8 Not-so-Popular Renewable Energy Ideas
By now we’ve already established that we need an alternative to coal and oil, because we simply just can’t go on damaging the environment at the current rate. It’s not just the environment either; if we don’t change willingly we’ll soon be forced to change, as we’re about to exhaust our supplies. The Earth doesn’t have unlimited natural resources for us to burn up, so we need to change to an energy production method that won’t run out, if we hope to grow and develop even quicker in the future and let the population expand. We’re all for the idea of renewable energy, but it all seems to cause a few conflicts; here are ten ideas that are proving a little unpopular…
What could be bad about wind turbines? They produce a lot of electricity, they eventually pay for themselves, and they use an unlimited, pollution-less natural resource; wind! Sadly, it’s the size, scale and shape of wind turbines that are causing the conflict. It seems not all wind farms are placed out on the ocean; some want to be placed in national parks and beautiful landscapes, and the locals of these areas aren’t too pleased.
Once a hydroelectric dam is built, it doesn’t need much maintenance, and due to the nature of rivers, the electricity flow is much more constant and predictable than wind power. Sadly, there are a few things for consideration when building a dam that may cause people to be opposed to it; water may become less oxygenated and more silted, and dams can disrupt the routes of aquatic wildlife.
This is a natural energy source that can be drawn from the environment, and though it looks very Frankenstein, there are working models in Switzerland. The strange thing about it, is that if you touch one of the smaller streams of electricity you may not feel any pain, but you will still receive tissue damage, and larger sources of radiant energy can be lethal if you are standing in the wrong place. Even a small mistake with the primary circuit when building one of these devices can lead to things going very wrong!
Geothermal power is a carbon neutral, inexhaustible source of power, and it’s even backed by tech giants Google; but people still worry about the dangers of Geothermal plants. It’s primarily because to access the heart source, they need to drill deep into the earth, and this can sometimes cause dangerous earthquakes.
Biomass is living or recently dead biological material, it is burnt to help produce electricity, and we can even obtain it from agricultural waste, so we’ll never run out. However, some fields are taken up by crops for biomass, which means that space can’t be used for food production, and in some cases biomass plants can cause pollution from the burning materials.
It’s popular because it doesn’t produce the emissions of other methods; countries like France who use a lot of nuclear energy have some of the cleanest air of any industrialised country. However, this method produces nuclear waste, which is dangerous and damaging to the environment, and it needs to be stored or disposed of. Most people aren’t happy knowing there’s nuclear waste under the ground near their homes!
Biogas from Cows
We’ve all heard a lot about cows producing so much methane that they are actually contributors to global warming, however, did you know that all those smelly emissions can actually be an amazing source of renewable energy? Scientists have developed a method for obtaining biogas from cow excrement, and tests have proven that the animals can produce up to 1000 litres of gas a day! The idea isn’t perfect yet, but scientists are working on developing it. So why is it so unpopular? Well, because it’s not the most pleasant smell really…
This is the process of burning landfill matter to produce fuels, electricity and heat. Some argue that it is essential, as not only does it produce a renewable source of energy, but it also reduces methane gas emissions from land fill sites and efficiently uses waste products. However, you need a considerable amount of landfill to produce the same amount of energy as burning fossil fuels, and regeneration plants have to be constantly relocated when supplies are exhausted.
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