ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Alternative or Renewable Energy

Updated on February 1, 2014

Energy Sources

Fossil Fuels

With the rising energy demands, fossil fuels (our primary energy supply) are quickly getting depleted. Fossil fuels are non-renewable sources of energy that include: coal, oil, and natural gas. Fossil fuels formed hundreds of millions of years ago from the plants and animals of that era.

Fuel for our cars,trucks, SUVs, and mass transportation comes from fossil fuel sources, as does electricity and energy for heating our homes.

Alternative or Renewable Energy

Alternative energy, also called renewable energy, is defined as: energy derived from sources that do not use up natural resources or harm the environment. Alternative energy sources continuously renew themselves and come from the sun, wind, water, geothermal sources, and biomass sources such as energy crops.

Renewable sources of energy vary in their availability and cost efficiency across the United States. Although water and wind are free, harnessing the energy is not. Using dams with electric generators and transmission lines is the only way to utilize the powerful energy from water. Hoover Dam is a great example of harnessing water's power.

"No single solution can meet our society's future energy needs. The solution instead will come from a family of diverse energy technologies that share a common thread -- they do not deplete our natural resources or destroy our environment."..........The Union of Concerned Scientists

National Geographic: Alternative Energy Video


Hydropower is the use of water to generate electricity, and is the most common renewable source of energy in the United States.

Hydroelectric power plants build a dam on a river for water storage, a diversion hydropower plant is limited on water supplies which limits the amount of electricity they can generate. Electricity generated this way is known as hydroelectricity accounts for approximately 7% of the electricity used by Americans.

Hydropower is one of the cheapest sources of electricity, and areas with resources for hydropower tend to attract industries with large electrical needs. The major hydroelectric dams in the United States can be found in the Tennessee Valley, the Northwest, and along the Colorado River.

Wind Power

Wind energy power of the wind propels the blades of wind turbines, this rotation is converted into electrical current by using an electrical generator. The use of wind power has many advantages including: pollution free, endless supply of energy source, wind farms can be built off-shore, and occupied land can still be used for farming and grazing.

The downside to wind power is that in order to generate power, you have to have a consistent wind source. If wind speeds decrease, so does the amount of electrical power produced. Wind farms, especially large ones, don't make for the most beautiful scenery.

DIY Solar Panels

Solar Power

Solar energy gets its power source from the sun. Opening the blinds or curtains to allow sunlight into a room also provides extra heat in that room as well. Solar power works by trapping the rays from the sun in the solar cells found in solar thermal panels.

The converted sulight is commonly used to heat water or air. Many homes use solar panels to heat a room in the home, such as a sunroom. Solar energy is used in many homes for practical uses such as heating and lighting, or for heating the water in a pool, jacuzzi, or the home's water tanks. Alternative energy sources also used include geothermal sources, and biomass sources such as energy crops.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)