Solar energy is the energy that is produced by the sun in the form of heat and light. It is one of the most renewable and readily available source of energy on planet Earth. The fact that it is available in plenty and free and does not belong to anybody makes it one of the most important of the non-conventional sources of energy. Solar energy has been used by people since ancient times by using simple magnifying glasses to concentrate the light of the sun into beams so hot they would cause wood to catch fire.
Wind energy is now the second fastest-growing source of electricity in the world, with a global installed capacity of 432,883 megawatts (MW) at the end of 2015. There are over 75,000 MW of wind capacity operational in the U.S., as of August 2016. (You can see U.S. wind farm locations on the U.S. Geological Survey’s interactive map.)
Why is wind energy generation such a popular choice? Because harnessing energy from the wind and turning it into renewable electricity has many advantages. And although wind energy has a long history dating back as far as 5,000 BC, the technology has never been better or more cost effective than it is right now. In fact, in recent months many states have broken wind power generation records, including Colorado, Texas, and Washington.
Hydroelectric power must be one of the oldest methods of producing power. No doubt, Jack the Caveman stuck some sturdy leaves on a pole and put it in a moving stream. The water would spin the pole that crushed grain to make their delicious, low-fat prehistoric bran muffins. People have used moving water to help them in their work throughout history, and modern people make great use of moving water to produce electricity.
Tidal Energy or Tidal Power as it is also called, is another form of hydro power that utilises large amounts of energy within the oceans tides to generate electricity. Tidal Energy is an “alternative energy” that can also be classed as a “renewable energy source”, as the Earth uses the gravitational forces of both the moon and the sun everyday to move vast quantities of water around the oceans and seas producing tides.
As the Earth, its Moon and the Sun rotate around each other in space, the gravitational movement of the moon and the sun with respect to the earth, causes millions of gallons of water to flow around the Earth’s oceans creating periodic shifts in these moving bodies of water. These vertical shifts of water are called “tides”.