Alternative energy refers to several sources of usable energy meant for supplementing or replacing conventional energy sources like fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, etc). These include geothermal, bio-fuels, biomass, hydroelectric, solar energy, wind power, nuclear, etc. It is often synonymous with renewable energy, although alternative energy need not necessarily always be renewable.
Although scientists had been reminding us all the while that the world’s fossil fuel stock is depleting fast and unless some form of alternate source of energy is found right away, human civilization may come to a jarring halt, no one seemed to pay heed to it. The matter however took a serious turn when the US national average price per gallon of regular unleaded gas rose above $4.00 in the current year, sending people scurrying for alternative sources of energy. Meanwhile, rise in oil price also affected average American homes. Electricity became dearer with the result that heating homes in the winter became more expensive while air conditioning in the summer turned out to be very pricey. Energetic American business community, ever eager to take up challenges took this opportunity to prove their worth. Like ducks to water, they went headlong into the core of the problem and came up with a couple of very practical solutions. The sun and the wind, they found to their advantage, were the source of two naturally renewable form of energy that could be easily tamed to provide the much needed electric power practically free of cost to every home.
Taking the cue from their Scandinavian friends, they built wind turbines (not giant wind mills) which when coupled to a generator, could easily satisfy the electricity requirements of an average US home. Some manufacturers also began to offer do-it-yourself turbine kits that are much cheaper as compared to custom built ‘Home Wind Turbine’.
While home turbines were gradually gaining ground as alternative energy source, yet another set of entrepreneurs were keeping themselves busy with extracting power from sunlight. Scientists at the Bell Laboratories had already proved that photovoltaic cells could magically turn sunrays into DC electric power. Transformed into 120 volt AC current, this renewable power could also provide the much needed electricity to homes and workplaces. Clustered into photovoltaic solar panels, these were mass produced soon to almost replace conventional grid power that was becoming more and more expensive to average American homes.
According to the new US President Barack Obama’s “New Energy for America’ plan, ‘there will be one million plug-in Hybrid Cars on the roads by 2015, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and 25% assured alternative electricity in the US by 2025. Undoubtedly, such a bold plan would mean massive investment involving hundreds of thousand private sector investors and business persons, leaving aside industrial giants who would not think twice before putting money in this newfound field.
Much like wind
turbines, solar power systems can now be also installed
at your home. And the best news is, you can install the
home solar panels yourself very easily. You can yourself
do the installation, provided you know where t set it up
and how to do it. Plus you will also have to know where
to get the parts including the solar electricity home
kit from, how to wire the system and also the safety
precautions. Solar power offers great advantages because
it is ecologically friendly and it also reduces the