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Alternative Energy

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What is Alternative Energy?

There is a lot of energy that we can harness if we only seek to research and
develop the technologies needed to do so. We can get away from the fossil fuels
and the old electrical grids by turning to alternatives to these energy sources.

One of these alternative energy resources is wind power. Wind turbines continue
to be developed that are progressively more energy efficient and less costly.
"Wind farms" have been springing up in many nations, and they have even become
more strategically placed over time so that they are not jeopardizing birds as
former wind turbines did.

Another alternative energy resource is the one that is most well known: solar
energy. This involves the manufacturing of solar cells which gather and focus
the energy given off directly by the sun, and translate it into electricity or,
in some cases, hot water. As with wind energy, solar energy creates absolutely
zero pollution.

Ocean wave energy is seen by governments and investors as having enormous
energy generating potential. A generator in France has been in operation for
many years now and is considered to be a great success, and the Irish and Scots
are running experimental facilities.

Hydroelectric power has been with us for a while and where it is set up, it is
a powerful generator of electricity and cleaner than a grid. However, there are
certain limitations to the availability of the right places to set up a large
dam. Many run-of-the-river, or small and localized, hydroelectric generators
have been set up in recent times due to this limitation.

Geothermal energy is extremely abundant, since it lies directly beneath our
feet, just a few miles below the earth's surface. This energy is produced by
the heating of water through the actions of earth's fantastically hot molten
core. The water turns to steam, which can be harnessed and used to drive
turbine engines which in turn generate electricity. Great amounts of research
and development should be put into geothermal energy tapping.

Waste gas energies, which are essentially methane, reverse the usual
energy-pollution relationship by creating energy from waste that lies in the
dumps and from some air pollutants. This gas is used in fuel cells and can be
used in standard gasoline generators.

Ethanol is a gasoline substitute and is created from such things as wheat,
sugarcane, grapes, strawberries, corn, and even wood chips and wood cellulose.
There is controversy over this fuel with regards to its ever becoming truly
economical or practical except in very localized areas, but technologies for
its extraction and admixturing are continuously being refined.

Biodiesel energy is created out of the oils contained in plants. So far, the
commercial stores of biodiesel have been created using soybean, rapeseed, and
sunflower oils. At the time of this writing, biodiesel is typically produced by
entrepreneurial minded individuals or those who want to experiment with
alternative energy, but commercial interest from companies is on the rise. It
burns much cleaner than oil-based diesel.

Atomic energy is created in atomic energy plants using the process of nuclear
fission. This energy is extremely efficient and can generate huge amounts of
power. There is concern from some people about what to do with the relatively
small amount of waste product atomic energy gives off, since it is radioactive
and takes hundreds of years to decay into harmlessness.

Investing in Alternative Energy Stocks

Alternative energy stock portfolios are a great part of a modern investor's
financial plan, due to the fac that there is so much upward potential. These
make excellent long term growth investment vehicles, and the money put into
them by you, the investor, serves to further the cause of implementing the
alternative energy power sources that we need as we sail into the 21st century
and beyond.

Analysts predict that by 2013, the alternative energy industry will be a $13
billion dollar industry in today's dollars. This figure bespeaks an enormous
return on investment. Indeed, if you were to invest in a start-up alternative
energy company, you might find yourself having invested in the next Microsoft
in terms of return on investment. People are fed up with the rising costs of
gasoline -- while this alone is not sufficient understanding of the need for
developing alternative energy sources, it is a factor which can act as a market
maker -- meaning for you that investments in alternative energy companies makes a
lot of financial sense.

However, this does not mean that you don't first want to do some careful
research into alternative energy stocks, perhaps with the help of a financial
planner. "A few alternative-energy companies are going after the right markets
but that doesn't mean you should go buy every name in the sector. Investors
need to be cautious about chasing the stocks," says Sanjay Shrestha, who is an
analyst at First Albany Capital. And if you are an investor, then you know that
the problem in this sector is that nearly every single one of the major players
in the alternative energy for profit game are start-ups or in the very early
stages of growth. This means for you that they have relatively minuscule (even
if rapidly growing) sales, and no expected profitability in the near term or
history of earnings for you to be able to research. This can lead to some
bubbling, as with what happened to the dot-com industry at the turn of the 21st
century. Bubbling in the stock market is not a good thing for investors.

Ananlysts and financial planners can play a crucial role in helping you get it
right with alternative energy investing. "We don't play around in the tiny cap
stocks that have technology and not much revenue -- the 'hope' stocks. We invest
in companies with clear cash-generation plans in place," are the words of Ben
walker, who is a senior portfolio manager at the Gartmore Global Utilities fund
out of London.

Still, the outlook is very positive overall -- and healthy. "It is good to see
that the number of renewable energy funds and the amount of money flowing into
these funds is increasing," according to chief executive of UK alternative
elecricity supplier Good Energy Juliet Davenport. "The renewable generation
market is at an important stage in its development; it needs the continued
support of the consumer, investor and government to ensure that it reaches its
potential and really starts to make a difference to climate change."

Alternative Energy Development in Japan

Japan is a densely populated country, and that makes the Japanese market more
difficult compared with other markets. If we utilize the possibilities of
near-shore installations or even offshore installations in the future, that
will give us the possibility of continued use of wind energy. If we go
offshore, it's more expensive because the construction of foundations is
expensive. But often the wind is stronger offshore, and that can offset the
higher costs. We're getting more and more competitive with our equipment. The
price -- if you measure it per kilowatt-hour produced -- is going lower, due to the
fact that turbines are getting more efficient. So we're creating increased
interest in wind energy. If you compare it to other renewable energy sources,
wind is by far the most competitive today. If we're able to utilize sites close
to the sea or at sea with good wind machines, then the price per kilowatt-hour
is competitive against other sources of energy, go the words of Svend Sigaard,
who happens to be president and CEO of the world's largest wind turbine maker,
Vestas wind systems out of Denmark. Vestas is heavily involved in investments
of capital into helping Japan expand its wind turbine power generating
capacity. It is seeking to get offshore installations put into place in a
nation that it says is ready for the fruits of investment into alternative
energy research and development.

The Japanese know that they cannot become subservient to the energy supply
dictates of foreign nations -- World War II taught them that, as the US decimated
their oil supply lines and crippled their military machine. They need to
produce energy of their own, and they being an isolated island nation with few
natural resources that are conducive to energy production as it is defined now
are very open to foreign investment and foreign development as well as the
prospect of technological innovation that can make them independent. Allowing
corporations such as Vestas to get the nation running on more wind-produced
energy is a step in the right direction for the Japanese people.

The production of energy through what is known as microhydoelectric power
plants has also been catching on in Japan. Japan has a myriad rivers and
mountain streams, and these are ideally suited places for the putting up of
microhydroelectric power plants, which are defined by the New Energy and
Industrial Technology Development Organization as power plants run by water
which have a maximum output of 100 kilowatts or less. By comparison,
"minihydroelectric" power plants can put out up to 1000 kilowatts of electrical

In Japan, the small-scaled mini- and micro-hydroelectric power plants have been
regarded for a considerable time as being suitable for creating electricity in
mountainous regions, but they have through refinement come to be regarded as
excellent for Japanese cities as well. Kawasaki City Waterworks, Japan Natural
Energy Company, and Tokyo Electric Power Company have all been involved in the
development of small-scale hydroelectric power plants within Japanese cities.

Renewable Fuels for Alternative Energy

The Germans have really taken off when it comes to renewable fuel sources, and
have become one of the major players in the alternative energy game. Under the
aegis of the nation's electricity feed laws, the German people set a world
record in 2006 by investing over $10 billion (US) in research, development, and
implementation of wind turbines, biogas power plants, and solar collection
cells. Germany's "feed laws" permit the German homeowners to connect to an
electrical grid through some source of renewable energy and then sell back to
the power company any excess energy produced at retail prices. This economic
incentive has catapulted Germany into the number-one position among all nations
with regards to the number of operational solar arrays, biogas plants, and wind
turbines. The 50-terawatt hours of electricity produced by these renewable
energy sources account for 10% of all of Germany's energy production per year.
In 2006 alone, Germany installed 100,000 solar energy collection systems.

Over in the US, the BP corporation has established an Energy Biosciences
Institute (EBI) to spearhead extensive new research and development efforts
into clean burning renewable energy sources, most prominently biofuels for
ground vehicles. BP's investment comes to $50 million (US) per year over the
course of the next decade. This EBI will be physically located at the
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The University is in partnership with
BP, and it will be responsible for research and development of new biofuel
crops, biofuel-delivering agricultural systems, and machines to produce
renewable fuels in liquid form for automobile consumption. The University will
especially spearhead efforts in the field of genetic engineering with regard to
creating the more advanced biofuel crops. The EBI will additionally have as a
major focal point technological innovations for converting heavy hydrocarbons
into pollution-free and highly efficient fuels.

Also in the US, the battle rages on between Congress and the Geothermal Energy
Association (GEA). The GEA's Executive Director Karl Gawell has recently
written to the Congress and the Department of Energy, the only way to ensure
that DOE and OMB do not simply revert to their irrational insistence on
terminating the geothermal research program is to schedule a congressional
hearing specifically on geothermal energy, its potential, and the role of
federal research. Furthermore, Gawell goes on to say that recent studies by the
National Research Council, the Western Governors' Association Clean Energy Task
Force and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology all support expanding
geothermal research funding to develop the technology necessary to utilize this
vast, untapped domestic renewable energy resource. Supporters of geothermal
energy, such as this writer, are amazed at the minuscule amount of awareness
that the public has about the huge benefits that research and development of
the renewable alternative energy source would provide the US, both practically
and economically. Geothermal energy is already less expensive to produce in
terms of kilowatt-hours than the coal that the US keeps mining. Geothermal
energy is readily available, sitting just a few miles below our feet and easily
accessible through drilling. One company, Ormat, which is the third largest
geothermal energy producer in the US and has plants in several different
nations, is already a billion-dollar-per-year business -- geothermal energy is
certainly economically viable.

