Alternative Energy Tips

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How can I replace my use of fossil fuels with alternative fuels?

Alternative Fuels.

There are numerous alternative fuels on the market from hydrogen fuel to biodiesel. Biodiesel is made from biological ingredients such as corn, soybeans or animal fats instead of fossil fuels. It can be used in many diesel vehicles without any changes to their current fuel system.

Hydrogen fuel is considered to be the perfect fuel by many because the hydrogen is consumed by a pollution-free chemical reaction in the fuel cell. Hydrogen is also the most abundant element in the universe so it seems that there would never be a shortage. Hybrid vehicles are another option for a works on some type of renewable energy, and many of us have owned some type of hybrid vehicle, such as a moped. Hybrid cars are any vehicle that combines two or more sources of power such as gasoline and electric. By replacing some of the fossil fuels we currently use, such as gasoline or diesel, with alternative fuels such as biodiesel or hydrogen fuel, we can impact global warming for the better. Alternative fuels significantly cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

While it is true that more than just our vehicles play into this, such as where the fuel was manufactured and what renewable energy resources they used to make the fuel, using alternative fuels is a starting point. Eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels is essential to our future. Alternative fuels are an environmentally friendly way to begin. There are numerous makes and models of vehicles on the market that take advantage of these new renewable fuel options.

How does wind power work?

Wind Power.

Wind power is one of the oldest forms of electricity generation known to man. As early as 200 B.C. wind power was being used by the Persians to grind their grains and has been the fastest growing segment of renewable energy sources in the United States since 1990. Wind power is the conversion of wind into electricity. Wind is converted into electricity when the blades of a windmill begin to spin which causes the shaft of the windmill to spin. This shaft is connected to a generator which has a wind turbine in it that converts energy to electricity. The electricity is then sent through transmission and distribution lines to a substation and then on to its destination.

There are numerous wind farms throughout the United States currently and more being built. Wind power can help reduce or even eliminate ones current electricity usage, however it takes more than one windmill to accomplish this task. Wind power is a clean, renewable energy source. When considering renewable energy sources sometimes using two renewable sources together, such as wind power and solar panels, these can provide the greatest satisfaction. As with solar energy, wind energy can be sold back to electrical companies. Wind power is great for windy locations, or as an alternative to solar panels where it is not sunny, however it is important to remember that if you are in a location where you seldom get wind this would not be a good option for you. Today, many large utility companies and manufacturing plants are putting up large wind farms, which is great news for consumers. Someday soon, using wind power will not mean having a wind farm on your property.

How is renewable energy beneficial to mankind?

Renewable Energy Sources.

Renewable energy sources are valuable to the environment, offer health benefits, economic benefits and even educational benefits. The benefits of solar energy are the same as those of renewable energy sources. Solar panels generate heat, light and electricity. Solar energy provides numerous economic benefits such as superior lighting at no cost because instead of using artificial lighting you use the natural light from the sun. The use of solar panels allows locations where there is not electricity to benefit from solar energy. The environmental benefits of solar energy include air pollution reduction, a reduction in non-renewable energy reliance, and helps offset greenhouse gases. Solar heating, while doing all of the above also has health benefits. Solar heating helps reduce kerosene fires because there is no need for kerosene to be stored for heating purposes, it improves the indoor air quality, especially if the family had been using kerosene previously for heating and increases the quality of health at facilities that use solar energy because of the effects of brighter lighting.

In rural communities the benefits of solar energy also lead to better education opportunities because it allows evening classes to be held. Solar energy also gives people a chance to read and study after dark and facilitates wireless data and telephone communications. Solar energy, which relies on the sun for power, is just one of many renewable energy sources that are readily available today for home and business consumers to use in place of non-renewable energy resources. Learning to use renewable energy sources today will make for a better tomorrow.

How can I afford to live off-grid?

Off-Grid Living Requires a Different Mindset

Have you researched the technical aspects of off-grid living, only to become discouraged when you realized how much it would cost to generate the amount of electricity you're accustomed to using?

If you have an interest in off-grid living, start asking yourself what electrical appliances you could do without. Jettison every device in your house that generates heat for starters. Irons, toasters, clothes dryers, microwaves -- they're exorbitant to to support on an off-grid system. Then downsize your entertainment needs, and start thinking about things (like dish washing and sweeping) that you can easily do by hand.

It helps to make a list of what your basic physical requirements are. You begin with oxygen and water, then warmth and shelter and food, light and transportation and sanitation and entertainment. Of course, you can keep adding categories -- but the point is to actually stop and think about life's true necessities, separating what you genuinely need from what you're merely accustomed to.

Successful off-grid living does require investment: not only in an electrical system, but also in a changed set of lifestyle expectations.

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Lynne Christen