Monday, May 30, 2005

Alternative energy sources - Ocean and Earth Power

The Earth itself offers many promising sources of power. Like solar energy, geothermal resources have long provided humans with a source of heat, although harnessing the heat of the Earth to generate electricity dates back only to the turn of the last century. Geothermal energy is something that looks to have bright future in years to come because this is very efficient energy source that 48% more efficient than gas furnaces and even 75% more efficient than oil furnaces, and what is even more important it is ecologically acceptable energy source meaning that there are very little greenhouse gas emissions as a result of using the geothermal energy. The biggest geothermal disadvantage is that costs of installation are still pretty high, but with decent government incentives this really wouldn't be something that should stop current progress of this renewable energy source.

Tidal power involves capturing the kinetic energy of the incoming and outgoing tides, as well as the local difference between high tide and low tide. Similarly, there is energy in the wave action in the oceans. Since oceans cover more than 70% of Earth's surface it is they should be more used as source of energy. There is one big problem with wave energy though, the fact that waves are not equally present around the globe, and this energy source really has huge potential only in places with strong winds that create big waves. Tidal power, unlike the wave power is really a form of hydropower that exploits the movement of water caused by tidal currents, and the rise and fall in sea levels.

Alternative energy overview:
     1. Introduction
     2. Solar power
     3. Wind power
     4. Biomass/Biofuel
     5. Nuclear energy
     6. Ocean and Earth Power
     7. Conclusion

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