Types of Alternative Energy

Energy

The UK Government’s strategy is to lower the national carbon emissions for 80 percent by year 2050 and replace fossil fuels with alternative types of energy. The plan it to utilise a variety of technologies in order to prevent dependence on a single source of energy similarly as we are currently dependent on fossil fuels as well as to ensure a stable and cost-effective energy supply for both the industry and households. In order to achieve this goal, the Government supports development of technologies that utilise alternative types of energy such as:

Solar energy

The light and heat that are radiated by the Sun are an inexhaustible, clean and inexpensive source of energy that can be used for heating and generation of electricity. Currently available technologies that harness solar energy include photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors. But it is also intensively being worked on other technologies to harness solar energy such as solar chemical as well as improvement of the existing ones in order to make them more efficient.

Wind power

About 10 percent of total electricity in the UK comes from wind farms which are located all over the country including offshore. Just like solar energy, wind power is an efficient, clean and sustainable source of energy and does not have any harmful impacts on the environment.

Geothermal energy

It refers to utilisation of thermal energy that is stored or generated under the Earth surface. Examples include the use of hot springs for electricity generation and space heating. The so-called geothermal heat pumps can be used for space heating and cooling even in regions that do not have geothermal resources such as hot springs. Geothermal heat pumps utilise the constant temperature below the surface as a heat source in the winter and as a heat sink in the summer.

Wood fuel

Wood has been used as a source of energy, mainly as heat since prehistory but wood fuel was largely replaced by fossil fuels after the mid-20th century. Wood burning stoves, however, are becoming increasingly sought after again because wood fuel is both sustainable and environmentally friendly source of energy for heating. Although wood burning emits carbon dioxide, it is considered carbon neutral because carbon dioxide that is released has been absorbed by the tree while it was growing.

Nuclear power

After the Chernobyl disaster and the recent catastrophe in Fukushima, the world’s public has become increasingly hostile towards nuclear power. Nevertheless, it is a sustainable and carbon-free source of energy and it is also a part of the Government’s strategy to reduce the country’s carbon emissions and contribute to the world’s effort to reverse the climate change.

Biomethane

It is a green alternative to natural gas and is chemically identical to the latter. The main difference between natural gas and biomethane is that the latter is produced from organic waste. As far as application is concerned, biomethane can be used for the same purposes as natural gas including heating, electricity generation and to fuel vehicles. The process of diesel tuning can greatly save fuel consumprion also.