Alternative Energy Forms

@ossie16d (11827)
Australia
December 9, 2006 8:08am CST
Alternative Energy Forms There are several types of alternative energy available to us. These include wind farms, nuclear energy and solar energy. I think wind farms are a great idea. Yes, several countries do have wind farms but not enough to supply a high percentage of the power needed, so should the number of wind farms be increased. What about solar power? Is it effective? Both of these are clean and effective but can they provide sufficient power to cater to the needs of a whole country. We really do need to be looking at ways to get power that can't be used up and I think wind and solar are fairly obvious ones to consider but some people also like the idea of nuclear power. Would you be happy if they built/installed a wind farm near you? Do you think it would be better to look at a few turbines in preference to polluting the air with other forms of energy? Would you be prepared to install solar panels on your house? What about nuclear power? Would you be happy to have nuclear power plant in your district?Please discuss this issue, including the pros and cons of alternative energy forms.
2 people like this
49 responses
@caribe (2465)
• United States
9 Dec 06
I think that geo-thermal energy would be a great source for Nicaragua. It could be taking advantage of the high heat sources from the volcanos. Nicaragua is in very big trouble energy-wise and does not have any alternative energy forms. They decided against these a few decades back because oil prices were low at the time. Now they can hardly afford to keep their energy producing. This leads to daily power outages for up to four hours being very common. This also has an effect on the availability of water. There are usually 2 times per week where there is no water for a period of 48 hours. People have learned to live with it by storing water if they have the means to do so. They desparately need a new source of power if they ever hope to progress because it effects everything--businesses, industry, government, traffic lights--it all grinds to a halt during the outages.
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Geothermal energy - Geothermal energy
It sounds like hell on earth where you are caribe, with the power outages not to mention not having running water for days. Have you ever considered installing solar panels on your own house as a source of power, or is the cost prohibitive? Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. :)
@caribe (2465)
• United States
10 Dec 06
I am used to it, Ossie. It doesn't bother me much anymore. When I first came here it did. We have a large storage tank that automatically fills with water when there is city water. I have thought about solar panels but haven't investigated it too much yet. We are going to get another added storage tank either this month or next. The mayor of the city lives just down the street from me and I don't know if that is the reason or not, but my section of town is usually spared the four hours with no power. It will go off for about ten minutes and then back on. We have a business, actually we turned it over to my husband's nephew, so it is his business, that is effected almost daily with the outages. The power will go in the evenings for 3 or 4 days and then they will change it to mornings or afternoons. Only problem is there is usually no warning and off it goes--not good for my computer, I know. This country desparately needs help to solve their energy woes. I think Venezuela is offering them lower oil prices but that is just a band-aid.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Politicians are the world over caribe. Here in rural Australia when a seldom used road is sealed (bitumen, tar or whatever you want to call it), the general consensus is that some polician must drive over it regularly. The regular power outages would not be good for the computer but hopefully someone will take the initiative and do something about the situation in the forseeable future.
@caramello (4381)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
As an alternative energy wind turbines are the cleanest as solar energy relies on charging batteries which create a considerable problem when their life span is over and need to be replaced. The disposal of these batteries are the problem!
2 people like this
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
I think that whatever form of alternative energy we choose, there will be some disadvantages. However those disadvantages will not be as bad as those from using fossil fuels. Thanks for your response caramello.
@gifana (4836)
• Portugal
10 Dec 06
Wind Mills - photo of several wind mills that produce energy.
Im all for alternate energy forms. I remember for years that the US(in Maine) and Canada has studied the possibilities of a hydroelectric plant in Passamaquoddy Bay which has a 12 ft normal tide and currents that could produce hydroelectric energy. However, Passamaquoddy Bay is so wide that I don't believe a solution has been found yet. It was said that enough electric power could be generated to supply electricity to almost all of New England and Northeastern Canada. Having been gone so long I'm not sure where that project stands now. I have no object to nuclear power, even if it were in my back yard. I believe that as long as the safeguards are in place and will attended to the possibility of a nuclear meltdown are lessened. As for solar panels I would certainly have them on my rooftop if I lived in a house. As I understand it, the sun rays absorbed can be stored for quite some time so there would be little fear of the energy to dissipate. I have seen a couple of small wind farms here in Portugal but I don't believe they have promoted it sufficiently. Where I live would be more than adequate to store energy and we live daily with winds...rarely a day goes by that the wind doesn't blow. However, I live in a dormitory area where there are apt buildings and houses but little space to set up a wind farm. No matter what system is used I think that more important that adding more...the consumers should be more aware of what they consume and be more energy conscious.
