What is the need for non-conventional energy?
Energy consumption is increasing every day, and we rely on fossil fuels or conventional energy sources (coal, petroleum, etc.) for our energy needs rather than non-traditional energy sources. If we continue to use fossil fuels at this rate, they will be fully exhausted in the next few hundred years, and their price will skyrocket. As a result, we must rely more on renewable (non-conventional) energy sources while maximizing the use of non-renewable (conventional) energy sources. The Indian government also established a separate department to effectively harness non-conventional (renewable) energy sources.
Here is a list of some of the most important non-traditional sources, along with a full description of each.
1. Wind Energy
Wind energy is the energy obtained from the wind. Wind can be harnessed by transforming its kinetic energy into mechanical energy, as in a windmill. Wind energy was employed to drive ships in ancient times. Today, wind energy is used for a variety of applications, including electricity generation, in which the kinetic energy of the wind is used to propel a wind turbine, a device that generates electricity using wind energy. The blades of a turbine are moved by the wind and are attached to a rotor, which spins a generator to generate power.
- It is a form of renewable energy that can be used in a variety of ways.
- It does not damage the air or contribute to global warming because it emits no toxic gases.
- It requires less ground surface, and the space between windmills can be used for agriculture, horticulture, and other uses.
- A windmill requires a specific location to be installed, and it can only be installed where there are significant winds.
- Its repair and maintenance are both expensive and difficult.
- Storms and cyclones can cause significant damage.
- Wind farms are scattered around the country, distant from the towns where electricity is needed.
- Local wildlife may be harmed by wind farms, and turbines may generate noise pollution.
2. Geothermal Energy
It is the energy derived from the heat generated deep within the Earth. It can be found in the rocks and fluids beneath the Earth's surface. This heat is also produced by magma, a hot molten rock. This heat source beneath the ground can be used to generate energy, such as electricity.
- It is both free and widely distributed.
- It is an infinite source of renewable energy with a lifespan of 4 billion years. It is non-polluting because, unlike fossil fuels, it does not emit any toxic gases. Furthermore, no residue or by-products are left behind.
- Its utilization creates jobs, because geothermal power plants require a huge number of both skilled and unskilled workers.
- It can be utilized right away. In frigid climates, for example, it is immediately utilized for melting ice on highways, heating dwellings, heating water for bathing or washing, and other reasons.
- It is difficult to transmit geothermal energy. It can only be utilized effectively in close proximity. Furthermore, it is possible that toxic substances will be released into the atmosphere during transmission.
- Installation of geothermal power plants is extremely costly, as it necessitates significant capital expenditures in terms of machinery and labor.
- Before constructing a geothermal power plant, extensive research is required. Because of the erratic intake water supply, the subsurface site may run out of heat over time due to a drop in temperature.
- Drilling to reach far beneath the earth's surface may send hazardous chemicals into the environment, affecting the health of personnel working in the project.
It is both free and widely distributed. It is an infinite source of renewable energy with a lifespan of 4 billion years.
It is non-polluting because, unlike fossil fuels, it does not emit any toxic gases. Furthermore, no residue or by-products are left behind.
Its utilisation creates jobs, because geothermal power plants require a huge number of both skilled and unskilled workers.
It can be utilised right away. In frigid climates, for example, it is immediately utilised for melting ice on highways, heating dwellings, heating water for bathing or washing, and other reasons.
3. Tidal Energy
The renewable or non-conventional energy produced by the natural rise and fall of ocean tides is known as tidal energy. Tidal energy is produced by the flow of water during the tides.
The tides are caused by gravitational interactions between the Earth, the sun, and the moon. Tidal power plants transform the energy of the tides into electricity. These plants are located in places where the water is subjected to high waves and tides.
- Due to gravitational forces, the occurrence of tides is predictable and uniform. It is simply necessary to assess if the tide is high or low. As a result, efficient tidal energy generation systems are simple to construct.
- Tidal energy generation will become cheaper and more efficient as technology advances.
- It aids in the prevention of coastal floods. A tidal lagoon, for example, can withstand 1 in 500 storm surges and waves every year.
- The tidal lagoon's equipment and machinery survive longer and are more cost-effective than other non-conventional energy-based power stations' equipment.
- While generating electricity, tidal power plants do not emit greenhouse emissions.
- Because water is denser than air, tidal power plants can create a tremendous quantity of electricity.
- It also has some restrictions that prohibit it from fully exploiting tidal energy, such as the following:
- Construction of tidal power plants is now prohibitively expensive.
- It also has an impact on the environment, such as habitat alteration caused by tidal barrages.
- Repairing and maintaining a tidal power plant is not cheap or simple.
- Energy production is predictable, but not consistent.
4. Solar Energy
It is the energy we obtain from the sun that is our primary source of energy. The sun constantly emits a large amount of energy. Solar energy is frequently employed in solar plants, which transform solar energy into electrical energy or create electricity. Solar energy is required for life on Earth; for example, green plants require sunshine to manufacture their food through photosynthesis. It is clean energy since it does not pollute the environment and is abundantly available.
- It is used to heat water in solar heaters.
- Solar cells are devices that turn sunlight into electricity.
- The solar cooker, which is used to cook food, also generates heat using solar energy.
- Solar cells or panels require minimal upkeep and can last up to 25 years.
- They have the ability to store solar-generated electricity.
- It is critical for space missions because all spacecraft rely on solar power.
- Solar cells are made of silicon. Although abundant, premium quality silicon is extremely expensive, which drives up the cost of solar panel installation.
5. Biomass Energy
It's the energy that comes from living or extinct species. Plants, trees, animals, and other biomass sources are commonly used for energy. This energy can be transformed into electricity or burned to provide heat. Biomass is defined as organic material that contains carbon compounds and is derived from living organisms, such as trash and the dead remains of plants and animals.
Furthermore, the chemical composition of biomass varies depending on the species, although it typically contains 25% lignin and 75% carbs (sugars).
Biomass energy has been used since the dawn of time, when cavemen first used wood to make fire for cooking and warmth. Humans continue to cook using wood and livestock dung in modern times. It is, however, not environmentally friendly because it emits smoke and hazardous pollutants that pollute the environment.
- It generates energy from organic waste, such as fuels.
- It reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, potentially lengthening their useful life.
- Biomass energy production is incredibly cost-effective and requires little maintenance.
- It is environmentally favorable because when fossil fuels, such as biogas, are burned, no carbon is discharged into the atmosphere. When we burn bio-waste, however, carbon is created.
- It creates methane gas, which contributes to global warming and the greenhouse effect.
- It is ineffective in comparison to fossil fuels.
- Setting up a biogas plant necessitates more area.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.