So far this month on the Parker & Sons blog, we have been talking a lot about electricity, power, and energy efficiency, all very important topics for both homeowner and renters. As ubiquitous as electricity isand as often as we use it, have you ever stopped to think, “where does electricity come from?” We spend almost our entire life surrounded by electricity. It is constantly humming around us, in the walls of our homes and business, and even through the air above us in massive power lines. Finally, what are some alternatives to standard energy sources?
Primary Energy Sources
Humans are an endlessly creative, brilliant, and constructive bunch. We have come up with a few different primary sources for energy. Exactly how your electricity is produced depends on where you live. Most electricity is generatedby nuclear power or by burning fossil fuels. Power plants burn coal, oil, and natural gas to turn turbines and generate electricity. Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to split atoms, harnessing the released energy to create heat and electricity. Each of these methods of generating power comes with benefits and drawbacks.
Alternative Energy Sources
Of course, just because we have been doing something one way for a very long time (burning fossil fuels to produce electricity), doesn’t mean that we have accepted that this is the best way to do things! Fossil fuels, in particular, have their drawback. There is a limited supply of fossil fuels on the planet Earth and burning the produces pollution. Hydro/wind power, solar power, and geothermal power are all effective, renewable alternative energy sources. Wind/water can be used to turn turbines and created electricity. The sun’s rays can be harnessed in photovoltaic panels to produce electrics. And finally, energy can be generated by harnessing the incredible heat inside the surface of the Earth to create electricity.