This has led to the rise of a number of alternative energy sources. While the viability of each can be argued, they all contribute something positive when compared to fossil fuels.
Here we examine eleven of the most prominent electricity alternatives sources and look at the benefits they offer and potential for increased uptake in the coming years.
1. Solar Power
Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and solar tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam.
2. Nuclear Power
Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity. Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions. Presently, the vast majority of electricity from nuclear power is produced by nuclear fission of uranium and plutonium in nuclear power plants. Nuclear decay processes are used in niche applications such as radioisotope thermoelectric generators in some space probes such as Voyager 2. Generating electricity from fusion power remains the focus of international research.
3. Hydroelectric Energy
Hydroelectric energy, also called hydroelectric power or hydroelectricity, is a form of energy that harnesses the power of water in motion—such as water flowing over a waterfall—to generate electricity. People have used this force for millennia.
4. Wave Energy
Wave energy (or wave power) is the transport and capture of energy by ocean surface waves. The energy captured is then used for all different kinds of useful work, including electricity generation, water desalination, and pumping of water.
5. Natural Gas
Natural gas (also called fossil gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium.
6. Hydrogen Gas
Hydrogen gas at standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, nonmetallic, highly combustible diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2. Since hydrogen readily forms covalent compounds with most nonmetallic elements, most of the hydrogen on Earth exists in molecular forms such as water .
7. Wind Energy
Wind energy is electricity created from the naturally flowing air in the Earth’s atmosphere. As a renewable resource that won’t get depleted through use, its impact on the environment and climate crisis is significantly smaller than burning fossil fuels.