Solar Power: One of Many Renewable Energy Options
Perhaps you’ve heard about green electricity or solar power, but you’re not really sure what they’re all about. These new types of energy are slowly replacing old forms of power in an effort to provide a better future for generations to come. While you’re shopping Texas electricity rates, take a moment to consider whether green energy is right for you.
Recognizing that it’s time for change: How renewable energy is replacing traditional electricity
The production of traditional energy, or brown energy, has been gradually causing problems for the planet. Not only is regular electricity made with fossil fuels that aren’t easily reproduced, such as coal and oil, but power generation using those methods also contributes to air pollution. When brown energy is produced, carbon dioxide is released and collects in the atmosphere. This gas absorbs sunlight and is gradually heating up our earth, much like a greenhouse. The resulting global warming could have serious environmental repercussions.
The production of brown electricity is one of the largest contributors to global warming. Scientists have aimed to eliminate this source of pollution by devising new electricity generation methods. Energy that is produced using eco-friendly means is typically referred to as sustainable, green or renewable energy. This kind of energy reduces carbon dioxide emissions and is generated using materials that are renewable.
One of the primary types of renewable energy is solar power. It’s likely that at one point you’ve seen photos or you’ve spotted in person large solar panels that are used to generate electricity with sunlight. While the popularity of solar power is slowly growing, the technology was first developed in the 1860s. The need for solar power was first realized when scientists acknowledged that coal was becoming increasingly scarce.
However, development of solar technology didn’t catch much momentum until the 1970s, after various energy crises. Commercial concentrated solar power plants first began production in the 1980s. Large facilities are found all over the world in California, Spain, India and other locations. Public concern over the availability of fossil fuels and the state of the environment have greatly contributed to the growing popularity of solar power.
Another renewable energy resource pioneered in the 1970s is wind power. This technology actually was first used during experiments by NASA, and today wind farms all over the world generate electricity for homes and businesses. These farms generally consist of hundreds of turbines that harness wind power to contribute to the power grid. Farms can be offshore or inland; offshore farms tend to be more effective and don’t visually interrupt the landscape, but land-based wind power facilities tend to have lower construction costs.
Besides solar power and wind power, hydropower is also another popular green energy resource. In fact, hydropower is the most widely used type of renewable energy in the world. Hydropower is generated in more than 100 countries, including China, Brazil, Venezuela, India, Ghana, Egypt, Russia, Canada, Argentina and the United States.
The cost of hydroelectricity, the type of energy produced with hydropower, is generally low. On the other hand, damming to create facilities interrupts river flow, which can harm ecosystems in the general area. The construction of dams and reservoirs also frequently entails the displacement of people and animals. However, once the facility is finished, production generates zero direct waste and emits much less carbon dioxide than a power plant that uses fossil fuels.
Renewable energy such as wind power tends to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. When shopping for an electricity retailer, try to find a company that offers renewable energy options.