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Engineering LibreTexts

Chapter 5: Alternative Energy

  • Page ID
    12188
    • 5.1: Introduction
      Energy sources that are more or less continuously made available in a time frame useful to people are called renewable energy. Renewable energy sources are often considered alternative sources because, in general, most industrialized countries do not rely on them as their main energy source.
    • 5.2: Solar Energy
      Solar energy is the ultimate energy source driving life on earth and many human activities. Though only one billionth of the energy that leaves the sun actually reaches the earth's surface, this is more than enough to meet the world’s energy requirement
    • 5.3: Biomass Energy
      Biomass energy is from the energy stored in materials of biological origin such as plants and animals. Biomass energy is the oldest energy source used by humans.
    • 5.4: Wind Power
      Wind is a renewable energy source that uses the power of moving air to generate electricity. Wind turbines use blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. Wind flows over the blades creating lift (similar to the effect on airplane wings), which causes the blades to turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator, which produces electricity .
    • 5.5: Geothermal Power
      Geothermal energy uses heat from the Earth's internal geologic processes in order to produce electricity or provide heating. The subsurface temperature of the Earth provides an endless energy resource. One source of geothermal energy is steam.
    • 5.6: Hydroelectric Power (Hydropower)
      The majority of hydropower currently comes from dams built across a river to block the flow of river water. The water stored behind the dam contains potential energy (see chapter 4) and when released, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy as the water rushes down. This energy is used to turn blades of turbines and causing a generator to generate electricity.
    • 5.7: Other Alternative Renewable Energy Sources
      Hydrogen; electric cars
    • 5.8: Policy and Conservation
      Conservation has to do with seeking to decrease the amount of energy used by an individual or a group through (1) reduced consumption (e.g., turning down thermostats, driving fewer kilometers) and/or (2) increasing conversion efficiencies in the performance of a particular task
    • 5.9: Appendix