An Alternative Energy Education Method

The best method of educating young people about alternative energy production
that this writer has ever witnessed is the use of the PicoTurbine Company's
kits, books, and projects. The PicoTurbine Company produces these things for
the purpose of advancing the cause of renewable (alternative) energy and
getting young people to look into the future and see that the environment
that's being seeded now is the one they will inherit then. As the late, great
Gerry Ford said, "Things are more like they are now than they have ever been
before." If we are to change the future world for the better, then it starts
right here and now with the advent of "green" energy systems.

One of the core concepts of PicoTurbine can be stated: Tell me, and I will
forget. Show me, and I might remember some of it. Involve me, and I will master
it. Based on this old tried and true adage, the kits that the company produces
come with activity suggestions to get the young people into hands-on learning
situations. One suggestion of the company is to demonstrate how heat can be
produced by wind energy (the company's specialty) through using a "picture
wire" for the heating element. PicoTurbine has found that people typically
think of wind energy as being "cold" energy, and are pleasantly surprised to
see how wind can be used for generating heat in the home. Another project
suggestion that the company offers is to have different groups split off in the
classroom and then compare their respective wind turbines that they have built.
They can see which ones produce the most or least electricity; which ones start
up with need of the least amount of wind power; and for very young children,
which ones have the most aesthetic appeal.

There is a core curriculum that PicoTurbine has in mind for teachers to instill
in their pupils. Renewable, alternative sources of energy include solar,
hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass in addition to wind-produced energy.
When we use more alternative sources of energy, we decrease our nation's
dependence on foreign oil supplies, which often come from nations who cannot
really be called our "allies". Alternative energy is already becoming cost
effective when set against the fossil fuels that we are so reliant on currently.

PicoTurbine points out that wind farms and solar arrays are already letting
their makers enjoy commercial success. In the last two decades, the cost of
photovoltaic cells expressed in terms of per-watt has gone from nearly $1000 to
just $4! It has been predicted by analysts that by the year 2015, the cost per
watt should only be about $1 (in today's dollars). Students also need to be
taught about the hidden cost of fossil fuels: pollution and environmental
degradation. Air pollution from burning fossil fuels has been shown through
studies to increase incidences of asthma attacks, heighten the effects of
allergies, and even cause cancer. Switching over to clean, green energy found
in the alternative forms would prevent air pollution and help bolster the

University Research into Alternative Energy

Decades of tree and biomass research jointly conducted by Florida Statue
University and Shell Energy have resulted in the planting of the largest single
"Energy Crop Plantation" in the entire United States. This Plantation spans
approximately 130 acres and is home to over 250,000 planted trees including
cottonwoods (native to the area) and eucalyptus (which are non-invasive) along
with various row crops such as soybeans. This organization of "super trees" was
brought into being as a result of the University's joint research with other
agencies including Shell, the US Department of Energy, the Common Purpose
Institute, and groups of various individuals who are working to develop
alternative energy sources (those not dependent on fossil fuels) for the
future. This research is focused on the planting and processing of biomass
energy supplies from fast-growing crops known as "closed loop biomass" or
simply "energy crops". The project seeks to develop "power plants" such as
wood-pulp or wood-fiber providing plants; clean biogas to be used by
industries; plants such as surgarcane which can be used for ethanol
development; and crops such as soybeans for biodiesel fuel production.

University involvement in alternative energy research is also going on at Penn
State University. At Penn State, special research is focused on the development
of hydrogen power as a practical alternative energy source. The researchers
involved are convinced that mankind is moving toward a hydrogen-fueled economy
due to the needs for us to reduce air pollution and find other sources of
energy besides petroleum to power up the United States. Hydrogen energy burns
clean and can be endlessly renewed, as it can be drawn from water and crop
plants. Hydrogen power would thus be a sustainable energy resource to be found
within the US' own infrastructure while the world's supply of (affordable) oil
peaks and begins to decline. The University seeks to help with the commercial
development of hydrogen powered fuel cells, which would be usable in place of
or in tandem with combustion engines for all of our motor vehicles.

When President Bush recently announced his alternative energy initiative, he
determined that the government would develop five "Sun Grant" centers for
concentrated research. Oregon State University has the honor of having been
selected as one of these centers, and has been allocated government grants of
$20 million for each of the next four years in order to carry out its mission.
OSU will lead the way in researching alternative energy as it represents the
interests of the Pacific Islands, the US' Pacific Territories, and nine western
states. OSU President Edward Ray says, the research being conducted through
OSU's Sun Grant center will contribute directly to our meeting President Bush's
challenge for energy independence. Specific research into alternative energy
being conducted at OSU by varios teams of scientists right now include a
project to figure out how to efficiently convert such products as straw into a
source of renewable biomass fuel, and another one aimed at studying how to
efficiently convert wood fibers into liquid fuel.

Wind Power as a Viable Solution to Meeting Alternative Energy Needs

Although it is much less expensive to initially get hooked into the local
electric company's grid than it is to set up and hook into wind turbines, in
the long run one saves money by utilizing the wind for one's energy needs -- while
also becoming more independent. Not receiving an electric bill while enjoying
the advantages of the modern electrically-driven lifestyle is a wondrous

Electric bills and fuel bills are rising steadily -- but the cost of wind turbine
energy is zero, and the cost of installing and hooking up a turbine is steadily
coming down as demand rises and more commercial success is realized by various
companies producing the turbines and researching technologies to make them ever
more efficient. In addition, people are moving away from the traditional
electric grids and the fossil fuels for personal reasons including desire for
greater independence, the desire to live remotely or rurally without having to
"go primitive", political concerns such as fears of terrorist strikes on oil
fields or power grids, or concerns about the environment. Again, this
motivation to get away from the traditional energy sources is the same one that
causes people to seek the power of the wind for their energy, giving more
business opportunities to profit from wind turbine production and maintenance,
which drives their costs down for the consumers. In nearly thirty states at the
time of this writing, homeowners who remain on the grid but who still choose to
use wind energy (or other alternative forms) are eligible for rebates or tax
breaks from the state governments that end up paying for as much as 50% of
their total "green" energy systems' costs. In addition, there are 35 states at
the time of this writing where these homeowners are allowed to sell their
excess energy back to the power company under what are called "net metering
laws". The rates that they are being paid by the local power companies for this
energy are standard retail rates -- in other words, the homeowners are actually
profiting from their own energy production.

Some federal lawmakers are pushing to get the federal government to mandate
these tax breaks and other wind power incentives in all 50 states. Japan and
Germany already have national incentive programs in place. However, "A lot of
this is handled regionally by state law. There wouldn't really be a role for
the federal government," the Energy Department's Craig Stevens says. And as
might be imagined, there are power companies who feel that it's unfair that
they should have to pay retail rates to private individuals. "We should [only
have to] pay you the wholesale rate for ... your electricity," according to
Bruce Bowen, Pacific Gas & Electric's director of regulatory policy. However,
the companies seem to be more worried about losing short term profits than
about the benefits, especially in the long run, of the increased use of wind
turbines or wind farms. Head of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Technologies of California V. John White points out, "It's quality power that
strengthens the grid."

Jobs in Alternative Energy Fields

Many people who take jobs in the alternative energies research and development
sector have to, at least in the beginning, take relatively low pay. Taking a
job in this industry is thus not about -- or, not predominantly about -- making
money, although that is needless to say important, as one who is not well-fed
soon becomes one who is not productive at work, especially when we are
considering the brain-work involved in the work of researching and developing
technologies in the alternative energies sector. There are those who take a job
just because they find it is a fulfilling task that they have
undertaken -- something that is going to help mankind, or their society, or the
Earth herself. But in truth, what most people dream of in terms of work is a
position that they at once enjoy immensely while they also are receiving good
money for their time and energy.

Positions in the alternative energy research and development industry often
offer just such an opportunity.

The alternative energy field is in need of a vast array of different positions.
Many people who get into this are the kind who would keep the power plants up
and running (these include plant operators or mechanics), others are the
developers of new alternative energies (engineers, scientists), and others make
it all happen to start with by investing in alternative energy. So--not only do
these people have the blessing of an exciting and fulfilling career, but these
same people are making the world a better place.

The business of alternative energy is rapidly growing due to the fact that many
governments are now supporting it. Investors have become excited about putting
their financial backing into the alternative energy industry because they can
see that it's the wave of the future, out of both need and the fact of
government support. Rising oil prices make alternative energies' tantalization
rise in the minds of investors. As investors become more interested, there is
more money available for companies to start up or expand, and that leads (of
course) to more job opportunities.

The US government is unquestionably involved in promoting the idea of new jobs
as being readily available in the alternative energy sector. According to the
President, in order to achieve greater use of "homegrown", renewable fuels in
the United States, advanced technologies need to be researched and developed so
as to be able to make ethanol from plant fibers' biomass, which at the present
time is merely discarded as waste material. The President's 2007 Federal Budget
includes $150 million (a $59 million increase over the Federal Budget for 2006)
to help with the development of biofuels derived from agricultural waste
products such as wood chips, corn stalks, and switch grass. Researchers tell us
that furthering the cause of research into cellulose-based ethanol could make
the technology cost-competitive by 2012, while potentially displacing up to 30%
of the nation's current fuel consumption.

The President's plan would additionally drive on next-generation research and
development of battery technology for hybrid vehicles in addition to "plug-in
hybrid" vehicles. A "plug-in" hybrid runs on either gasoline or electricity,
depending upon an on-board computer calculation. Driving in a city setting
consumes almost no gasoline over as much as a week's time with these vehicles.

