What Is “Alternative Energy,” and Why Is It Important?
As the environmentalist movement gained traction in the 1960s, one of the major targets of the green movement was coal as a power source. The acid rain caused by the sulfur in coal made people think about the effects that energy generation has on the environment for the first time.
Since then, awareness has grown to include the carbon output of society’s major power generation systems. In efforts to curb carbon output, federal and state governments have looked for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their electricity generation infrastructure. For Earth Day, take a moment to appreciate the variety of energy sources that power OKC.
Solar Power Sources
Solar power is energy that is generated from passive exposure to sunlight. Special panels can use the energy from the sun to generate electricity. People can use solar to power anything from a cell phone charger to a major city and everything in between. In many areas, most of the solar power sources are from domestic sources. While a few grid-scale plants produce solar energy, most of it comes from residences with solar panels installed.
Solar power has become much cheaper in the last few years, so it’s a good idea to have a few panels installed to offset energy costs. For rural homes, solar power with a battery backup may be all that is needed to power the whole home.
Wind Energy Sources
Wind energy is a grid-scale power production scheme that uses the prevailing winds to generate power. In 2019, 39% of state power was generated from over 3,000 turbines that harvest wind energy. It is the second-largest energy source in the state.
Wind energy is an effective energy source when coupled with solar power because in most places, as sunlight goes away for the night, wind increases. Using both sources, a reliable domestic or grid-scale power system with almost no carbon output is possible.
Other Alternative Energy Sources
While solar and wind energy cover a lot, other alternatives are used as both grid-scale power sources or domestic energy generation. Among these are:
- Hydroelectric: Hydroelectric energy is generated from the numerous lakes set up around Oklahoma. In the wake of the Dust Bowl, the government set up programs to build numerous lakes to store water in case such terrible droughts ever occurred again. Many of these were fitted with hydroelectric generators that now account for 3% of the state’s electricity.
- Geothermal: While not much grid-scale power is generated with geothermal in Oklahoma, geothermal sources are great for climate control in homes that don’t have gas service. Many rural homes are heated and cooled with geothermal HVAC systems.
- Biomass: Biomass power is generated from burning renewable sources such as landfill gas and wood waste. Biodiesel is an important biomass power source in many areas, with 38,000,000 gallons produced per year to support agriculture.
About Alliance Expert Services
Alliance Expert Services has helped homes and businesses in Oklahoma City, OK reduce their carbon footprint for over 30 years. Their honest and friendly technicians are EPA-certified and always arrive on time. With a satisfaction guarantee, they always put their customer’s concerns first. Call now for expert electrical services!