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Sustainable Sources of Energy

sustainable energy - windHumans require energy to engage in normal activities in their daily lives. This includes traveling that is required to get to work or school, cooking food, construction of buildings, and the manufacturing of all the mundane products in use each day. Energy is needed to power the daily lives of the individuals who live throughout the world. The consumption of energy is growing every day and this means sustainable sources of energy are needed. Sustainable sources of energy are those that are renewable.


1. Water

The use of water for power has existed long before the invention of electricity. Water has been used for powering mills and other machinery located next to a river. Stream is a byproduct of water that is being used to generate electricity and has been used to power locomotives. The construction of dams in many countries around the world proves that water can be harnessed as a sustainable source of energy. A dam to hold back a river creates a reservoir. The water in the reservoir is sent through large pipes into a turbine to generate electricity that is stored in a battery or sent to the power grid.

2. Wind

The most plentiful and cleanest source of energy on the planet comes from wind. Wind power will turn the blades of a turbine to generate electricity. This electricity is used to power homes and any buildings connected to the power grid. Prior to the invention of power generating turbines energy was created by using a windmill. A windmill uses wind to pump water from the ground, power a grinding mill, and for many other applications. Today's windmills are capable of generating about two megawatts of energy.

3. Solar
Energy from the sun is being harnessed by using solar panels to store energy in batteries. Batteries will provide electrical power for various applications. Solar energy is a great way for a business and even a homeowner to be energy-efficient. One residential use for solar energy is for heating water. Panels will be set up to collect energy from the sun that is used to heat water in a tank. Another use of solar energy is to power lights and other mechanical devices. The lack of emissions means that solar energy will not harm the environment or consume natural resources.

4. Geothermal
This is a type of energy that comes from the heat of the earth. One common application for geothermal energy is for residential heat. Heat often in the form of steam is used to power a heat pump used with a furnace. Another application for geothermal heat is to turn underground steam into energy by using one or more turbines that generate electricity. Hot springs that are located all over the world are an example of natural geothermal energy at work.

5. Biomass
The material that is stored in landfills decomposes and creates a gas called methane. Methane gas from a landfill can be collected and used as a source of energy. Another type of biomass is the use of organic material to great ethanol and even biodiesel. Ethanol is a fuel being used as an alternative for powering cars and trucks. However, used cooking oil can be turned into a fuel called biodiesel. The energy converted from organic material is sustainable and also friendly to the environment.

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This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com. She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @ gmail.com.