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Wind Farm - Wind Farm
You have looked at this very thoroughly. There can sometimes be a space factor where wind farms are concerned, but maybe it is time that people accepted that if we aren't to continue doing damage to the environment, alternative forms of energy must be found. It is sad that Portugal haven't promited their wind farms more because it would certainly be a good thing for the country to have to rely on fossil fuels etc a little less. Here in Australia, they are actively promoting some things, i.e. energy saving lights, water saving showerheads etc. Small matters, but if we are all involved then it will add up to a big amount. Thanks for your response to the discussion. :)
1 person likes this
@RAMPersona (2036)
• Philippines
9 Dec 06
Wave power. refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to do useful work - including electricity generation, desalination, and the pumping of water (into reservoirs). Wave power is a form of renewable energy. Though often co-mingled, wave power is distinct from the diurnal flux of tidal power and the steady gyre of ocean currents. Wave power generation is not a widely employed technology, with only a few experimental sites in existence. The fundamental challenges of wave power are: - efficiently converting wave motion into electricity... generally speaking, wave power is available in low-speed, high forces and motion is not in a single direction. Most readily-available electric generators like to operate at higher speeds, with lower input forces, and they prefer to rotate in a single direction. - constructing devices that can survive storm damage and saltwater corrosion. Likely sources of failure include seized bearings, broken welds, and snapped mooring lines. Knowing this, designers may create prototypes that are so overbuilt that materials costs prohibit affordable production. - low total cost of electricity... wave power will only be competitive when total cost of generation (p/kWhr) is reduced. The winning team will be the one that develops the lowest-cost system (which includes the primary converter, power takeoff system, mooring system, installation & maintenance procedures.... ) Wave power could yield much more energy than tidal power. Tidal dissipation (friction, measured by the slowing of the lunar orbit) is 2.5 terawatts. The energy potential of waves is certainly greater, and wave power can be exploited in many more locations. Countries with large coastlines and strong prevailing winds (notably, Ireland and the UK) could produce five percent or more of their electricity from wave power. And excess capacity (a problem common with intermittent energy sources) could be used to produce hydrogen or smelt aluminum. taken from wikipedia.org
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
9 Dec 06
I have heard a little about wave power, but thought that it had been let go as being very hard to produce the speed necessary. However, after reading this I realise that research is still going on, and many countries including mine, Australia, could benefit from this type of alternative energy. Thanks for sharing this information with us. :)
@fintzu (56)
• United States
9 Dec 06
Agreed - wave power is a brilliant option, and very good at not interferring with the environment. It can help provide a lot of energy, especially considering all the coastline this country has.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Thanks for your comment fintzu, and wave power could be one option for many countries. :)
@oldboy46 (2132)
• Australia
9 Feb 07
We have already got 2 solar panels ..... they supply a little of our power needs but would like more ..... when we can afford them that is. Everyone should do what they can to help out and even just the 2 panels we have is enough to heat our hot water and maybe a little more as well. Governments will not do everything ..... they will lose money if they did so ...... so instead we should help where we can. Some places have wind turbines ...... they are good but very expensive and mainly have to be done by the government and not individuals. Nuclear Power would be good ...... if handled properly but many countries will not accept this option ...... instead they prefer to rely on fossil fuels which are cheaper.