Investment into Alternative Energy Research and Development

The US government must continue to back the expansion of the role of
alternative energy research and development and its implementation by companies
and homeowners. Although this writer believes in the reign of the free market
and that "that government is best which governs least", our current system has
companies and people expecting federal backing of major initiative with direct
investment, in the form of tax breaks, rebate incentives, and even direct
central bank investment into the alternative energy industry.

The US and its citizenry need to invest all of the time and energy that they
can spare to the conversion from a fossil fuel burning society to one that is
green for several different reasons. The green economy will not harm the
environment or the quality of our air like fossil fuel burning does. We can
become the energy independent nation that we need to be by cutting away our
need to import oil, especially oil that is produced by anti-American nations
such as Iran. Ultimately, renewable energies and extremely efficient energies
like atomic energy are far less expensive than the continuous mining and
drilling for fossil fuels. If we do not invest in our future now, catastrophe
awaits us. We are going to need to consume more energy than ever in our history
as we sail into the 21st century and beyond -- our dependency on foreigners for
meeting these energy needs only leaves us open to sabotage while draining our
coffers in order to fill other nations'.

It can be argued that federal, state, and local governments should work in
conjunction on the issue of alternative energy research and development and
implement mandatory programs for new home construction and all home remodeling
that stipulate the installation of alternative energy power sources -- eventually
over a certain period of years transforming into 100% installation of
alternative energy sources for any new home or corporate building -- as well as
backing a similar program to have all new vehicles produced in the nation be
hybrid vehicles or hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles by the year 2020. All
levels of government could also impose mandatory compliance laws on
construction and utilities companies. The utility companies in all 50 states
should be required to invest in alternative energy research and development
while also being required to buy back, at fair rates, excess energy produced by
homeowners through their use of alternative energy power sources. Strong
financial incentives need to be in place for new companies to invest in
developing renewable energies. This would not only make the US energy
independent at the fastest possible rate, but it would stimulate the growth of
the economy and provide tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs for people.

Alternative energy generation in the forms of solar, wind, hydroelectric,
biofuel, geothermal, and atomic; alternative energy storage systems such as
more efficient batteris and hydrogen fuel cells; and alternative
energy-furthering infrastructures with superior energy efficiency all need to
be brought into the affordable price range through development. Government
investment into these matters would surely help us along.

Consultants on Alternative Energy

The alternative energy consultants tell us that the transition from the
petroleum-driven economy and society will not be a smooth one, on the whole.
The amount of new technologies and infrastructures that need to be developed
and built is staggering -- even as Germany achieves powering 10% of the entire
nation through the use of wind turbines and solar arrays, even as corporation
after corporation is springing up, helped by various governments' tax breaks
and rebate incentives, to drive forward the alternative energy mission. We have
lain dormant on alternative energy on the grand scale for so long that we now
have to scramble to play catch-up as access to cheap oil lurks ever closer to
being a thing of the past.

Consultants on alternative energy also tell us that we need multilateral,
international efforts in concert with one another in the direction of getting
away from the heavy -- almost total -- dependence on fossil fuels. They are poised 
to become too expensive, burning them is polluting the atmosphere, and digging for
them is disrupting the natural environment. We have about 30 years left of
reasonably cheap oil and gas -- and consultants say that within 20 years beyond
that point, we had better be at least 90% independent of them. Unfortunately,
at the present time the world is mostly not acting as if this is the case. The
thirst for oil is growing, not slaking, and it is growing faster now than it
did even in the 1970s.

One of the major problems of transition, the consultants point out, is that
higher oil and gas prices stimulate the economy (This flies in the face of what
many energy so-called "experts" and many members of the public believe, but the
fact is that oil and gas are found and manufactured and transported by huge
corporations who employ multitudes of staff workers and contractors; and from
their huge profits their stocks remain lucrative on Wall Street.). Alternative,
or "green" energy has to become more marketplace friendly, more profitable to
investors and would-be employers. Wall Street does not like change; so there is
resistance to this much-needed economic transition. It is because of this that
many consultants are saying that we need an international, governments-backed
initiative put into place; we are told that we cannot expect the new economy to
spring forth overnight, all clean and polished and perfected, from the black
ashes of the fossil fuel economy phoenix.

It is most imperative that the wealthy, big-production nations such as the US,
Japan, Western Europe, and others be the ones to spearhead the effort to get
off of the fossil fuel dependence. Smaller, poorer nations are very simply
never going to achieve the level of energy production through coal and oil that
these nations have -- for by the time they would be ready to, the cheap access to
the fossil fuels will be gone, and they will never be able to sustain their
newly-risen civilizations at that time as we have been able to do. The time for
transition from black to green is now.

Alternative Energy for the Home

The trend toward homes that are powered by alternative energy sources, ranging
from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and
biomass gases, is one that needs to continue into the 21st century and beyond.
We have great need of becoming more energy independent, and not having to rely
on the supplying of fossil fuels from unstable nations who are often hostile to
us and our interests. But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get
"off the grid" and also stop having to be so reliant on government-lobbying
giant oil corporations who, while they are not really involved in any covert
conspiracy, nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating
their homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven
electricity, another stranglehold).

As Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst with Carbon Free, puts it, inevitably, the
growth of distributed generation will lead to the restructuring of the retail
electricity market and the generation, transmission and distribution
infrastructure. The power providers may have to diversify their business to
make up for revenues lost through household energy microgeneration. She is
referring to the conclusions by a group of UK analysts, herself included among
them, who call themselves Carbon Free. Carbon Free has been studying the
ever-growing trend toward alternative energy-using homes in England and the
West. This trend is being driven by ever-more government recommendation and
sometimes backing of alternative energy research and development, the rising
cost of oil and other fossil fuels, concern about environmental degradation,
and desires to be energy independent. Carbon Free concludes that, assuming
traditional energy prices remain at their current level or rise,
microgeneration (meeting all of one's home's energy needs by installing
alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will
become to home energy supply what the Internet became to home communications
and data gathering, and eventually this will have deep effects on the
businesses of the existing energy supply companies.

Carbon Free's analyses also show that energy companies themselves have jumped
in on the game and seek to leverage microgeneration to their own advantage for
opening up new markets for themselves. Carbon Free cites the example of
electricity companies (in the UK) reporting that they are seriously researching
and developing ideas for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies
see geothermal energy production as a highly profitable wave of the future.
Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating
technology is an efficient technology for reducing home water heating costs in
the long run, although it is initially quite expensive to install. However,
solar power is not yet cost-effective for corporations, as they require too
much in the way of specialized plumbing to implement solar energy hot water
heating. Lastly, Carbon Free tells us that installing wind turbines is an
efficient way of reducing home electricity costs, while also being more
independent. However, again this is initially a very expensive thing to have
installed, and companies would do well to begin slashing their prices on these
devices or they could find themselves losing market share.

Resources for Alternative Energy

There are many different forms in which alternative energy is available.

One of these is solar power. Solar power is driven by photovoltaic cells, and
these are progressively getting less expensive and more advanced. Solar energy
power can be used for electricity, heating, and making hot water. Solar energy
produces no pollution, as its input comes completely from the sun's rays.
However, much more work still needs to be done in order for us to economically
harness the sun's energy. For the time being, the resource is a little too
conditional -- storage batteries are needed to be used as backups in the
evenings and on inclement days.

Wind energy has become the most-invested-in (by private investors and
governments together) alternative energy source for the time being. The great
arrays of triple-bladed windmills are being placed all over as "wind farms", to
capture the motion of the wind and use its kinetic energy for conversion to
mechanical or electrical energy. Of course, there is nothing new about the
concept of a windmill for harnessing energy. Modern wind turbines are simply
are more advanced variations on the old theme. Of course, the drawback to wind
energy is...what do you do when there is a calm, still day? Needless to say,
during these times the electric company kicks in for powering your home or
office. Wind energy is not altogether independent.

Hydroelectric energy is available as a source of alternative energy, and it can
generate a substantial amount of power. Simply put, hydroelectric energy uses
the motion of water -- its flow in response to gravity, which means downhill -- to
turn turbines which then generate electrical energy. Needless to say, water is
ubiquitous; finding sources for driving hydroelectric turbines is, therefore,
not much of a problem. However, hydroelectricity as a source of alternative
energy can be complicated and expensive to produce. Dams are often built in
order to be able to control the flow of the water sufficiently to generate the
needed power. Building a dam to store and control water's potential and kinetic
energy takes quite a lot of work, and operating one is complex as well,and
conservationists grow concerned that it. Of course, a dam is not always needed
if one is not trying to supply the electrical needs of a city or other very
densely populated area. There are small run-of-river hydroelectric converters
which are good for supplying neighborhoods or an individual office or home.

Probably the most underrated and under-appreciated form of alternative energy
is geothermal energy, which is simply the naturally-occurring energy produced
by the heating of artesian waters that are just below the earth's crust. This
heat is transferred into the water from the earth's inner molten core. The
water is drawn up by various different methods -- there are "dry steam" power
plants, "flash" power plants, and "binary" power plants for harnessing
geothermal energy. The purpose of drawing up the hot water is for the gathering
of the steam. The Geysers, approximately 100 miles north of San Francisco, is
probably the best-known of all geothermal power fields; it's an example of a
dry stream plant.

Some Suppliers of Alternative Energy

Amelot Holdings is a company which presently specializes in the development of
biodiesel and ethanol plants throughout the US. Amelot's objective is to
establish relationships between various suppliers of alternative energy who are
biodiesel and ethanol researchers or producers to further their ends with
long-term profitability and growth in mind. Amelot furthers the cause of these
alternative energy suppliers through the formulation of joint ventures,
mergers, and construction contracts.

