Humans have actively been using fossil fuels for over 300 years now, and that had been going on well for them for a number of years until it dawned on humans that oil and its subsequent by-products are responsible for much of the pollution that the planet has had to contend with in the last 100 years. But what’s the solution? A lot has been done to try to stamp out the dependency on oil, but that is yet to leave an impact on its use; but there are several alternatives to fossil fuels that can be used to ease the pressure on the environment.
Before oil became the biggest source of energy in the world, there was biomass, and it involved the use of wood and other forms of plants to provide energy. This was not sustainable either, and it led to the destruction of forests around the world. But now, there’s an alternative biomass product that can be used to replace wood and other important plants. Elephant grass is a special type of plant that can grow to a length of 4 meters in 100 days. This can be grown in large quantities and processed into briquettes that can be used in hoes to provide heat and even cook in some cases. It may not have high energy content compared to fossil fuels, but they don’t have a negative impact on the ecosystem.
Solar panels have been part of sustainable energy solutions for years, and they are the most viable of all options owing to the fact that the sun is an abundant resource that can be found in every part of the world. All that is needed is to install the panels on the roof and other open spaces, and you can have unlimited amounts of electricity without any need to pay a single extra cent for bills. Solar panels are being adopted across the globe right now, utilized, and many governments are involved in offering incentives to encourage people to embrace solar power. Hopefully, once the world weans itself from oil dependency, solar power will be the one most people will go for.
Wind power is also another sustainable option that is gaining popularity in many countries, especially regions that don’t receive much sun but have high winds. They harness electricity by taking advantage of wind energy which is used to turn the turbines that in turn generate electric currents. These turbines are usually located in open spaces with no obstacles to increase their efficiency.
The same principle can also be used to harness electricity from ocean waves. This can be utilised in coastal areas that experience high currents like Portugal, where machines are placed inside the water, using the impact of the eater to generate electricity. The cost of setting up wind power may be too high for individuals to set up, but it can be economical if the government is directly involved in the project.
Biogas is the harnessing of animal and plant waste to produce gases that can be used for cooking and providing heat in the house. The use of biogas has been around for years, but it has not been receiving much uptake like most of the other options because it doesn’t produce much heat. On the flip side, however, the cost of producing biogas is very easy and cheap and can be done on the ground level by anyone who has access to animal waste and a huge tract of land. It is also a good way of getting rid of animal waste from your farm rather than polluting the environment around you.
Geothermal energy has been around the longest compared to all the other options on this list, the only reason why it has never become a prominent player in human civilization is due to the sophisticated equipment needed to harness its power. There’s also the glaring fact that geysers vary in strength and they are not that well distributed across the globe; they are only found in specific places, which makes it hard for electricity generated from geothermal power limited to only a few areas.
Nuclear Energy, in a controlled environment, is the cleanest and most reliable form of energy. The only bad rep it gets is because of its association with weaponry and the many precautions that are needed to make it work. But if all the conditions are met, it can provide electricity for an entire country without help from any other source. Many developed countries have been using nuclear energy for many years but considering how volatile their management is, setting new ones requires a lot of international scrutiny as there’s always the fear that someone may weaponize nuclear and cause destruction.
At the moment, most people in the world still depend on fossil fuels, and it will be a while before they can embrace new technologies and options. There are many ways you can use fossil fuels while minimizing their impact on the environment. The best one is the use of optimized equipment like industrial-grade valves that reduce energy consumption. For more information on how to get your hands on such equipment, visit XHVAL, one of the best manufacturers of valves around, and see what can suit your needs.