The Future Of Solar Energy

May 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Experts have suggested that solar-powered energy can become a significant and cost-efficient replacement for fossil fuels in the near future, but will the government help? Tony Guida reports.

alternativeenergy

May 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

How to Seek Grants for Alternative Energy R & D

If you are someone who wishes to begin researching and developing alternative energy technologies and you would want to be set up as a not-for-profit organization or entity, you will want to look into getting government grants, on both the state and the federal levels. Government grants for alternative energy research and development have been highly touted by politicians on local, state, and federal levels in recent years, all the way up to the President himself. This is due to the fact that we now recognize as a society that we need to seek out and develop alternative energy sources to those of the fossil fuels that we presently depend upon, as these fuels are not only slowly but surely running out (at least cheap access to digging them up is running out), but also damaging to the environment and air quality.

There is a fairly vast array of government grant programs available for you to check into. The great and most important thing to keep in mind about a government grant is that it’s essentially free money. It is not a loan, you don’t pay any interest, and you don’t ever have to give the money back. However, qualifying for these grants, as you might imagine with something involving the government and free money, has quite a lot of restrictions attached to it. Not only is qualification based on purpose and need in the eyes and opinions of government bureaucrats, but just because you qualify does not mean that you necessarily get the grant. As Marshall McLuen put it, “the medium is the message”. The fact of the matter is that it is typically easier to apply for and qualify to receive a business loan—but then, that would not be free money, that would be something you owed to someone, and with interest on top.

There are professional grant writers who know how to write proposals in such a way that they get around the heavy load of restrictions set up by the government, and you might need to resort to one of these. Even governments employ professional grant writers to seek money from other branches of the government, such as a country government needing funding from the state or the federal government. These people also keep abreast of what government grants are still or newly available and what ones have been removed from the table. It’s an intricate web, so one must not get tangled up in when seeking needed financial backing for alternative energy research and development. In fact, it is so complex that in the last decade or so the ranks of profession writers, as both individuals and as entire companies, have swelled. It is a profitable business—and this can make it fraught with illegal actions and controversial claims.

Nevertheless, each year there are many thousands of grants awarded throughout the United States for the purpose of helping the public. And again, with the government endorsement of grant money to be given to alternative energy researchers, you could very well get what you seek.

Alternative Energy for Your Home

May 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Alternative Energy for the Home

The trend toward homes that are powered by alternative energy sources, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, is one that needs to continue into the 21st century and beyond. We have great need of becoming more energy independent, and not having to rely on the supplying of fossil fuels from unstable nations who are often hostile to us and our interests. But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and also stop having to be so reliant on government-lobbying giant oil corporations who, while they are not really involved in any covert conspiracy, nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating their homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven electricity, another stranglehold).

As Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst with Carbon Free, puts it, inevitably, the growth of distributed generation will lead to the restructuring of the retail electricity market and the generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. The power providers may have to diversify their business to make up for revenues lost through household energy microgeneration. She is referring to the conclusions by a group of UK analysts, herself included among them, who call themselves Carbon Free. Carbon Free has been studying the ever-growing trend toward alternative energy-using homes in England and the West. This trend is being driven by ever-more government recommendation and sometimes backing of alternative energy research and development, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels, concern about environmental degradation, and desires to be energy independent. Carbon Free concludes that, assuming traditional energy prices remain at their current level or rise, microgeneration (meeting all of one’s home’s energy needs by installing alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will become to home energy supply what the Internet became to home communications and data gathering, and eventually this will have deep effects on the businesses of the existing energy supply companies.

Carbon Free’s analyses also show that energy companies themselves have jumped in on the game and seek to leverage microgeneration to their own advantage for opening up new markets for themselves. Carbon Free cites the example of electricity companies (in the UK) reporting that they are seriously researching and developing ideas for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies see geothermal energy production as a highly profitable wave of the future. Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating technology is an efficient technology for reducing home water heating costs in the long run, although it is initially quite expensive to install. However, solar power is not yet cost-effective for corporations, as they require too much in the way of specialized plumbing to implement solar energy hot water heating. Lastly, Carbon Free tells us that installing wind turbines is an efficient way of reducing home electricity costs, while also being more independent. However, again this is initially a very expensive thing to have installed, and companies would do well to begin slashing their prices on these devices or they could find themselves losing market share.

The Benefits of Wind Energy

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

Wind turbines – white structures with three or more blades which are used to generate electricity from the wind – are one of the most efficient methods of generating renewable energy. This is simple fact, and the continued development and licencing of turbines is further testament to this.

The reason for this general opinion is that, when one views the statistics, wind turbines are powerfully useful. For example, with older energy generation techniques such as using fossil fuels, to generate electricity one must use some of the earth’s natural resources. In the case of fossil fuels, these one day will run out.

Wind turbines have no effect on the earth’s composition and do not need to dig into anything to be able to generate. They take nothing from the earth as an organism, and this makes them a mighty weapon in the battle against climate change.

Wind turbines do not produce any emissions, be it carbon dioxide – the cause of climate change – or other such chemicals which may be harmful. Though the construction of a wind farm or turbine requires electricity and source material, it is estimated it takes a mere nine months for a single wind turbine to ‘pay back’ what is has taken out. What is more, after that initial nine months pay back time, wind turbines do not require anything but the wind to operate.

The biggest benefit of wind turbines, however, is that they take a natural source and make it useful. The wind blows everywhere in the world, and all wind turbines do is take the previously unused kinetic energy of natural weather phenomenon and create usable electricity.

Put simply, the benefits of wind turbines and wind power are overwhelmingly convincing.