Environmental Power is an alternative energy supplier that has two subsidiary
companies. One of these is Microgy, which is Environmental Power's research and
development arm. Microgy is a developer of biogas facilities for the
cost-effective and environmentally clean production of renewable energy derived
from food and agricultural waste products. These biogas fuels can be used in a
number of different applications. They can be used in combustion chamber
engines, used directly to make fossil fuel reliance less of a need, or cleaned
up to meet natural gas standards and then piped to offices or homes for
heating. Environmental Power's other subsidiary is Buzzard Power. Buzzard has
an 83 megawatt power facility which generates green energy from mined coal
waste. Environmental Power says of itself, we have a long and successful
history of developing clean energy facilities. Since 1982 we have developed,
owned and operated hydroelectric plants, municipal waste projects, coal-fired
generating facilities and clean gas generation and energy recovery facilities.
We are proud to have a management team and board of directors comprised of
leaders from both the public and private sectors, including the energy,
agriculture and finance industries.

Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc, is a company that processes waste into
natural gas as an alternative source of energy. The company's vision centers on
the fact that the US produces two billion tons of animal waste every year, while
at once the US' supply of natural gas is dwindling. ITR builds "organic waste
digesters" local to sites of organic waste. These facilities produce, clean,
and distribute the methane gas from the organic waste; methane gas is a viable
alternative to natural gas. ITR is presently operating in Idaho with plans for
national expansion.

Nathaniel Energy is a company with the objective of protecting the environment
and minimizing total cost of business ownership. The Nathaniel Energy Total
Value Preservation System (TVPS) gives companies unique benefits through
Nathaniel's recognition of the alternative energy potential of materials that
are usually seen as nothing more than waste or pollutants. Nathaniel Energy's
technology allows it to extract and transform into alternative energy virtually
all of the potential energy locked in waste materials. All of this is produced
at almost no additional cost beyond what a company would have had to spend in
order to install pollution control and prevention systems. Nathaniel Energy's
innovative TVPS recovers valuable resources which other processes fail to.
Throughout the entire process, the maximum amount of valuable material is
recovered for reuse, which results in lowered costs and environmental
protection. Usual pollution cleanup and control processes treat these materials
as mere contaminants that are either destroyed or discarded. The TVPS therefore
decreases the total cost of business ownership through the provision of an
additional stream of income.

How to Seek Grants for Alternative Energy R & D

If you are someone who wishes to begin researching and developing alternative
energy technologies and you would want to be set up as a not-for-profit
organization or entity, you will want to look into getting government grants,
on both the state and the federal levels. Government grants for alternative
energy research and development have been highly touted by politicians on
local, state, and federal levels in recent years, all the way up to the
President himself. This is due to the fact that we now recognize as a society
that we need to seek out and develop alternative energy sources to those of the
fossil fuels that we presently depend upon, as these fuels are not only slowly
but surely running out (at least cheap access to digging them up is running
out), but also damaging to the environment and air quality.

There is a fairly vast array of government grant programs available for you to
check into. The great and most important thing to keep in mind about a
government grant is that it's essentially free money. It is not a loan, you
don't pay any interest, and you don't ever have to give the money back.
However, qualifying for these grants, as you might imagine with something
involving the government and free money, has quite a lot of restrictions
attached to it. Not only is qualification based on purpose and need in the eyes
and opinions of government bureaucrats, but just because you qualify does not
mean that you necessarily get the grant. As Marshall McLuen put it, "the medium
is the message". The fact of the matter is that it is typically easier to apply
for and qualify to receive a business loan -- but then, that would not be free
money, that would be something you owed to someone, and with interest on top.

There are professional grant writers who know how to write proposals in such a
way that they get around the heavy load of restrictions set up by the
government, and you might need to resort to one of these. Even governments
employ professional grant writers to seek money from other branches of the
government, such as a country government needing funding from the state or the
federal government. These people also keep abreast of what government grants
are still or newly available and what ones have been removed from the table.
It's an intricate web, so one must not get tangled up in when seeking needed
financial backing for alternative energy research and development. In fact, it
is so complex that in the last decade or so the ranks of profession writers, as
both individuals and as entire companies, have swelled. It is a profitable
business -- and this can make it fraught with illegal actions and controversial

Nevertheless, each year there are many thousands of grants awarded throughout
the United States for the purpose of helping the public. And again, with the
government endorsement of grant money to be given to alternative energy
researchers, you could very well get what you seek.

Solar Energy Collecting as an Alternative Energy Source

Photovoltaic cells -- those black squares an array of which comprises a solar
panel -- are getting more efficient, and gradually less expensive, all the time,
thanks to ever-better designs which all them to focus the gathered sunlight on
a more and more concentrated point. The size of the cells is decreasing as
their efficiency rises, meaning that each cell becomes cheaper to produce and
at once more productive. As far as the aforementioned cost, the price of
producing solar-generated energy per watt hour has come down to $4.00 at the
time of this writing. Just 17 years ago, it was nearly double that cost.

Solar powered electricity generation is certainly good for the environment, as
this alternative form of producing energy gives off absolutely zero emissions
into the atmosphere and is merely utilizing one of the most naturally occurring
of all things as its driver. Solar collection cells are becoming slowly but
surely ever more practical for placing upon the rooftops of people's homes, and
they are not a difficult system to use for heating one's home, creating hot
water, or producing electricity. In the case of using the photovoltaic cells
for hot water generation, the system works by having the water encased in the
cells, where it is heated and then sent through your pipes.

Photovoltaic cells are becoming increasingly better at collecting sufficient
radiation from the sun even on overcast or stormy days. One company in
particular, Uni-Solar, has developed solar collection arrays for the home that
work well on inclement days, by way of a technologically more advanced system
that stores more energy at one time during sunlit days than previous or other

There is actually another solar power system available for use called the PV
System. The PV System is connected to the nearest electrical grid; whenever
there is an excess of solar energy being collected at a particular home, it is
transferred to the grid for shared use and as a means of lowering the grid's
dependence on the hydroelectrically-driven electricity production. Being
connected to the PV System can keep your costs down as compared to full-fledged
solar energy, while at once reducing pollution and taking pressure off the grid
system. Some areas are designing centralized solar collection arrays for small
towns or suburban communities.

Some big-name corporations have made it clear that they are also getting into
the act of using solar power (a further indication that solar generated energy
is becoming an economically viable alternative energy source). Google is
putting in a 1.6 megawatt solar power generation plant on the roof of its
corporate headquarters, while Wal Mart wants to put in an enormous 100 megawatt
system of its own.

Nations such as Japan, Germany, the United States, and Switzerland have been
furthering the cause of solar energy production by providing government
subsidies or by giving tax breaks to companies and individuals who agree to
utilize solar power for generating their heat or electrical power. As
technology advances and a greater storage of solar collection materials is made
available, more and more private investors will see the value of investing in
this "green" technology and further its implementation much more.

Geothermal Power as Alternative Energy

We should be doing everything possible to develop geothermal energy
technologies. This is a largely untapped area of tremendous alternative energy
potential, as it simply taps the energy being naturally produced by the Earth
herself. Vast amounts of power are present below the surface crust on which we
move and have our being. All we need do is tap into it and harness it.

At the Earths' core, the temperature is 60 times greater than that of water
being boiled. The tremendous heat creates pressures that exert themselves only
a couple of miles below us, and these pressures contain huge amounts of energy.
Superheated fluids in the form of magma, which we see the power and energy of
whenever there is a volcanic eruption, await our tapping. These fluids also
trickle to the surface as steam and emerge from vents. We can create our own
vents, and we can create out own containment chambers for the magma and convert
all of this energy into electricity to light and heat our homes. In the creation
of a geothermal power plant, a well would be dug where there is a good source of
magma or heated fluid. Piping would be fitted down into the source, and the
fluids forced to the surface to produce the needed steam. The steam would turn
a turbine engine, which would generate the electricity.

There are criticisms of geothermal energy tapping which prevent its being
implemented on the large scale which it should be. Critics say that study and
research to find a resourceful area is too costly and takes up too much time.
Then there is more great expense needed to build a geothermal power plant, and
there is no promise of the plant turning a profit. Some geothermal sites, once
tapped, might be found to not produce a large enough amount of steam for the
power plant to be viable or reliable. And we hear from the environmentalists
who worry that bringing up magma can bring up potentially harmful materials
along with it.

However, the great benefits of geothermal energy would subsume these criticisms
if only we would explore it more. The fact that geothermal energy is merely the
energy of the Earth herself means it does not produce any pollutants.
Geothermal energy is extremely efficient -- the efforts needed to channel it are
minimal after a site is found and a plant is set up. Geothermal plants,
furthermore, do not need to be as large as electrical plants, giant dams, or
atomic energy facilities -- the environment would thus be less disrupted. And,
needless to say, it is an alternative form of energy -- using it would mean we
become that much less dependent on oil and coal. Perhaps most importantly of
all -- we are never, ever going to run out of geothermal energy, and it is not a
commodity that would continuously become more expensive in terms of real
dollars as time passes, since it is ubiquitous. Geothermal energy would be, in
the end, very cheap, after investigation and power plant building costs are

Pursuing Alternative Forms of Energy

Record high prices at American gas pumps and continued trouble-brewing in the
Middle East, Nigeria, and other areas of importance to the oil-driven economy
have made it clear to Americans that we are in need of developing many new
avenues of energy supply and production. In short, we need to reduce our
dependency on oil, for it is ultimately finite and, frankly, the cheap sources
of oil (not all oil -- just the stuff that is cheap to remove from the earth) are
running out. Energy consultants and analysts are insistent that cheap oil has
"peaked" or is very soon going to peak. What this means for us is an expensive
future -- unless we can find new sources of powering our mechanized and electronic
civilization, new sources which are alternatives to oil.

We must also switch to alternative forms of energy because our present forms
are too damaging to the atmosphere. While this write does not believe that the
global warming trend is much, if at all, sustained by the activities of mankind
(in short, it's a natural cycle and there's nothing we can do about it except
prepare for the effects of it), we certainly do contribute at present to the
destruction of the environment and to things like air pollution with our energy
sources as they are. Coal is another source of energy that we need to wean
ourselves off of -- again, it is finite, and it is filthy, and the mining of it is
dangerous and environmentally disruptive. We can also explore new, streamlined
methods for producing electricity that we presently generate so much of via
hydro-power so that we are less disruptive of the environment when we have need
of constructing things such as large dams.

