CLEAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS

clean energy, renewable energy, wind, solar power Clean energy refers to power generation methods that do not involve greenhouse emissions. It is sometimes used broadly to refer to energy changes that are considered environment friendly. There are many methods of energy production that do not pollute the atmosphere.

These methods of green energy production include hydro power, solar power, wind power, geothermal power and tidal power.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Effects of climate change are expected to lower economic growth rates and population growth rates. Its a cyclic imbroglio: Lower economic growth results in diminished food supplies, and consequently would result in more hungry people.

Scientific projections paint a gloomy picture of a decrease in crop harvest due to the shortening of the crop growing period and decrease in water availability due to higher rates of evaporation.

In recent years, extreme weather conditions have been witnessed where severe flooding is preceded by extreme drought. Scientists have tried to explain why this is happening now and research is ongoing.

earth temperature rise, 100 years climate graph.

WIND FARMS

There has been a proliferation of wind farms in recent years mostly catalyzed by more awareness about climate issues in disparate countries.

Across the globe, wind farms are slowly becoming more entrenched as the preferred mode of harnessing natural power as opposed to the situation only a few years ago. Although experts say wind power is not poised to overtake coal power generation any time soon, they nevertheless place a lot of emphasis on the need for more research to make this novel method of electricity generation to be more efficient.

Wind farms are turbines that are interconnected to act as small power stations. The major difference between wind farms and, say, coal power generation is that in wind farms it is the wind that drives the turbines, which in turn generate electricity through electromagnetic induction.

SOLAR ENERGY

Understanding the basic science behind clean solar energy. Long ago it was discovered that light had some, well, peculiar properties. But let me talk about sound a bit.

If someone is talking around the corner we might hear what they are saying. This is because sound can ‘bend’. This behaviour is very important because it is exhibited by all ‘substances’ called waves. Among the many properties of waves the one property important to us here is that they carry energy.

There are several other behaviour patterns associated with all waves but this article is not about that. Suffice it to say that light and sound have very many similar properties and that they are therefore waves.

But sound and light also have some very distinct differences. Between one hundred and two hundred years ago several discoveries about light brought a scientific revolution because it was discovered that light travels as a ‘particle’ of energy.

Imagine buckets of ‘clean oil’ lined up from the sun to the earth.

Light from the sun travels in ‘packets’ of energy all the way to the earth. Free, clean, limitless, perpetual energy.

SOLAR HOMES

Solar homes are said to be the homes of the future. Any building with a large enough roof can be fitted with solar panels and become self sufficient in energy terms. Solar heating has initial high installation costs but requires minimal maintenance making it cost efficient in the long term. Houses fitted with solar power panels typically contribute insignificant CO2 emissions and are therefore recommended for all environmentally conscious home owners.

SOLAR HATS THAT KEEP YOU COOL IN SUMMER

With summers averaging higher temperatures than any other recorded time, solar hats may provide the solution. Solar hats come with solar-powered fans that help keep you cool when the weather gets hot. Because the sun’s rays possess energy, it is used to propel motors that run small fans keeping you cool and fresh under the scorching sun.

SOLAR CARS

Solar cars combine technology typically used in the aerospace, alternative energy, automobile, bicycle industries.
The design of a solar vehicle is severely limited by the amount of energy input into the car. Most solar cars have been built for the purpose of solar car races. Exceptions include solar-powered cars and utility vehicles.

Energy efficient Solar cars are often fitted with gauges as seen in conventional cars. In order to keep the car running smoothly, the driver must keep an eye on these gauges to spot possible problems.

Solar cars depend on PV cells to convert sunlight into electricity. In fact, 51.8% of sunlight actually enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Unlike solar thermal energy which converts solar energy to heat for either household purposes, industrial purposes or to be converted to electricity, PV cells directly convert sunlight into electricity.

