We have talked about how the current fossil fuel reserves and natural gases the Earth has are running out soon. So, what are the alternatives? Well, you have already seen the transitions in cars and people’s houses, such as hybrid cars that can run on electricity or solar power panels on the roofs of you neighbors. However, scientists are already looking beyond these sources for even cleaner and easier to harvest energy.
Now, human power cannot supply enough energy worldwide unless everyone in the world was active 24/7. However, a simple run or walking around your home or work can emit enough energy to charge smaller devices. In the United Kingdom, several researchers have made a knee brace that does just that, but more advancements must take place before the knee brace can be manufactured worldwide. Not only will this be a cleaner energy source, it will promote a healthier life style if we wanted to keep our electronics running.
Hydrogen gas has the potential to emit tons of energy if it can be separated from other gases in high demand. You can already see this being done with several cars and airplanes as their fuel cells can convert hydrogen into electricity. Hydrogen is one of the most abundant gases in the universe, so we are of steady supply of it. Hydrogen would not produce a ridiculous amount of pollution compared to our current fossil fuels, though they will emit small traces of it.
Solar Power (Harvested from Space)
We use solar power already, but we have not maximized its usage. We miss out in over 60% of the amount of solar power that we could collect due to the atmosphere acting as a barrier (a barrier that is needed for us to survive). But what if we could set up panels in orbit to collect just about all the solar energy that the Sun emits to us? That’s actually been done too, just recently by Japan in 2015 and the results show that this method of harvesting energy is viable. The only problem would be having to supply the whole world with solar power, which means a lot more panels need to be made.
Personally, fusion power seems the most viable, but it also will be one of the hardest to produce for the entire world. The basics of fusion is “fusing” several isotopes and atoms to create an abundance of energy. This process is actually how the Sun functions. The potential for this source of energy is great because no greenhouse gases or pollutants are emitted, and the amount of energy output is massive. In France, scientists are developing the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor which is scheduled to be done by 2027. We will have to wait till then to see if this source of energy can be viable.
Tidal power is already being done and shown to be a success. However, this does seem to mostly benefit places near a coast because they are closest to large bodies of water and larger waves. For example, the U.S coastline has an energy potential of over 252 billion kilowatts hours per year. The main problem with Tidal power is that we cannot control how much energy we get out of it because we don’t control the waves, the wind does that. So, we will get plenty of energy out of the process, but we may not maximize efficiency all the time.
Now there are more alternative energy sources, but these energy sources standout because they are either greener than others or they can be produced easier for the world population. We can see that several of these alternative energy sources, and we believe that they will over take our usage of fossil fuels sooner than later.
Give this article a read because it is highly informative and will provide you with the other energy sources that we left out.