Developing nations which have turned industrialized in recent decades
especially will need the benefits of alternative energy research and
development, for they are presently doing much more environmental damage than
the United States. The United States, Japan, and some European nations have
been implementing studies into and programs for the development of alternative
energy sources, and are therefore already leading the way in doing less
environmental damage. The developing nations such as China and India need to
look to Japan and the West as examples of what research and development to give
government backing and private investment currency to. We could also add great
robustness to our own economy by being at the forefront of such alternative
energy sources development and then marketing the technologies and services to
nations like India, China, Brazil, and so on and so forth.

Biofuels from things like "supertrees" and soybeans, refined hydroelectric
technology, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, the further building of atomic
energy plants, the continued development of solar energy photovoltaic cells,
more research into wind-harnessed power -- all of these are viable energy sources
that can act as alternatives to the mammoth amounts of oil and coal that we
presently are so dependent on for our very lifestyles. The energy of the future
is green.

Alternative Energy from the Ocean

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) was conceived of by the French engineer
Jacques D'Arsonval in 1881. However, at the time of this writing the Natural
Energy Laboratory of Hawaii is home to the only operating experimental OTEC
plant on the face of the earth. OTEC is a potential alternative energy source
that needs to be funded and explored much more than it presently is. The great
hurdle to get over with OTEC implementation on a wide and practically useful
level is cost. It is difficult to get the costs down to a reasonable level
because of the processes presently utilized to drive OTEC. Ocean thermal energy
would be very clean burning and not add pollutants into the air. However, as it
presently would need to be set up with our current technologies, OTEC plants
would have the capacity for disrupting and perhaps damaging the local

There are three kinds of OTEC.

"Closed Cycle OTEC" uses a low-boiling point liquid such as, for example,
propane to act as an intermediate fluid. The OTEC plant pumps the warm sea
water into the reaction chamber and boils the intermediate fluid. This results
in the intermediate fluid's vapor pushing the turbine of the engine, which thus
generates electricity. The vapor is then cooled down by putting in cold sea

"Open Cycle OTEC" is not that different from closed cycling, except in the Open
Cycle there is no intermediate fluid. The sea water itself is the driver of the
turbine engine in this OTEC format. Warm sea water found on the surface of the
ocean is turned into a low-pressure vapor under the constraint of a vacuum. The
low-pressure vapor is released in a focused area and it has the power to drive
the turbine. To cool down the vapor and create desalinated water for human
consumption, the deeper ocean's cold waters are added to the vapor after it has
generated sufficient electricity.

"Hybrid Cycle OTEC" is really just a theory for the time being. It seeks to
describe the way that we could make maximum usage of the thermal energy of the
ocean's waters. There are actually two sub-theories to the theory of Hybrid
Cycling. The first involves using a closed cycling to generate electricity.
This electricity is in turn used to create the vacuum environment needed for
open cycling. The second component is the integration of two open cyclings such
that twice the amount of desalinated, potable water is created that with just
one open cycle.

In addition to being used for producing electricity, a closed cycle OTEC plant
can be utilized for treating chemicals. OTEC plants, both open cycling and
close cycling kinds, are also able to be utilized for pumping up cold deep sea
water which can then be used for refrigeration and air conditioning.
Furthermore, during the moderation period when the sea water is surrounding the
plant, the enclosed are can be used for mariculture and aquaculture projects
such as fish farming. There is clearly quite an array of products and services
that we could derive from this alternative energy source.

Alternative Energy in Ireland

The Irish are currently pursuing energy independence and the further
development of their robust economy through the implementation of research and
development into alternative energy sources. At the time of this writing,
nearly 90% of Ireland's energy needs are met through importation -- the highest
level of foreign product dependence in the nation's entire history. This is a
very precarious situation to be in, and the need for developing alternative
energy sources in Ireland is sharply perceived. Ireland also seeks to conserve
and rejuvenate its naturally beautiful environment and to clean up its
atmosphere through the implementation of alternative energy supplies. The
European Union has mandated a reduction in sulphuric and nitric oxide emissions
for all member nations. Green energy is needed to meet these objectives.
Hydroelectric power has been utilized in Ireland in some areas since the 1930s
and has been very effective; however, more of it needs to be installed. Ireland
also needs to harness the wave power of the Atlantic Ocean, which on its west
coast is a potential energy supply that the nation has in great store.

Ireland actually has the potential to become an energy exporter, rather than a
nation so heavily dependent on energy importation. This energy potential
resides in Ireland's substantial wind, ocean wave, and biomass-producing
alternative energy potentials. Ireland could become a supplier of ocean
wave-produced electricity and biomass-fueled energy to continental Europe and,
as they say, "make a killing". At the present time, Ireland is most closely
focused on reaching the point where it can produce 15% of the nation's
electricity through wind farms, which the government has set as a national
objective to be reached by 2010. But universities, research institutes, and
government personnel in Ireland have been saying that the development of ocean
wave energy technology would be a true driving force for the nation's economy
and one which would greatly help to make Ireland energy independent. A test
site for developing wave ocean energy has been established in Ireland, less
than two miles off the coast of An Spideal in County Galway Bay. This
experimental ocean wave harnessing site is known as "Wavebob". The most
energetic waves in the world are located off the West coast of Ireland, says
Ireland's Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan. The technology to harness
the power of the ocean is only just emerging and Ireland has the chance to
become a market leader in this sector. David Taylor, CEO of the Sustainable
Energy Initiative,or SEI, tells us that SEI is committed to innovation in the
renewable energy sector. Wave energy is a promising new renewable energy
resource which could one day make a significant contribution to Ireland's
electricity generation mix thereby further reducing our reliance on fossil

Padraig Walshe, the president of the Irish Farmers Association, tells us that
with the closure of the sugar beet industry, an increasing amount of Irish land
resources will become available for alternative uses, including bioenergy
production. Today, renewable energy sources meet only 2% of Ireland's total
energy consumption. From a farming perspective, growing energy crops will only
have a viable future if they provide an economic return on investment and
labour, and if the prospect of this return is secure into the future. Currently
the return from energy crops is marginal and is hampering the development of the
industry. Biomass energies need to be further researched by Ireland.

Government Grants for Alternative Energy

In his State of the Union Address for 2007, President George W. Bush called for
a 22% increase in federal grants for research and development of alternative
energy. However, in a speech he gave soon after, he said to those assembled, I
recognize that there has been some interesting mixed signals when it comes to

Where the mixed signals were coming from concerned the fact that at the same
time the President was calling on more government backing for alternative
energy research and development, the NREL -- the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory of Golden, Colardo -- was laying off workers and contractors left and
right. Apparently, the Laboratory got the hint, because soon after the State of
the Union Address, everyone was re-hired. The second speech of the President's
was actually given at the NREL. There is almost unanimous public support for
the federal backing through research grants, tax breaks, and other financial
incentives of research and development of alternative energy sources.

The NREL is the nation's leading component of the National Bioenergy Center, a
"virtual" center that has no central bricks and mortar office. The NREL's
raison d'etre is the advancing of the US Department of Energy's and the United
States' alternative energy objectives. The laboratory's field researchers and
staff scientists, in the words of Laboratory Director Dan Arvizu, "support
critical market objectives to accelerate research from scientific innovations
to market-viable alternative energy solutions. At the core of this strategic
direction are NREL's research and technology development areas. These areas
span from understanding renewable resources for energy, to the conversion of
these resources to renewable electricity and fuels, and ultimately to the use
of renewable electricity and fuels in homes, commercial buildings, and
vehicles." The federally-backed Laboratory directly helps along the United
States' objectives for discovering renewable alternative fuels for powering our
economy and our lifestyles.

The NREL is set up to have several areas of expertise in alternative energy
research and development. It spearheads research and development efforts into
renewable sources of electricity; these would include such things as solar
power, wind power, biomass power, and geothermal power. It also spearheads
research and development of renewable fuels for powering our vehicles such as
biomass and biodiesel fuels and hydrogen fuel cells. Then, it seeks to develop
plans for integrated system enginnering; this includes bringing alternative
energy into play within buildings, electrical grids and delivery systems, and
transportation infrastructures. The Laboratory is also set up for strategic
development and analysis of alternative energy objectives through the forces of
economics, market analysis and planning, and alternative energy investment
portfolios structurings.

The NREL is additionally equipped with a Technology Transfer Office. This
Office supports laboratory scientists and engineers in the practical
application of and ability to make a living from their expertise and the
technologies they develop. NREL's research and development staff and its
facilities are recognized for their remarkable prowess by private industry,
which is reflected in the hundreds of collaborative projects and licensed
technologies that the Laboratory now has with both public and private partners.

Investments in Alternative Energy

It is possible to have a portfolio which profitably (that's the key word, is it
not?) invests in alternative energy funds. "Green" energy production is expected
to be a multi-billion (in today's dollars) industry by 2013.

The most recently developed wind-turbine technologies have brought us
wind-produced energy which is more cost efficient as well as more widespread.
More state-of-the-art wind energy technologies are typically more market
competitive with conventional energy technologies. The newer wind-power
technologies don't even kill birds like in days of old! Wind energy production
is a growing technology, and companies engaged in it would make up an excellent
part of a growth or aggressive growth portfolio.

