solar-genpanel.jpgAlternative Energy and Alternate Power are terms for energy and power which are derived from Eco-friendly sources.  This means that both of these are not power sources that deplete natural resources, nor do they harm the environment in any way.  The two most well known sources for alternate power are wind energy and solar energy.  Hydroelectricity is also gaining popularity as a source for eco-friendly power, and hybrid vehicles are gaining notoriety as an alternative to fossil fuel use.  Fossil fuel was originally touted as an eco-friendly resource, but because it takes millions of years to form these fossil fuels, they are considered to be a non-renewable resource.

Wind power is derived from the conversation of energy from the wind into a more useful form.  Using wind turbines, wind energy can be converted into electricity.  Currently wind power is only responsible for producing around 1-percent of electricity use world wide, but it does account for as much as 20-percent of electricity use in Denmark, 9-percent of use in Spain and even 7-percent in Germany.  Between the years of 2000 and 2006, the generation of wind power quadrupled.  Wind power is generated by using an electrical generator to convert turbine blade rotation into electrical current.  The original technology involved windmills and had more to do with turning mechanical machinery than with creating electricity for other purposes.  You will find wind power being harnessed in large wind-farms, and even in smaller rural residences depending on the amount of electricity needed.  Wind power is a popular form of alternate power because it is plentiful and renewable in nature, can be distributed widely, and reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric gas emissions when used to replace the electricity derived from fossil fuels.

Solar energy and solar power are terms which are used to describe energy and power which are derived from sunlight.  Solar power’s modern age arrived in the mid 1950s when a photovoltaic cell was developed that was capable of converting light into electricity effectively.  Now the efficiencies of solar cells have improved as much as 15-percent, though experimental cells are reaching more than 40-percent efficiencies.  Solar energy used to cost as much as $300 for a single watt, but prices have fallen to as little as $3 per watt.

Hydroelectricity is a renewable electricity resource which is produced using hydropower.  As much as 19-percent of the world’s electricity is being produced through hydroelectricity.  Large-scale hydroelectric installations are responsible for generating most of the hydroelectricity