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
11 Feb 07
Ah another one who has taken some steps to help the environment by installing their own solar panels. It is good to see and the fact that you plan to get more when you can afford them. Thanks for sharing the information with us oldboy. :)
@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
17 Dec 06
I personally don't have a problem with nuke power plants - with the qualifier that they are an industrial scale proposition, and mprobably not suited to colcation with domestic neighborhoods on that basis alnoe. To be blunt, a nuclear power station is just a glorified steam engine with a generator attached. Only you don't have to shovel coal into the boiler fire to keep it going - the boiler fire in the nuke plant keeps itself going. Yes there are toxic byproducts, but for the benefits gained it appears to me that these are probably a tolerable cost. There is one HUGE benefit associated with nuclear power plants, incidentally - they don't depend on Solar Energy. That might not seem so significant until you consider that we have NO CLUE what the Sun is or how it works (honestly - everything that you've ever been taught about the Sun beyond the fact that it rises every morning and sets every evening is just so much hogwash!). The Sun has been getting hotter ever since records were kept on the subject, and no-one has ANY CLUE why! Who is to say that it might not decide to do something different in the future? My point here is that all the alternative energy forms EXCEPT nuclear power is dependent on incoming Solar energy. The light, the heat, the wind, the ocean currents - all pretty much depend ultimately on energy from the Sun (one possible exception is tidal power - I will grant that). But in the case of nuclear power, we control the energy source. We might have some problems figuring out how to manage some of the byproducts, but the key point here is (for example) if the Sun decided to shut down over the next 10 years, what would our options be then? I think the nuclear option would become the dominant paradigm.
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
17 Dec 06
This is very well thought out and yes you are right that the sun is getting hotter, but it seems these days that this little fact is blamed on global warming, and caused by the world's population using too much fuel. I think that if we do have nuclear power plants, then they cannot be located in residential areas, but that might present a problem for some nations as they do not have much area left to build something like this unless it is in a residential area. Thanks very much for your contribution to the discussion.
@ishavasyam (1802)
• India
10 Dec 06
Its a gr8 topic u have put for discussions.I m for the solar energy.I think it does not require much paraphernalia as such except the space for housing the solar panels.Wind farming I suppose require lots of heavy infrasturcture so operating on small scale is not feasible.As far as nuclear energy is concerned I think it has got lots of complexities involved right from to simple things such as radiation hazards to technology transfer & also the various legislation etc.So to summarise, I m ready for solar panels ne time.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Solar Power - Solar Power
Yes, in some countries while they might have the wind for wind farms, they do not have the land, so for them solar power would be a viable alternative. Would you consider putting solar panels on your own home?Thanks for responding. :)
@mythmoh (3986)
• United States
10 Dec 06
Wind energy is also one best source as they are avilable freely and in large quantity.They can be used to generate power.But it wont be sufficient for a entire country's need.So some other option should be explored.Solar energy..at present most of nations are using this.Even in silicon valley they are producing large number of solar cells than the silicon chips.it is gaining popularity.i wont go for nuclear power,though all country claim that it is safe.there is a always some drawback and danger attached with this.Research is going on to convert the kinetic energy of the waves of the ocean and waterfall to electical energy.if all thseoptions works out then sure it will be best to the human race in the coming years.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Wind Farm - Wind Farm
You are right when you say that wind is one source but will not be sufficient for an entire country's needs, but do you think it can be a major part then also have solar and perhaps geothermal. All of these things will reduce the demand on fossil fuel of course. Thanks for responding.
• United States
10 Dec 06
I would love to see more wind turbines/wind projects. I think they are very interesting to see and watch. I think most places have enough wind to keep these turbines going. And if you have never been up next to one of these tall tall turbines you are missing a wonderful site in my opinion. I hope to see more wind projects around the country. I know they take electricity to get them up and going, but very little compared to what they would generate.