Next to consider are solar cell, or photovoltaic cell, technologies. These are
to be found implemented in pocket calculators, private property lights, US
Coast Guard buoys, and other areas. More and more they find their way onto the
roofs of housing and commercial buildings and building complexes. Cost is
falling. Their energy efficiency (the ratio of the amount of work needed to
cause their energy production versus the actual energy production) is steadily
on the rise. As an example, the conversion efficiency of silicon cells has
increased from a mere four percent in 1982 to over 20% for the latest
technologies. Photovoltaic cells create absolute zero pollution as they are
generating electrical power. However, photovoltaic cellls are not presently as
cost effective as "utility produced" electricity. "PV" cells are not [capable
at present for producing industrial-production amounts of electricity due to
their present constraints on space. However, areas where photovoltaic cell
arrays could be implemented are increasingly available. In sum, costs are going
down while efficiency is rising for this alternative fuel technology.

Many alternative energy investment portfolio advisors are confident that
alternative energies derived from currents, tidal movement, and temperature
differentials are poised to become a new and predominant form of clean energy.
The French are actually fairly advanced at hydro power generation, and numerous
studies are being made in Scotland and the US along these sames lines. Some
concerns center around the problems with the deterioration of metals in salt
water, marine growth such as barnacles, and violent storms which have all been
disruptions to energy production in the past. However, these problems for the
most part seem to be cured through the use of different, better materials.
Ocean-produced energy has a huge advantage because the timing of ocean currents
and waves are well understood and reliable.

Investments in hydro-electric technology have grown in the last two decades.
Hydro-electric power is clean; however, it's also limited by geography. While
already prominent as power generation, the large, older dams have had problems
with disturbing marine life. Improvements have been made on those dams in order
to protect marine life, but these improvements have been expensive.
Consequently, more attention is now being paid to low-impact "run-of-the-river"
hydro-power plants, which do not have these ecological problems.

The reality is, the energy future is green, and investors would do well to put
their money out wisely, with that advice in their minds.

The Ways that the Military is Using Alternative Energy

The US military knows that its branches must revamp their thinking about how to
engage in "the theater of war" in the new, post-Cold War world of the 21st
century. One thing that the military leaders stress is the desire for the
forces deployed in the theater to be able to be more energy-independent.
Currently the US military has policies and procedures in place to interact with
allies or sympathetic local populaces to help its forces in the field get their
needed energy and clean water when engaged in a foreign military campaign.
However, this is not wholly reliable, as the US might well find itself facing
unilateral military activities, or have itself in a situation where its allies
cannot help it with the resources it needs to conduct its military actions

The US military is very interested in certain alternative energies that, with
the right research and development technologically, can make it energy
independent, or at least a great deal more so, on the battlefield. One of the
things that greatly interests the military along these lines is the development
of small nuclear reactors, which could be portable, for producing theater-local
electricity. The military is impressed with how clean-burning nuclear reactors
are and how energy efficient they are. Making them portable for the typical
warfare of today's highly mobile, small-scaled military operations is something
they are researching. The most prominent thing that the US military thinks these
small nuclear reactors would be useful for involves the removal of hydrogen (for
fuel cell) from seawater. It also thinks that converting seawater to hydrogen
fuel in this way would have less negative impact on the environment than its
current practices of remaining supplied out in the field.

Seawater is, in fact, the military's highest interest when it comes to the
matter of alternative energy supply. Seawater can be endlessly "mined" for
hydrogen, which in turn powers advanced fuel cells. Using OTEC, seawater can
also be endlessly converted into desalinated, potable water. Potable water and
hydrogen for power are two of the things that a near-future deployed military
force will need most of all.

In the cores of nuclear reactors -- which as stated above are devices highly
interesting, in portable form, to the US military -- we encounter temperatures
greater than 1000 degrees Celsius. When this level of temperature is mixed with
a thermo-chemical water-splitting procedure, we have on our hands the most
efficient means of breaking down water into its component parts, which are
molecular hydrogen and oxygen. The minerals and salts that are contained in
seawater would have to be extracted via a desalination process in order to make
the way clear for the water-splitting process. These could then be utilized,
such as in vitamins or in salt shakers, or simply sent back to the ocean
(recycling). Using the power of nuclear reactors to extract this hydrogen from
the sea, in order to then input that into fuel cells to power advanced
airplanes, tanks, ground vehicles, and the like, is clearly high on the R & D
priority list of the military.

Developing Nuclear Power as Alternative Energy

Many researchers believe that harnessing the power of the atom in fission
reactions is the most significant alternative energy resource that we have, for
the fact of the immense power that it can generate.

Nuclear power plants are very "clean-burning" and their efficiency is rather
staggering. Nuclear power is generated at 80% efficiency, meaning that the
energy produced by the fission reactions is almost equal to the energy put into
producing the fission reactions in the first place. There is not a lot of waste
material generated by nuclear fission -- although, due to the fact that there is
no such thing as creating energy without also creating some measure of waste,
there is some. The concerns of people such as environmentalists with regards to
using nuclear power as an alternative energy source center around this waste,
which is radioactive gases which have to be contained.

The radiation from these gases lasts for an extraordinarily long time, so it
can never be released once contained and stored. However, the volume of this
waste gas produced by the nuclear power plants is small in comparison to how
much NOx (nitrous oxide -- that is, air pollution) is caused by one day's worth
rush-hour traffic in Los Angeles. While the radiation is certainly the more
deadly by far of the two waste materials, the radiation is also by far the
easier of the two to contain and store. In spite of the concerns of the
environmentalists, nuclear power is actually environmentally friendly
alternative energy, and the risk of the contained radiation getting out is
actually quite low. With a relatively low volume of waste material produced, it
should not be a difficult thing at all for storage and disposal solutions for
the long term to be developed as technology advances.

The splitting of an atom releases energy in the forms of both heat and light.
Atomic power plants control the fission reactions so that they don't result in
the devastating explosions that are brought forth in atomic and hydrogen bombs.
There is no chance of an atomic power plant exploding like a nuclear bomb, as
the specialized conditions and the pure Plutonium used to unleash an atomic
bomb's vicious force simply don't exist inside a nuclear power plant. The risk
of a "meltdown" is very low. Although this latter event has happened a couple
of times, when one considers that there are over 430 nuclear reactors spread
out across 33 nations, and that nuclear reactors have been in use since the
early 1950s, these are rare occurrences, and the events of that nature which
have taken place were the fault of outdated materials which should have been
properly kept up. Indeed, if nuclear energy could become a more widely accepted
form of alternative energy, there would be little question of their upkeep being
maintained. Currently, six states in America generate more than half of all
their electrical energy needs through nuclear power, and the media are not
filled with gruesome horror stories of the power plants constantly having

An Energy Alternative: Free Energy

There has been much debate about what is often called "free" energy -- energy that
can supposedly, with the right technology, be drawn straight out of the
atmosphere, and in very abundant supply. The debates are about whether the
stuff actually exists or not, what it would actually cost were it to be
harnessed, and if it does exist is it truly as abundant and efficient as it's
being made out to be by proponents of research and development into this
potential alternative energy source.

When one hears the phrase "free energy device", one might be hearing about one
of several different concepts. This might mean a device for collecting and
transmitting energy from some source that orthodox science does not recognize;
a device which collects energy at absolutely no cost; or an example of the
legendary perpetual motion machine. Needless to say, a perpetual motion
machine -- a machine which drives itself, forever, once turned on, therefore
needing no energy input ever again and never running out of energy -- is
impossible. However, it is not so simple to say that a new technology for
harnessing the energy "floating" in the atmosphere is impossible. New
technologies replace old ones all the time with abilities that had just been
"impossible". Harnessing the power of the atom for providing huge amounts of
energy was "impossible" until the 1940s. Flying human beings were an
"impossible" thing until the turn of the 20th century and the Wright Brothers'

The biggest claim of the proponents of "free" energy is that enormous amounts
of energy can be drawn from the Zero Point Field. This is a quantum mechanical
state of matter for a defined system which is attained when the system is at
the lowest possible energy state that it can be in. This is called the "ground
state" of the system. Zero Point Energy (ZPE) is sometimes referred to as
"residual" energy and it was first proposed to be usable as an alternative form
of energy way back in 1913 by Otto Stern and Albert Einstein. It is also
referred to as "vacuum energy" in studies of quantum mechanics, and it is
supposed to represent the energy of totally empty space. This energy field
within the vacuum has been likened to the froth at the base of a waterfall by
one of the principal researchers into and proponents of Hal Puthof. Puthof also
explains, the term 'zero-point' simply means that if the universe were cooled
down to absolute zero where all thermal agitation effects would be frozen out,
this energy would still remain. What is not as well known, however, even among
practicing physicists, are all the implications that derive from this known
aspect o quantum physics. However, there are a group of physicists -- myself and
colleagues at several research labs and universities -- who are examining the
details, we ask such questions as whether it might be possible to 'mine' this
reservoir of energy for use as an alternative energy source, or whether this
background energy field might be responsible for inertia and gravity. These
questions are of interest because it is known that this energy can be
manipulated, and therefore there is the possibility that the control of this
energy, and possibly inertia and gravity, might yield to engineering solutions.
Some progress has been made in a subcategory of this field (cavity quantum
electrodynamics) with regard to controlling the emission rates of excited atoms
and molecules, of interest in laser research and elsewhere.

Biofuels as Alternative Sources of Energy

Biofuels are produced by converting organic matter into fuel for powering our
society. These biofuels are an alternative energy source to the fossil fuels
that we currently depend upon. The biofuels umbrella includes under its aegis
ethanol and derivatives of plants such as sugar cane, as well aS vegetable and
corn oils. However, not all ethanol products are designed to be used as a kind
of gasoline. The International Energy Agency (IEA) tells us that ethanol could
comprise up to 10 percent of the world's usable gasoline by 2025, and up to 30
percent by 2050. Today, the percentage figure is two percent.

