opting in for a green program customers are able to ensure an equivalent amount of energy will be produced from a renewable source as they use each billing cycle. This will help further propel the diversification of the industry until eventually, it will be possible for large-scale providers to offer renewable options exclusively.