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Wind farm - Wind Farm
I think they use batteries to get the wind turbines going but yes they are good. I think that the additional power can be stored plus we should have a variety of options available. Thanks for responding. :)
• India
10 Dec 06
i suppose the best method would be to use wind , wave and geothermal energy. these do not polllute the environment at all and we all do know how much power they possess. but the problem lies in tapping the enrgy. because these resources can be erratic in ature, one cannot tap the enrgy when and as reqiured. also these resources are not at all under our control. that is where science should take a step forward. instead of wasting precous time and money on nuclear experiments, science couold do better by making some progress towards utilizing these energy resources.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Very well said regarding this, in that we are at the mercy of nature for some types of alternative energy, however the power can be stored. You are right with regard to science looking more closely at these alternatives, because it does seem that everything is towards nuclear energy.
@claudia413 (4284)
• United States
9 Dec 06
Many of my neighbors have solar panels on their roofs. We weren't able to afford that when we had our home built in 1990. But when we retire and move next year, that's something I want to check into doing. I don't know much about wind farms or wave power, but I am learning more from this discussion. As for nuclear power, we have a nuclear plant about 50 miles south of us, and I don't like that idea at all. As far as I'm concerned, there are too many cons and not enough pros. Our electrical bills have gotten higher and higher and now only half of it is for actual consumption...the rest is fees and taxes (and added charges for us to pay for the electric company's damages during hurricanes...they should have to have insurance like we are required to do...but that's another discussion). I'd be willing to have a windmill (or more) in my yard, solar panels on my roof, but I don't like the idea of a nuclear plant almost in my backyard. I do know that something has to be done.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
You should talk to your neighbours about the pros and cons of solar panels claudia, plus any problems that they have encountered. This will give you some idea of what to look for when you are going to get your own. Are you excited about retiring and moving next year?Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. :)
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
9 Dec 06
wind turbines - alternative energy is the only way people will be able to continue to live on this earth any longer than the time table we currently have.
My home is a wind and solar powered operation. No electric bill and when the sun did not shine the wind blew and somedays it was a windy sunny day. You live more in tune with nature and it is quite doable in many areas. Nuclear is way too risky to be easily and over a long time period safe. Also just too dirty.
• United States
9 Dec 06
Incredible. I've really got to check into that myself. Thanks for sharing.
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Wind turbine - Wind turbine
It sounds like you have your energy sources well organise and are to be congratulated on it. The added advantage is that you do not have an electricity bill and as you say having both gives you options if there is no wind and no sun. Thanks very much for your contribution to the discussion. :)
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
14 Dec 06
solar and wind power technology - initial up front costs and good pay off over time and then profit in the end.  I good deal and hopefully it is fully developed and utilized before the proverbial sh*t hits the fan
You are welcome, this topic is right up my alley and am very hopeful that more and more people turn to this to loose the hold utility companies have on us. In the right situation you can sell power back to the utility companies and that seems like a terrific thing to me. Again I welcome you positive feedback and am glad this topic appeared.
• United States
9 Dec 06
Solar Power - solar power
You can get solar panels here http://renu.citizenre.com/nontoxic 1) Client does not have to purchase system or pay for installation! 2) There new energy rate is locked like a fixed mortgage[won't go up] for life of agreement[up to 25+ years= massive savings over time] 3) There new rate is guaranteed to be the same or lower then existing power co. [Many customers will have lower monthly bill month one] 4) No Installation Cost or Maintenance Cost to Customer 5) Nationwide with International Expansion in the Horizon 6) Many other unique products including wind systems coming! FREE TO BE A DISTRIBUTOR!!!! http://renu.citizenre.com/nontoxic
@gifana (4836)
• Portugal
10 Dec 06
Hi ossi.....hope you gave him a !!!! on that answer.
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
23 Dec 06
Sorry for the delay in responding to you gifana but am just now going through and giving our ratings for this discussion. This person earned a big - from me.
• India
9 Dec 06
Solar is the beat alternative,but people must be ready for the one time investment!!!I'm ready too switch to solar.Besides being an endless source,its is also availble aplenty on the earth...
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Solar power - Solar power source
Would you install your own solar system if the city, state or whatever doesn't look at this as a source of energy for the whole area? Thanks very much for responding.
• India
10 Dec 06
I'd very much like to do that....Infact,i'll be encouraging e'one else to follow me...I show them that its best for e'one,and keeping the best interests at heart.... Naturally,one success,the world follows u...right or wrong!!!