However, we have a long way to go to refine and make economic and practical
these biofuels that we are researching. A study by Oregon State University
proves this. We have yet to develop biofuels that are as energy efficient as
gasoline made from petroleum. Energy efficiency is the measure of how much
usable energy for our needed purposes is derived from a certain amount of input
energy. (Nothing that mankind has ever used has derived more energy from output
than from what the needed input was. What has always been important is the
conversion -- the end-product energy is what is useful for our needs, while the
input energy is just the effort it takes to produce the end-product.) The OSU
study found corn-derived ethanol to be only 20% energy efficient (gasoline made
from petroleum is 75% energy efficient). Biodiesel fuel was recorded at 69%
energy efficiency. However, the study did turn up one positive:
cellulose-derived ethanol was charted at 85% efficiency, which is even higher
than that of the fantastically efficient nuclear energy.

Recently, oil futures have been down on the New York Stock Exchange, as
analysts from several different countries are predicting a surge in biofuel
availability which would offset the value of oil, dropping crude oil prices on
the international market to $40 per barrel or thereabouts. The Chicago Stock
Exchange has a grain futures market which is starting to "steal" investment
activity away from the oil futures in NY, as investors are definitely expecting
better profitability to start coming from biofuels. Indeed, it is predicted by a
consensus of analysts that biofuels shall be supplying seven percent of the
entire world's transportation fuels by the year 2030. One certain energy
markets analyst has said, growth in demand for diesel and gasoline may slow
down dramatically, if the government subsidizes firms distributing biofuels and
further pushes to promote the use of eco-friendly fuel.

There are several nations which are seriously involved in the development of

There is Brazil, which happens to be the world's biggest producer of ethanols
derived from sugars. It produces approximately three and a half billion gallons
of ethanol per year.

The United States, while being the world's greatest oil-guzzler, is already the
second largest producer of biofuels behind Brazil.

The European Union's biodiesel production capacity is now in excess of four
million (British) tonnes. 80 percent of the EU's biodiesel fuels are derived
from rapeseed oil; soybean oil and a marginal quantity of palm oil comprise the
other 20 percent.

Alternative Energy and Nuclear Energy

If you have no other reason to find alternative forms of energy, then you
should do it for the extra cash. You will find that there are many ways for you
to find renewable resources like the wind, water, and sun, to put a little bit
of extra money into your bank account. You will find that this has been
supported by a thorough research. You will be able to make the money, but also
be happy knowing that you are able to help the economy. If you are able to rely
less on the natural resources of oil, gas, and coal you will be able to find
nuclear power. You will find many advantages of nature, but you can find other
natural ways to help power energy.

You will want to use some alternative energy for your home or business so that
you can be able to lower your heating and electrical bills. Because you are
forced to use less electricity from major power plants, generating your own
through the use of do-it-yourself kits in your home or professional installed
devices in your business or office can save you a bundle. You may find a lot of
start up fees and maintain fees, but you will be able to use the resources and
soon they will begin to pay off. You can use alternative energy for lighting,
heating, and a variety of other electrical needs. Research this topic further
to find out if alternative energy sources in your home are right for you.

For those in the Midwest, alternative resources are plentiful. As wind
technology is being researched further, the government and other organizations
need land on which to build windmills. When it comes to the windmills, you will
find that the government will pay for you to rent them the land and youÕll be
able to use most of your other land, since they donÕt take much of your land up.

Windmills are just one of the many projects that the government is funding,
however, you will find that the electric companies and other resource companies
are starting to come up with their own plans as well. Overall, this is good for
the community. Not only is the environment healthier, but you have more jobs
available for everyone in the community, and better electricity options at a
lower cost. Did you know that for every windmill that is made, there are two or
three jobs created to maintain them? This can benefit the lower classes greatly.

However, you will want to use these alternative energies so that you can put
some money into your pockets, but so that you can help do a greater good for
the community. You will find that by supporting this research or development,
you will be able to make a better future for all Americans. You will want to
learn more about this alternative energy options and you will also want to
contact your local government so that you can show them your support.

Alternative Energy and Taking Action

Since you are an American citizen, you may have the right to some energy
options and giving your opinion in the matter. Your opinion doesnÕt mean
anything if you do not vocalize your feelings and take some action. You will
find that there are many supporting alternative energies that will make a
difference. There are many steps that you will need to do to get involved with
alternative energy endorsements and you may find that youÕre going to have to
voice your opinion all of the country. You will want to show your support by
helping to clean up your environment and by setting a good example with your
children and the community by caring for the environment.

You will want to make sure that you support the alternative energies by wanting
to use it and fighting to get it available to you. The easiest way to support
alternative energy is to use it. While this is not possible on large scales for
everyone, alternative energy inarguably begins in the homeÑwhat good is it to be
vocally against the use of oil if you use gallons of it everyday without giving
it a second thought? Also, when it comes to building you will want to make sure
that you think green. When you build environmental friendly, think about using
installation, but also building with the environment in mind. If you cannot run
your home purely on alternative energy, consider using alternative energy for
part of your energy supply. Small home kits are available to produce solar,
water, and wind power for some of your homeÕs appliances.

You may also want to think about just using less energy. Like, you can use the
sun to dry your clothing in the summer so that you can save some energy and
help the environment. Take advantage of light from the sun and do work and
reading outside instead of having the lights in your home turn on all day. You
will also want to replace any bad windows that might not be sealed right and
you will want to do your best to use instillation in your home so that you
donÕt have heat and such leaving your home. All of these steps are simply the
beginning in a campaign to support alternative energy.

Right now you will want to get information about the alternative energy sources
so that you can make good decisions.. To do this, you can spend time at your
local library or research the subjects online. As for the government, you will
find that the federal governmentÕs department of Energy will give you a all the
knowledge that you have to have to make good decisions about alternative energy.
You need to take advantage of their easy-to-use website or the literature they
publish. You can also subscribe to energy magazines to stay up-to-date on the
latest news and events in the alternative energy world.

You will want to join some of the local organizations that support the
alternative fuels. You will find that there are some communities that have
groups getting involved so that the government begins to take them serious for
their need of alternative fuels. The cause for the alternative energy is simply
so that you donÕt rely on the fossil fuels, which is depleting. You will want to
get involved so that there is a solid plan for the future.
Healthier World: and Solar Designs

Solar energy happens to be designed to be used as a comfortable way of getting
the right temperatures and light levels through an active solar design. You
will find that the passive solar design is where the sunlight is entered into
cold conditions and it then is maximized and enters hot weather to be reduced.
The use of solar panels and the passive solar energy is where you are able to
get natural sunlight to interact or become generated with energy without the
use of mechanical systems doing all the work.

Passive solar design generally focuses on managing heat gains through the sunÕs
daily and annual cycles to reduce the operational energy and costs of heating
and cooling the air in the building. Human thermal comfort is similar, however,
it is one part of a thermally efficient building design, but passive solar
design is not related to factors of ventilation and other building concepts
that is usually taken into consideration.

When it comes to passive solar design, there are many systematic ways. The
first is simply pragmatic thinking. A house can easily achieve 30 percent or
better cost reductions in heating expense without making obvious changes to its
appearance, comfort or usability. This can be achieved using good sitting and
window positioning, small amounts of thermal mass with good but conventional
insulation, and occasional extra heat from a central radiator connected to a
water heater. You will find that the sunray that touches the walls of your home
during the day will help you to generate heat in the evening.

Another passive solar design is known as annualized passive solar. Recent
research has developed techniques that capture warm-season solar heat, convey
it to storage mass and still have heat available six months later, during the
colder seasons. There are possible ways for you to use the technique; however,
you will find that if you bury waterproof insulation near the foundation of
your home, you will then burry loops of ducts or pipes under the foundation
slabs. The insulation will help prevent you from heat leaks when it comes to
the weather or water.

You will find that passive solar technology, right now, cannot run your home
entirely. You will see that the system will help you to create a better way of
living in an environment conscious. When it comes to the green house you will
find that it is needed to the alternative energy production. Passive solar
design is a great place for you to start thinking about these types of
technologies and if they are right for you and your home. This is the time
where you will want to do further research on a topic. This is going to take a
lot of work and time, but there are benefits that you will find from passive
solar design in the home. You will find that the benefits will not pollute the
environment and making it a better place for your family, yourself, and the
future of society.

How safe is nuclear power?

Nuclear power is an alternative way of using fossil fuels and it is something
that many countries are researching. You will find that nuclear power plants
are spread through out most major countries and that the governments are
actually trying to stop the spreading of these plants, simply because of the
danger that bring in the cases of nuclear accidents. A nuclear accident could
end up destroying a large area of the country and eventually the world.
However, you will find that the nuclear power is mostly safe for the general
public, including the public that fears nuclear plants. You will want to learn
the process of nuclear power so that you can raise awareness about all of the
benefits of the power, but become known and familiar with the disadvantages of
nuclear power. With this knowledge the community can take a stand against
nuclear power.

Uranium is the start of nuclear power. Over 99% of the uranium that is found in
the earth cannot be used to create nuclear power. However, with that 99% is some
that could be used for your advantage. Nuclear power works in much of the same
way that burning fossil fuels work. Heat is created in a process known as
fission, and this heat is used to create steam. You might find that the steam
is expanded and that is what turns the turbines, but then that will keep the
generator going. Then the generator will produce electricity that will come in
your homes across the country. The only difference in the process is the
initial source of heat.

When uranium rods are placed into a reactor you will get fission. Neutrons are
sent to smash into the uranium, and the nucleus of the uranium atoms split in
half. This chemical reaction causes heat, which is picked up by carbon dioxide
that has been pumped into the reactor. This process is safer than most people
think. When the reactor gets too hot or over heated, you will find that a fire
is caused and then uranium is let into the environment. However, cooling rods,
made of boron, can be used to quickly stop the nuclear reaction process. If the
reactor gets too hot, boron rods are lowered into it with a special crane, and
the boron absorbs the neutrons. In the case of human error, a backup system is
set into place in which boron rods are automatically lowered into the reactor.
Also, you should also find that the reactor can become to be flooded with
nitrogen and water is the reactor is still too hot. This permanently damages
the reactor, so it is a last resort, but it is an automated system that
prevents disaster.

