Sources of Energy

Energy is inevitable for our life. We need energy to breathe, cook, light up our houses, keep warm and so on. The different sources of energy available on this planet are used to generate power. Although new sources are being discovered, none of them have reached the stage where they can be called efficient enough to power modern life.

The different sources of energy are mainly used to generate electricity. You need the electric power for the car you drive or the light you switch on. The main sources of energy are:

  • Clean energy (solar, water, wind, geothermal, biomass and nuclear)
  • Fossil energy (coal, oil and natural gas)
  • Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells
  • Hydroelectric Energy

Clean Energy

The clean energy revolution is catching up rapidly across the world. The industry generates billions of dollars in economic activity, and this wave is expected to remain high for the coming years. The developed and developing countries are making the best use of the economic opportunities offered by manufacturing and export of clean energy technologies.

Solar power uses sun’s energy using collector panels to turn that natural source into free electricity. Installing solar panels at homes, offices or even factories can help people save a lot of energy bills and create their own free electricity, as much as they want.

Wind energy generated through turbines is also used as a source of power to run generators to produce electricity. Geothermal energy is a form of sustainable, clean and environmentally friendly power created inside the earth’s crust. This energy can be used to rotate turbines to generate electricity. Water energy is also a useful source of energy as H20 contains two-thirds of hydrogen. When this is separated, it can be used as a fuel that can power vehicles, ships, homes, rockets, and industries.

Biomass energy is another potent source of clean energy formed from organic material. Chlorophyll found in plants uses sun’s energy to convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. Biomass is used for heating and cooking purposes at home. Nuclear energy is created through a specific chain of nuclear reactions, and it is used to run generators to produce electricity.

Fossil Fuel

When talking about different sources of energy, we usually refer to coal and oil as the most potent options available. They are basically a type of fossil fuel, created from prehistoric plants and animals that are dead and buried under layers of rock. Different types of fossil fuels are formed depending on the combination of organic material, how long they have been buried and under what conditions.

Fossil fuels are perhaps the widely used source of power and energy. Natural gas is the most common type of fossil fuel used for a plethora of heating applications and to power vehicles on the street. Oil is converted to a variety of products such as gasoline. Coal, on the other hand, is the most widely produced source of energy, used to generate a significant portion of world’s electricity.

Raw natural gas or oil cannot be used in its crude form to light up houses or cook food. They have to go through a treatment process known as oil and gas filtration. It is only after these forms of raw energy are treated, they become ready for domestic or commercial use.

Electric Power

The flow of electrical power is the secondary source of energy generated by the conversion of primary energy sources such as nuclear, fossil, wind or solar. The electric power is needed for economic vitality and everyday life. The Energy Department works to create a more reliable and resilient infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather conditions.

Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells

The Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells are capable of producing electricity from different types of domestic fuels such as hydrogen and other renewables. They are capable of running different types of applications and vehicles.  The Fuel Cell Technologies Office or FCTO emphasizes on innovation, development and applied research. The fuel cells are used for transportation and different types of applications used in emerging technologies and security systems.

Hydroelectric Energy

Several cities and town around the world are dependent on hydropower as their main source of energy. Large dams are built to power electrical stations where water is used to generate power in the form of electricity. The main problem faced with hydroelectricity is the aging of dams as they need regular restoration work to stay functional and safe to use. This costs a lot of money plus surplus water is often consumed by citizens in townships leading to lack of enough water to be used for generating energy.