There is no doubt that renewable energy is going to become more and more important in the future. It is not possible for us to continue burning fossil fuels at the rate we have been. The most important systems for the future might be wind solar energy system.
Power from wind is increasing at a rate of around 30% every year. It is widely used in Europe, North America, and Asia. This kind of energy is ideal for rural areas. Wind power involves using wind turbines to produce electricity. Windmills can be used for mechanical power, and wind pumps can be used to pump water or for drainage.
Wind farms can be connected to the electricity network and used to make electricity in some very isolated places. It is also possible to have small wind turbines on residential properties. These domestic turbines are capable of producing quite a lot of electricity, and the utility companies will often buy back excess electricity.
Its an extremely clean way of providing energy, and it produces no greenhouse gases. Its a great alternative to fossil fuels as it is so clean and renewable and easy to generate. There are concerns about the way the wind turbines look, especially in built-up areas, or where they have been placed in beautiful scenery. Their appearance can definitely mar the landscape. Some wind turbines can also sound quite noisy.
Solar power is another very clean methods of generating energy, that converts sunlight into electricity. It can do this using concentrated solar power, which is where lenses or mirrors are used to focus sunlight onto a very small area, or it can use photovoltaics which converts the solar radiation directly into electricity by using semiconductors. The largest photovoltaic power plant is in Canada.
Though solar power is an excellent form of energy, due to weather conditions it can also be quite intermittent. This means that it has to be supplemented by other forms of energy, and its quite common to find solar power used in conjunction with wind power and hydropower. In the past it has been quite expensive to install, but these costs are decreasing as it is becoming more widely used. Its especially popular in the developing world.
Where photovoltaic systems are in use, it is quite common for the concentrated heat that is produced to be used in a conventional power plant. These kinds of systems can also use tracking systems to follow the sun. Photovoltaic systems are also used in domestic situations, and installations are increasing all the time.
Solar energy is not a new development, but started out in the 1860s. Even then people recognised that fossil fuels could not last forever. It did not really start to take off until the 20th century. An increasing number of homes now get part or all of their energy from a solar system.
Governments have tried to offer incentive programs to make this kind of green energy more economically viable. This is especially true in Canada where a scheme was introduced in 2006.The scheme was later updated in 2009 as the need for renewable energy becomes more urgent.
Solar Power devices, green energy sources like the field of science is around every day. The children learn alternative energy with fun optical equipment, telescopes and science lab equipment.