Which Alternative Energy Source Is Best For You?

We have all grown up with knowing just several sources of energy – electric, gas, oil.  There are also wood stoves, coal stoves, pellet stoves and more but those are primarily for heat not true energy.  Electric companies used to be pure monopolies but now you have the ability to shop for electric suppliers.  We did – saved a bunch of money and will continue to shop when contracts are up.

But now we are all more interested in renewable sources of energy.  Especially if you have the ability to build a new home or to retrofit your home or property to take advantage of some of these opportunities.  First of all there is no better time than now to upgrade.  There are so many grants and incentives available to make this happen and more affordable.  We just built a middle school and the grants available allowed us to put photovoltaic panels on the roof to harness energy not just for our school but to also feed some back to our local utility company.  Additionally those panels allow for many educational opportunities for the students.

Solar Power

Per Wikipedia – Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.

This energy is stored so when the sun isn’t out – you still have power.  This energy is stored in battery banks.  If you operate solely on solar power you may need to have a generator so you can still have plenty of power even on extended periods of cloudy days.  A generator can resupply your battery bank with energy.  If you are grid-tied then you can still get power on low sun days and you can even sell back energy.  Off the grid – well you are not tied to anything and are totally self reliant.  Have questions?  Rusty Tweed can help.

Wind Power

This is another one we have the benefit of at the district I work in.  Technically the wind turbines are not on school property – rather they are across the street and the town allows us access for classroom studies and we even have an energy panel that allows the students to analyze the data.  The premise is simple – as the wind turbine moves with the breeze, it produces energy.  We have all seen the old fashioned wind mills; then came the more updated wind turbines; and now they have even developed micro wind turbines that only result in a 7% loss of energy.


HydroPower is using water – moving in rivers and other moving water sources, to create energy.  The kinetic energy of water is converted into electricity.  Approximately 20% of the total power generation in the world is due to HydroPower.  In the United States that rate is lower.  This power goes back to ancient times when water wheels were used to create mechanical energy.  The concept is the same.

Other Sources

Other sources of renewable energy include Biomass, Hydrogen, Geothermal and Ocean Tidal Power!

Our world is changing and for the better!




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