• India
10 Dec 06
I'd very much like to do that....Infact,i'll be encouraging e'one else to follow me...I show them that its best for e'one,and keeping the best interests at heart.... Naturally,one success,the world follows u...right or wrong!!!
• India
9 Dec 06
Wind farms are feasible only very few areas to generate considerable power. Nuclear plants are always on the verge of risk; I would definitely not approve of having such a a plant in my district. Solar power is the only perennial alternative source of energy.Lot more research in increasing the efficiency of device that makes use solar panels and related technologies should help. After all this energy is available as long as the sun rises.
@smacksman (6074)
9 Dec 06
So you reckon to put some solar panels on the 'Gateshead Flasher' :o) The suns at about the right altitude now!
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Would you install solar panels on your roof TheApparation or do you think the initial cost to instal them will take too long to recover?Where it is suitable to have wind farms, do you think they should be installed? Would you live in an area that had a lot of wind farms?Thanks for responding. :)
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
I am sure that hot water would be wonderful, particularly for a hospital and the patients there everlasting. It is strange actually to read that some places don't have not water because here in Australia I cannot imagine being without it. :)
@smacksman (6074)
9 Dec 06
People seem to forget the energy balance. Solar panels and wind turbines will never be able to produce the energy in their lifetime that it took to manufacture them in the first place. Yachts use wind turbines, solar panels and towed generators to supply power while crossing oceans and only just manage to do so if the crew accepts a primitave way of life that would be unacceptable to most landlubbers. And thats with the cooking done with bottled gas or oil! We have a choice. Use nuclear power (or maybe fusion if we can find out how) and live the way we are accustomed to; or use solar/wind/wave/bio fuel/etc. and reduce our standard of living to the 19th. centuary. We will survive - I'm sure of that.
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Nuclear Power plant - Nuclear Power Plant
Is it possible to have a combination of solar and wind power, do you think? Would you be prepared to change your way of life, i.e. perhaps look at alternatives if we can no longer have the energy that we have become accustomed to. Would you be prepared to have a nuclear power plant situated near where you live? What about the disposal of the nuclear waste? Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. :)
@smacksman (6074)
10 Dec 06
hi ossie, yes I have a nuclear power station about 10 miles up-wind of us at Bradwell on the banks of the River Blackwater in Essex, UK. It has been de-commissioned a few years back but I feel it would make sense to build a modern plant next door and use all the infrastructure there. The ugly pylons still march across the farm lands; the sea water intake is there; the area is already contaminated for 1000 years anyway; the workforce is there; etc. So just build modern plants adjacent to existing power stations. We have learned so much in the decades since the UK pioneered nuclear power. We should make use of that knowledge. I lived many years in Africa and know that we humans will survive without electricity or fuel for transport - it just won't be so much fun!!
• Singapore
26 Dec 06
nuclear power plant in my district? you must be kidding... who would like to stay in these kind of enviroment? =.="
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
27 Dec 06
I accept that you do not want a nuclear power plant in your district, but do you think there are any other options so less fossil fuel is used? Would you consider solar or wind power?
• India
10 Dec 06
the best alternate energy are tidal,wind,atomic,garbage etc
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Okay so do you have any preferences on any of these, because all you have done is list what we already know to be the case.
@aputih (171)
• Japan
10 Dec 06
Its defend on place, in contry with sunshine over the year, teh solar is very good to develop. Country with around the sea, water energy can be used well
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Geothermal Energy Plant - Geothermal Energy Plant
Should there be more than one source in various nations of the world, for example some countries have both water, wind and sun?
@mavijayne (429)
• Philippines
10 Dec 06
i think it depends on the location where to install different energy sources. like for example. solar panels on extremely hot weather. wind mills on seashores. etc...
@ossie16d (11827)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Wind turbine - Wind turbine
Do you think that it is possible to have more than one source in some places? For example the primary source is say solar power but there are also wind turbines to back up the solar power. Thanks for your response.