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Alternative Energy - A Safer Way Toward the Future

As world population increases, there becomes a greater need for alternative renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels are becoming more expensive every year, so the search is on for alternative energy which is cleaner and better for the environment. The Fossil Fuels we depend on now are a serious threat to our environment and increasingly to our economies.

Fortunately, technological advances are making alternative energy more feasible. Hydro electricity -- the cornerstone of renewable energy, is being supplemented with energy produced by wind, sun, tides and waves, and heat from the earth.

Solar energy is used to produce electricity and also to provide hot water. It can also be used for heating and cooling buildings and driving turbines which in turn produce more electricity. Solar cells for producing electricity have an efficiency rate of 17%, while energy used for heating water has an efficiency rate of 80%. And even solar powered airplanes are coming in reach Solar Impulse is the first actually being build solar powered plane that will non-stop fly around the globe in 2011

Wind power is also being used to produce electricity. Wind power turbines can be installed in areas of high elevation for greater exposure to winds. Increasingly, offshore wind turbines are being examined as a viable alternative for large-scale energy production. Offshore wind turbines receive almost twice as much wind as those based on land, so their potential for electricity production is very attractive.

Tidal power and geothermal power can only be used in specific geographic locations, but their potential for local power production is substantial.

Another possible alternative energy source is wave power from the ocean. Due to the constant motion of sea water, this energy source has a lot of potential.

Most of these alternative energy sources require large areas of land. However, it is estimated that if just 1% of the land currently being used for agricultural purposes is used for solar cell installation, it would provide enough energy for the entire world.

Other sources of alternative power like wind turbines require substantially large areas of land with six large turbines needing one square kilometer. This is why offshore wind turbines offer substantially more potential.

Most of the sites on this issue are very technically oriented. We will try to keep it all in "layman" terms. Alternative energy sources are both our hobby as a absolute necessity to keep the world we live in going

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