Monday, November 30, 2015

Science & Technology: Renewable, Stable, Efficient: The Ideal Energy

A Primer on Alternative Energies That’s Actually Easy to Understand (

We depend on external sources of energy to fill our bellies and heat our homes. However, all energy is not created equal. Some sources of energy are renewable on a meaningful time scale, while others are non-renewable. Unfortunately, coal, natural gas, and oil – the fossil fuels we’ve been using – are running out, which will lead to higher costs of extraction and higher prices for consumers. Even if they weren’t running out, these non-renewable resources are also big polluters and not the energy sources we want to rely on for a healthy planet.

In a perfect world, our energy sources would be three things: renewable, stable, and efficient.
  • Renewable: The resource is always available or replaces itself by the time we need more. We don’t have to worry about running out.
  • Stable: There’s no limit on how much energy we use and when we use it. The light will always come on when you flick the switch.
  • Efficient: Energy, effort, and other resources are not wasted at any point in the process. Land is not permanently polluted, and the venture is generally profitable. If it’s not efficient, it’s not sustainable.

Energy sources, such as wind, solar, tidal, nuclear fusion, and geothermal, are getting much closer to meeting these criteria than fossil fuels ever could. Let’s look at these five exciting alternative energies and learn how they can offer us a chance at a sustainable future by providing renewable, stable, efficient sources of energy.

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