Sunday, June 7, 2009

ALTERNATE ENERGY SOURCES

Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels.The increased power demand, skyrocketting fuel prices,depleting fossil fuel resources and growing environmental pollution have led the world to think seriously for other alternative sources of energy. Basic concept of alternative energy relates to issues of sustainability, renewability and pollution reduction. In reality alternative energy means anything other than deriving energy via fossil fuel combustion.Various forms of alternative energy sources are solar, wind, biogas/biomass, tidal, geothermal, fuel cell, hydrogen energy, small hydropower,geo thermal energy etc.
Due to limited oil reserves, India has to depend on substantial imports for meeting its present and future requirement. The bulk of demand for oil is from transport sector and in order to reduce the pressure from this sector it is necessary to explore possibilities of developing substitute fuels like biomass and producer gas.
BENEFITS OF ALTERNATIVE ENERGY OPTIONS:

  • Renewable and environment friendly
  • Provides sustainable fuel system
  • Has the potentials to reduce India's high fuel import cost and thus reduce foreign debt
  • Provides local employment opportunities
  • Low cost energy supply
Solar Energy:Most popular alternate energy source.Solar cells,solar ponds,solar cookers are the devices to trap solar energy.Solar photo voltaic system which uses solar cells to convert solar energy into electrical energy is the most promising and progressive source of it.

Wind energy:It is in the form of kinetic energy.A blade of windmill is moved by blowing winds and can be exploited for doing work.Theoretically around 60% of wind energy can be converted into other forms of energy. Suzlon, an Indian-owned company, emerged on the global scene in the past decade, and by 2006 had captured almost 8 percent of market share in global wind turbine sales.
Geothermal energy:It is also a potential source of energy.However the inner heat of the earth is not available every where which can be commercially exploited.In India, Godavari delta,Pegu valley are the potential sites for such energy.
BioFuel:The popularity of bio fuel is increasing everyday.Plants like Jatropha,Pongomia are being cultivated for such energy.The sugarcane extracts are also being used for this purpose.
Tidal Energy:By using turbine the kinetic energy of tides can be converted into electrical energy.It is popular in the coastal regions.
Importance of Biodiesel
• Environment friendly
• Clean burning
• Renewable fuel
• No engine modification
• Increase in Engine life
• Biodegradable & non toxic
• Easy to handle and store
Biomass energy:It utilizes waste materials and excreta to convert into energy.However due to lack of processing facilities the potential in this sector is still underutilized.

These sorces of alternative enrgy promise a new horizon in sustainable matter and with proper utilization of the available resources, our fuel crisis can be tackled.


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