Nuclear, hydropower, biomass, solar, wind, tidal power, wave power, ocean current power and the energy represented by vertical temperature difference in the sea. Hydrogen fuel cells, Geothermal, Ethanol & Biodiesel, hydro-electric power and thermal depolymerization are several types of renewable and alternative energy solutions that can be utilized in the future.
Nuclear energy made its debut in the 1950's as the ultimate source of energy for the future. Approximately 16% of the world's electricity is provided by nuclear power. Nuclear Power Plant accidents have been a concern for many years. The first of which happened in 1952 in Ottawa, Canada, when a partial meltdown of the reactor's uranium fuel core resulted after the accidental removal of four control rods; there were no injuries. In 1957, north of Liverpool, England, a fire in a graphite-cooled reactor spewed radiation over the countryside, contaminating a 200-sq-mi area. The accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania, on March 28, 1979, was the most serious in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history. The worst accident to date in Chernobyl, in 1986, released radioactive material that spread over part of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and later Western Europe. The casualties though unknown, estimates run into the thousands. While the governments have 'reinstalled efforts to promote nuclear as a viable future energy source" many other countries are downsizing nuclear energy, due to the challenges involved in the handling of the radioactive plutonium, which create weapons-grade plutonium, raising the risks of nuclear arms and terrorism and the handling and disposable of the radioactive wastes. Nuclear power plants cause up to 1000 deaths a year (Dohn Riley and Mark McLaughlin, 2001).
Approximately 19% of the world's electricity is provided by hydropower. The ancient Greeks used hydropower as source of energy over two million years ago when they devised waterwheels to provide power to grind grains. The middle of the 12th century, waterpower was important source of energy in ancient China civilization. Cistercian monasteries used hydropower to provide power for milling, wood cutting, forging, and olive crushing and it also provided running water for cooking, washing and bathing, and finally sewage disposal. Hoover Dam provides generation of low-cost hydroelectric power for use in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Hoover Dam alone generates more than 4 billion kilowatt-hours a year, enough to serve 1.3 million people. Great concerns in how our ecosystems are being dramatically altered and the negative effects on the habitats of the animal communities have the U.S. Department of Energy are collaborating with the Hydropower Research Foundation, Inc., on developing the Advanced Hydropower Turbine Systems.
Solar energy has been around for over one-hundred years; yet, the power of the sun is vastly untapped. The solar power technology is broken down into to two broad categories: solar radiation and the heat that is derived from it. Utilizing the sun's radiation, thermal solar applications create electricity and/or heat. Photovoltaic cells directly convert the sun's ultra-violet rays into electrical current. Scientific solar research and development ...