Due to increasing global energy consumption and the probable depletion of the world’s non-renewable energy source, ways of exploring and using alternative energy sources are being undertaken. Using alternative energy source can be both beneficial and difficult. Let us explore the different pros and cons of alternative energy source.
A major advantage of renewable energy is that it is renewable therefore it is sustainable and will never run out. More importantly renewable energy produces little or no waste products that may pollute or has harmful effects on the environment.
Some countries using renewable energy as another source of energy are also showing some economic benefits especially in many regional areas. Most of their projects are located away from the urban centers and capital cities. They were able to increase the use of local services as well as tourism.
General disadvantage of using renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate large quantities of electricity similar to that of conventional fossil fuels. Another common problem among alternative energy sources is the reliability of the energy supply. Since it is naturally generated, renewable energy supply relies on the weather condition.
Another drawback or disadvantage of alternative energy source is that it is relatively more expensive to set up the equipment necessary for generating the energy.
Here are the several advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy source.
• Solar energy- the sun is a great source of energy since it is free and is efficient. It is possible to maximize the energy given by the sun to replace traditional electricity. But there are limitations, like areas at high latitude and places with frequent rains are places not capable of producing efficient solar energy.
• Wind energy- wind is also an efficient electricity source. It is possible that wind energy can replace up to 20 percent of the total electric consumption in the future. It is also a very environment friendly source of energy since there are no harmful gases produced in the process of converting the energy. Location is a very important factor in using wind energy, high latitudes and coast lines are good places to set up windmills. A relatively big land area is also needed to put up sufficient number of windmills.
• Hydroelectric and tidal energy- both of these energy come from water. With hydroelectric energy it is mainly sourced from dams. Tidal energy, on the other hand, uses the natural tides of the ocean. Production of energy from water is another clean way of producing energy. However there are several disadvantages. Putting up river dams as sources of hydroelectric energy is very expensive, while tidal energy source depends much on the ocean. Since oceans tends to unpredictable there are only 9 places worldwide that are suitable for this kind of energy source. And tidal energy power plants are also said to provide negative effects on the migratory birds and the fishes.
• Biomass- biomass consists of fermented animal waste, agricultural crops, grains and other natural products. It can be used to produce an alcohol and also replace gasoline needs. It maximizes waste materials as an alternative energy source. A drawback, it that it still produces greenhouse gas.
Also Read: Wind and solar hybrids
Alternative energy sources although it is renewable also pose some disadvantages. But its unfavourable effects are relatively smaller than the harmful effects of conventional fossil fuels. The hunt for a cost-efficient and environmental friendly alternative energy source does not stop on the latest discovery.