You should learn both the advantages and the disadvantages for nuclear power
before you make a judgment on rather it is good for you or not. You will find
that there is a lot of use, but there are lots of risks too. This form of
energy needs to be pursued with caution.

Hydrogen Energy

Hydrogen is abundant on earth and is found when combined with other elements
that will help form chemical compounds like water or H2O. By using the power of
hydrogen you will be able to form energy that can be renewable, but also that is
healthy for everyone and Earth in general. You will find that this technology is
something that NASA has been using for years, but has also researched for the
better good of everyday life.

Hydrogen energy is stored in the form of fuel cells. The fuel cells happen to
be what powers all of the spaceships during their take off. Because hydrogen is
not found naturally by itself, the first step to building a fuel cell is to
remove the hydrogen from a compound. You may not know this, but Hydrogen is
many things other than water; such as, natural gas; a substance that is often
used in hydrogen energy. Hydrogen energy is where you are reforming to use heat
in order to separate hydrogen and natural gas. When water is used, a similar
process, called electrolysis, is used to separate the hydrogen and oxygen with
an electrical current. The result of each of these processes is more energy, in
the form of hydrogen, than is used in the process itself.

This type of energy has been researched since it is considered to be pure
power. An engine that uses hydrogen produces almost no pollution, making it
much preferred over fossil fuels. In the space shuttle example, for instance,
the byproduct of burning hydrogen to power lift-off is purified water, which
the astronauts than can drink. Therefore, using hydrogen power is not only
clean, but also useful. You can compare fuel cells to batteries, since they are
alike, however, with the fuel cells you will never lose your charge and it will
work until all of the hydrogen is cut off. Inside the cell, oxygen is combined
with hydrogen, and the chemical process that produces water gives off heat and
electricity. The water can then be broken into hydrogen and oxygen once again,
and the process starts all over again.

As for the future you will find that there are some scientists that have
predicted that these fuel cells will become popular in use. Today, they still
happen to be working on making this method convenient and something that can
become convenient After this process has been critiqued to be cost effective,
you will find that hydro will become the solution to all of the worldÕs
problems. You will find that this process will be renewable and clean for the

Learning about Solar Lighting

Did you know that solar power has two ways to reach the earth? You can use heat
and light to have solar power. When it comes to solar cells and other sources,
you will find that there is a way for you to collect heat to produce
electricity, but most of the time it is overlooked completely. When it comes to
the history of America, the sun light was what many would depend on to light
their homes and business during the day. Lamp oil and electricity use to be
very expensive and possibly unavailable. Today, there is a movement to get back
to the solar power and to use it to provide light for the indoors, and with the
help of new technology, it is becoming possible.

Fiber optics and other lighting sources that use the sun became popular as
America became more interested in renewable energy and saving the environment.
Today, there are researches and labs that are looking to have a new form of
sunlight that is called Hybrid solar lighting or HSL. This technology uses
sunlight to light spaces naturally as well as to create electricity for
lighting sources. Scientists happen to still be developing the idea of HSL, but
it looks as if it can be a very profitable and efficient way of using solar
energy collections.

HSL technology works by using a special device to direct sunlight into optical
cables. The infrared light, normally wasted in this process, is then collected
and turned into electricity. These cables are able to deliver the sunlight to
the lighting fixtures that happen to be throughout the building so that they
are able to use less electricity. The cables deliver that sunlight to lighting
fixtures throughout the building, so they use less electricity. HSL technology
may be used in two ways in the future. When it comes to the aforementioned
procedure, you will find that lighting in this manner will be used to cut back
on the amount of electricity that can be used in a commercial building. Special
sensors would adjust the amount of electricity used depending on how much light
is gathered from the sun at any given time. Then the second way for HSL
technology is the use of power plants.. By collecting sunlight energy on a
large scale, power plants can use this form of renewable energy to replace
fossil fuels. Only after the electricity has been created can it be sent to
your home the way that you have electricity now.

When it comes to solar lighting energy, you will find that there is efficient
using the HSL technique so that there isnÕt any waste in the sunÕs power. You
will find that the visible light that is directed completely for the use of
lighting is infrared light that may end up being wasted, but instead is
converted into electricity. There are alternative energies like this that can
be renewable and less inexpensive. You will find that the research in fossil
fuels will become limited. They are also good for the environment and is
natural, so there are no harmful side effects on the environment. The
sunlightÕs energy is just one of the ways that you can make the future seem

Power Tidal Energy

Did you know that tides could be a large source of energy and provide energy to
some of the worldÕs largest countries. You will find that there is a lot of
advantages and disadvantages to using the tidal energy system. By researching
the topic of power, you can help benefit your community and find an alternative
form of energy.

There are less than 25 sites in the world that are capable of producing tidal
energy. Because of the opposition of so many communities, there are not plants
built to research and discover the use of tidal waves in energy. However, as
the worldÕs nonrenewable energy sources begin to run out, tidal power could
become very important for us to consider. By building barrages and dams across
some of the rivers, you will be able to find that it will allow the tide to ebb
and flow. As the water moves through the relatively small pipes, the power of
the movement pushes turbines, which run huge electrical generators. However,
this process will end up changing the ecosystem greatly because it will create
dams of water. Changes in the ecosystem provide the main fuel for opponents of
tidal barrages. Animals like certain birds, fish, and other species could end
up becoming extinct for miles and miles. However, barrages could also help
protect the shoreline from floods and storms. They also do not pollute the
environment with chemicals or greenhouse gasses the way fossil fuels do.

The great thing about tidal power is that you will be able to predict it and
come to rely on it. Because the tide ebbs and flows at certain times of the
day, operators know exactly how much power will be generated and when. When it
comes to time, it lacks the power. A tidal power plan is where electric can be
generated for ten hours a day, but it can be completely free when the barrages
are built. They require little upkeep and no fuel or energy to run. Overall, it
is a very dependable and consistent source of energy.

You should know that there is more searches needed for the tidal power to
become efficient. Because you are limited in the number of sites that there can
be plants and you will find that it is not something that could have be a
powerful energy source. However, it can be free and the power source is
renewable. It could make a good alternative to fossil fuels, but the effects
that it can have on the ecosystem will have to be taken in consideration and it
may only be a good option for many countries.

Sea waters create energy

Tidal power is just one of the alternative energies that the major companies
are using to replace the fossil fuels and nuclear power. It is just a way that
you can generate electricity from the water of the oceans. You will also find
that people call this thermal energy conversion. The eclectic companies are
trying to use things like the ocean waterÕs temperature, but this theory is
still beginning developed.

The ocean thermal energy conversion is still being studied and it is a very
expensive process, however, once it is cost effective, you could find that it
will be a top way of producing the worldÕs energy. There are plants for
converting this energy on the shores, but then they are often found floating in
the ocean or on the ocean shelves (which are not far from the land).

The basis of the idea is to use a large water intake pipe to pull very cold
ocean water from a mile or more below the surface to the top of the ocean. Warm
surface water is used to make a liquid with a low boiling point turn into steam,
which expands to turn a generator. Then, the very cold seawater is pumped
through, turning the vapor back into liquid so the process can happen all over
again. As the water is then returned to the sea, you will notice that it is
environmentally friendly and that the process itself is easy.

By placing the warm seawater into a low-pressurized container, it will begin to
boil and then create a form of energy. This is known as the open-cycle system.
As with the aforementioned procedure, it is easy and good for the environment.
However, since the 1980Õs the process has been studied and improved and the
recent studies have proven that it can be over 95% efficient.

As for the process of converting, you will find that the seawaterÕs temperature
difference into energy is a new method when it comes to all the research. You
will find that there are power plants that are devoting more time and money to
try to be safer for the environment and use fewer pollutants. You will find
that the seawater method is being the focal point of the energy research
project. However, like solar and geothermal power, it is also renewable and
there are companies that want to produce the electricity in hopes of survival.
You can turn to sources other than the fossil fuels to have the perfect energy
opportunities. For those who live hear the ocean, they will be able to find the
conversion to be the type of power that you can live with and enjoy while
supporting the best for the environment.

Sunbeams as Alternative Energy

Solar happens to be the most talked about concept of alternative energy. It is
a concept that uses panels to collect all of heart from the sun and then it is
converted into energy to help give you energy for your home, car, business, and
even the future. You will want to make sure that you take solar power seriously
and that you and all of the others get updated. It is the modern times and
there are modern ways to approach things like energy. You will want to help the
world by causing the energy sources to give off fewer pollutants and help
preserve the Earth for future generations. By researching you will want to
makes sure that you take solar power into consideration by doing all of the
research and learning the advantages of this alternative fuel option.

You or others in your community more than likely use solar power without even
realizing it. If you own a swimming pool, the solar cover you use to cover it
when it is not in use is a form of solar energy. The solar covers will help
collect the rays from the sun and then transfer them to the water while keeping
the pool at a warmer temperature. This way you do not need to use an electrical
heating source to warm your pool. Although this is not an overall efficient way
of collecting the sunÕs heat as energy, it is the basic concept.

Did you know that the sun provides more energy that you use in a year in just
one day? The trick is learning to efficiently harness this energy for our use.
You can now buy solar panels to help heat your home. Well you can either use a
similar method to that of the pool method, or you can use the converting of the
heat energy to power your home. New and more efficient products are being
developed every day to help you do this.

Overall, it is important that you consider solar power and all of its options
for the building or remodeling of a home. When it comes to the sun, there isnÕt
any major pollution that you should worry about. The sun is one source that we
are going to have years to come. It is going to last longer when all the others
sources have become unavailable. You will find that there is a lot of solar
powered research and it is the most luckily future power source. You will see
solar powered cars, houses, offices, and so much more. If you live in a hot and
sunny climate, you will find that these solar panels are going to be the most
efficient for you and your area.

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