When sunlight (photons) strike PV cells, they excite electrons and allow them to flow, creating an electrical current. PV cells are made of semiconductor materials such as silicon and alloys of indium, gallium and nitrogen. Silicon is the most common material used and has an efficiency rate of 15-20%.

CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM

Scientists have proposed a radical new heating system where homes would be heated by district centres rather than in individual households. If implemented, homes will be connected to heating pipes similar to gas piping, but the heating pipes will carry hot water instead of gas.

OZONE LAYER

The ozone layer that shields life from the sun’s harmful rays is projected to recover from harmful chemicals by mid-century, but it will take longer over the polar regions, a United Nations study said recently.

Ozone depletion is blamed for higher ultraviolet radiation that causes skin cancers and cataracts and damages agriculture.

WARM PERIOD

The beginning of the last Millennium saw a “Medieval Warm Period” when temperatures, certainly in Europe, were higher than they are now. Grapes grew in northern England. Ice-bound mountain passes opened in the Alps. The Arctic was warmer in the 1930s than it is today.

CLEAN ENERGY ALL AROUND US

Clean energy surrounds us and the challenge is only how to tame it, harness it for our own benefit. A single hurricane has as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs.  All the waves around the world have the same amount of energy as a nuclear bomb. Energy that we can use to power our lives is all around us.

We collect it from places it is stored, as fuels like uranium or oil buried deep underground. Or we catch it as it passes, like the energy in flowing water, waves or the wind.

Download climate data pdf here.

  1. dext
    November 1, 2009 at 6:12 am

    The greenhouse effect, how does it work?
    A simplified explanation of the greenhouse effect is as follows:
    Shortwave solar radiation [various rays from the sun] can pass through the clear atmosphere without hindrance, but long wave infrared radiation emitted by the warm surface of the Earth is absorbed partially and then re-emitted back to earth by a number of gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone etc in the cooler atmosphere above. This causes rise in earth’s temperatures and may cause increase in droughts, arctic ice melting, among other harmful effects.
    NOTE: infra-red is type of unseen rays like those from jiko, cooker etc which make us feel warm.

    The main sources of CO2 are:
    Solid fuels (e.g., coal): 35%
    Liquid fuels (e.g., gasoline, fuel oil): 36%
    Gaseous fuels (e.g., natural gas): 20%
    Currently there is an increase in greenhouse effect because of an increase in the
    concentrations of greenhouse gases due to human activities. This causes “global
    warming” [a rise in mean earth temperatures] plus other damaging climate changes; for example, changes in precipitation, storm patterns, and rise in the level of the oceans.
    Basically, greenhouse effect can be summarized thus:
    1. Solar radiation passes through the clear atmosphere.
    2. Most radiation is absorbed by the Earth’s surface and warms it.
    3. Some solar radiation is reflected by the Earth and the atmosphere.
    4. Infrared radiation is emitted from the Earth’s surface.
    5. Some of the infrared radiation is absorbed and re-emitted back to earth by the greenhouse gases.

  2. Estelle
    October 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Even though we wish it would, global warming will not go away. Big Industry must open its eyes and see that their efforts to make it into the largest urban legend the world has ever seen, will not pay off. The earth is dying and the day it finally gives way we will not need what big industry produce any longer. I don’t understand why they can’t see it as a way to preserve the marketplace!

  3. Anthony Rodge
    October 1, 2009 at 9:05 am

    We all may think that industrialization is a stage in human life – just like evolution and that everything must pave way for it. Nature has been here for eternity and we must not let human greed wipe away what has sustained us so long just for earthly desires.

  4. Anthony Rodge
    October 1, 2009 at 9:03 am

    We all may think that industrialization is a stage in human life – just like evolution and that everything must pave way for it. Nature has been here for eternity and we must not let human greed wipe away what we has sustained us so long just for earthly desires.

  5. clara
    September 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    global warming might just wipe ALL of us sometime in this millinnea. i dont think global powers have been pressured enough to act and prevent this calamity from occurring.
    once upon a time, there lived humans…

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