With growing industrialization worldwide, dependence on fossil fuels increases day by day. Since these are nonrenewable sources of energy, there has been a steep decline in energy reserves. Moreover, burning of fossil fuels is considered to be the largest contributing factor to atmospheric pollution. In order to deal with the imminent global energy scarcity, alternative and renewable energy sources are being developed. Moreover, alternative energy may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
An electric car is an alternative fuel car powered by an electric motor rather than a gasoline engine. Hence, this car technology can be employed to conserve the fossil fuel reserves. Hybrid car technology uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle. These cars use a small combustion gas engine with an electric motor and are fuel-efficient thereby minimizing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Use of biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel could also play an important role in saving fossil fuels. Ethanol is is the most common biofuel worldwide. It can be mixed with gasoline to any percentage and used in existing petrol engines as a replacement of gasoline. Biodiesel is beneficial because it can be used in existing vehicles with little or no adaptation.
The use of fossil fuels can be cut down by taking some measures at home. According to Energy Star, homeowners could potentially save 10 percent on their annual energy bill by improving insulation and sealing leaks. In addition, installing a programmable thermostat could also save as much as 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.
Mass transportation (trains, trucks, planes and other means) can play an instrumental role in the conservation of fossil fuels. As opposed to a number of cars on the road, a bus or train transports more people and will save fuel.
The sun is the leading source of energy on Earth. Solar photovoltaic cells harness sunlight and convert it to electricity. Using these cells, solar energy can be utilized to heat water, to heat spaces or to light up the garden or walkway and other outdoor lights.
Wind energy can be harnessed by turbines that generate electricity. An inexhaustible resource, this is a viable alternative to fossil fuels in windy places.
Hydroelectric power is another source of alternate energy. This is a process of using water's energy as it flows from higher to lower elevation, rotating hydraulic turbines to create electricity. Furthermore, the water is powered by gravity. Tidal power can also be used to generate hydroelectricity.
Geothermal energy is created using the heat from within the Earth’s core that comes from the radioactive decay of minerals. This energy can be used to heat homes and to produce electricity.
Nuclear energy is the energy that is released by the splitting (fission) of the nuclei of atoms. This energy is used to generate electricity. More than 400 nuclear power plants operate in 25 countries around the world today, supplying almost 17 percent of the world's electricity. As a result, nuclear power could play an important role in the future energy scenario worldwide.
- Investing in Renewable Energy; Jeff Siegel et al; 2008
- Fossils Fuels vs. Renewable Energy Resources: Energy's Future Today
- Alternative Energy News