Solar Power

The Three Pillars of Alternative Energy

Everyone from senior citizens to young children is aware of the fact that people need to think and behave in an environmentally friendly manner. We must recycle, use fewer resources and think about the effects of our actions on the planet. This means we must find ways to employ alternative energy when and wherever possible. Today, we know that there are three pillars for alternative energy, and they are solar, wind, and bio fuel.

Most people are well aware of the incredible increase in solar energy options for a home, but not everyone knows that there are actually power plants constructed entirely of solar panels. Currently, the United States military is the owner of the world’s largest solar power plant, which supplies around 30% of the needs of one of its largest and busiest bases.

These plants require fields of collectors which can direct the light of the sun into a master collector, which in turn superheats water and converts the steam into huge amounts of energy. This, however, is not how all home solar power panels work and they can do everything from heat domestic water supplies or swimming pools, to actually generate electrical energy which is stored in banks of batteries which deliver electricity once the sun has set.

Solar is one of the most widely used options for alternative energy today, but wind power is gaining ground. Enormous turbines mounted on gigantic windmills are a fixture of many large and uninhabited areas of the world. For instance, along the many ridges of the Green Mountains of Vermont are wind farms, but also in the more remote areas of Hawaii are wind farms as well. These are now also being used by many home and farm owners who simply build or buy their own very small windmills and turbines which provide a constant supply of energy in their home or buildings. Unfortunately, unlike solar energy, wind power is only available in those locations that receive a certain, set amount of air flow every single day.

Finally, and just as promising as the other alternative energies already discussed, are the bio fuels now available for heating homes and operating cars. This is a wonderful opportunity for communities to “grow their own” energy sources and make the fuels on-site, which would continue to save resources and keep prices low. Wind farms, bio fuel and solar lights are great examples of these applications in the real world. As time passes, alternative energies will become more affordable and widely available, which means that eventually people can reduce or eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels, and ultimately save the environment.

Jonathan Gal is a solar lighting expert and owner of YCA Solar Lights, an organization dedicated to promoting clean, energy efficient solar lighting technology. To find out more about how solar technology is changing the way we live, especially with respect to lighting, you are invited to visit: