Can nuclear power be replaced? Some smart folks have came to creative ways to product alternative energy that can satisfy our power needs for the future as we run out of nuclear energy.
5. Solar Power Satellites
How it works: The concept is about a satellite built into the High Earth Orbit that uses microwave power transmission to beam solar power to a very large antenna on Earth.
Advantages: The satellite will have access to the sun all the time, 24/7.
Disadvantages: It is very costly. The only way to eliminate this is to find reusable materials on Earth which could be used for building the satellite. NASA and other agencies around the world have worked together and still need to come to a conclusion if this is a potential powerful source that could someday even replace nuclear power.
4. Geothermal power
How it works: This is one of the best nuclear power alternatives currently available. Geothermal power is basically an energy generated by heat stored in the earth, or the collection of absorbed heat derived from underground, in the atmosphere and oceans.
Advantages: It requires no purchase of fuel. The energy is stored in the earth (so no need for people power and their fitness.) Also, there’s very little emissions. That means from ecological point of view, geothermal power is a lot better than the current, nuclear power.
Disadvantages: There are several disadvantages of geothermal energy. One of the biggest concerns is that some specific locations i.e. sources of geothermal power may cool down over time resulting in depletion.
3. Wind power
How it works: I’m sure you have already heard about wind energy and its potential. Large wind farms are connected to electrical grids thus producing electrical energy that can be used for different purposes.
Advantages: Wind power is easily renewable and cannot be easily diminished. Many countries started using it widely. In Denmark, 19% of electricity usage is from wind energy. In Spain in Portugal, the percentage is 9% while Germany accounts for 6% usage.
Disadvantages: Animal impact. Wind turbines have a negative impact on birds, which can be killed or injured through collision with the rotating blades especially while seasonal bird migration. To reduce this impact, most wind turbines are built outside of bird migration corridors.
2. Solar Power
How it works: See those objects above? They basically “steal” sun’s energy which later converts into electrical power. Solar energy is becoming one of the dominant alternative sources of energy lately.
Advantages: The sun is unlikely to stop emitting energy soon. New dish engine systems like the one above are built every day all around the world. We should expect even bigger expansion of this type of renewable energy in the future.
Disadvantages: The systems are very costly to built. Also, they are useful only when the sun is shining. In the night, they are practically useless. Lately the effects of this disadvantage are reduced by the use of solar battery chargers.
How it works: Dead biological material can be used as fuel or for industrial production. Also, biomass can refer to plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce biofuel.
Advantages: The industrial type of biomass can be grown from numerous types of plants and trees. This number of plants increases ever day so you can suppose that biomass as renewable source of energy and its usage will continue to grow in the future.
Disadvantages: Biomass is part of the carbon cycle. That means that using biomass methods produce a large portion of Carbon Dioxide or CO2. You can suppose that biomass is one of the many factors that contribute to the global warming.
Do you think there’s another alternative source of energy that’s worth mentioning but is not mentioned here? If you do, feel free to comment in the comments section below.