CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (CCRES)• was founded in 1988 as the non-profit European Association for Renewable Energy that conducts its work independently of political parties, institutions, commercial enterprises and interest groups, • is dedicated to the cause of completely substituting for nuclear and fossil energy through renewable energy, • regards solar energy supply as essential to preserve the natural resources and a prerequisite for a sustainable economy, • acts to change conventional political priorities and common infrastructures in favor of renewable energy, from the local to the international level, • brings together expertise from the fields of politics, economy, science, and culture to promote the entry of solar energy, • provides the opportunity to play a part in the sociocultural movement for renewable energy by joining the association for everyone, • considers full renewable energy supply a momentous and visionary goal - the challenge of the century to humanity. CCRES Vision and Mission VISION To excel as an applied research and development center with an international reputation, focusing on the optimal use of the nation's energy resources for the benefit of its people. MISSION As a Center of Renewable Energy Source, we will pursue the Vision by: Performing sound fundamental and applied research to develop industrially relevant technologies Collaborating with stakeholders to implement novel technologies Providing technologies to improve the environment Contributing to the formulation of technically sound policies related to energy and the environment Developing the capabilities of our colleagues while fostering a mutually supportive work environment with respect for individuals Acting in good faith and with integrity in all our dealings to build long lasting relationships with all our stakeholders Contributing to the teaching and instruction aim of Croatia by educating students from pre-college to postgraduate levels and being involved in labor force development Collaborating with colleagues to promote CCRES objectives Promoting objective of developing and benefiting from its Intellectual Property with a balance between the publication of scientific results and patenting Providing public service in the areas of scientific education and our energy related competencies.
HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE*Hrvatski centar obnovljivih izvora energije potiče korištenje alternativnih sustava za opskrbu energijom u zgradarstvu, te gradnji obiteljskih kuća, razvija tržište novih niskoenergetskih objekata i modernizira sektor već postojećih zgrada , te doprinosi ukupnom smanjenju potrošne energije i zaštiti okoliša *Cilj udruženja je osim imformiranja javnosti i obrazovanja stručnjaka, potaknuti sve sudionike u gradnji na međusobnu suradnju kako bi se povečao broj objekata koji ostvaruju prednosti energetski učinkovite gradnje i povečavanje broja investicija u obnovljive izvore energije *Zbog rasta cijena energije i energenata potrebno je poznavati svoje energetske mogučnosti korištenja energije, troškova iste , te biti u stanju njome upravljati *Stvorena je infrastruktura za realizaciju projekata korištenjem obnovljivih izvora energije u zgradama i privatnim objektima , kako u novogradnji ,tako i u rekonstrukciji postoječih *Korištenjem obnovljivih izvora energije utječe se na smanjenje potrošnje svih oblika energije, ugodniji i kvalitetniji boravak u objektima za život i poslovanje, te doprinosi zaštiti okoliša i smanjenju emisije štetnih plinova, dugoročno je isplativo ulaganje za dobrobit svih nas *U sklopu projekta Hrvatskog centra obnovljivih izvora energije, koji ima i službenu podršku U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL-a, EE COALITION-a, GREEN EUROPEAN FOUNDATION-a, ANNA LINDH FOUNDATION-a, NACIONALNE ZAKLADE ZA RAZVOJ CIVILNOG DRUŠTVA , organizirati će se seminari i radionice koji će sudionicima ponuditi proširenje stečenog znanja iz područja zelene gradnje i implementiranje proizvoda koji smanjuju energetsku ovisnost o skupim energentimai njihovim velikim sustavima *Tijekom seminara biti će organizirana predavanja koja će izlagati vodeća imena iz industrije obnovljivih izvora energije, brojni znanstvenici i vodeći ljudi institucija iz Hrvatske i inozemstva kojima je svima "ZELENA ENERGIJA" zajednički predznak *Implementacija novih informacija biti će prikazana u praksi ,koja će se realizirati kroz praktične instrukcije, te E-LEARNING module, za što postoji veliki interes kod građevinskih tvrtki kao i kod krajnjih potrošača/korisnika *U konačnici, osim znanstveno- tehničkih prednosi , udruženje pridonosi značajnom napretku u primjeni obnovnjivih izvora energije , promjeni uvriježenog načina razmišljanja koje koči širu primjenu alternativnih izvora energije pri izgradnji i rekonstrukciji objekata HRVATSKI CENTAR OBNOVLJIVIH IZVORA ENERGIJE ( HCOIE )
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CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
The organic or waste materials obtained from the plants and animals, is known as biomass. Since plants and animals contain energy, the biomass also contains energy. Plants get energy from the sun by the process of photosynthesis, while the animals eat plants; hence biomass is an important source of energy.
The energy obtained from biomass is called as biomass energy. The biomass energy is type of alternative or renewable energy since the plants and trees will keep on growing and generating the wastes continuously, so this source of energy will be available for unlimited period of time.
The various types of garbage collected in our cities are also a type of biomass. Though the living plants are not considered to be the biomass, the garbage left by them in the form of fallen leaves, dead trees, broken branches of the trees, wasted and leftover crops, chips and pieces of wood etc are all considered to be biomass. The bark and saw dust left from the lumber mills and even the tires and livestock manure can be considered as biomass.
The trash from the house and offices contains some paper products that cannot be recycled back to the other paper products but they can also be used as the biomass. Recycling such wastes for producing biomass fuel would reduce pressure on our landfills. It is unbelievable that all these materials that create lots of disposal problems can be used to generate energy that too in the form of electricity.
In US, California itself produces almost 60 million bone dry tons of biomass every year, of which almost five million tons is used to produce biomass energy in the form of electricity. The biomass collected in California comprises of lumber mills wastes, wooden waste collected from urban areas, residues from the agricultural lands and forests, and other livestock.
The wastes generated by the humans and animals like cows are also types of biomass. By using this type of biomass for producing energy it becomes easier to manage and control the landfills.
Biomass used as the Source of Energy
All the types of biomass contain one or the types of plants and animals wastes. When the biomass obtained from plants it is burnt it catches fire instantly or after some time and releases a lot of heat. During burning the chemical energy stored within the biomass is converted into heat energy. The heat produced during the burning of biomass can be used for a number of applications like heating water, heating the rooms, producing steam, cooking the food, and for other domestic and industrial applications.
Some decomposing garbage, and wastes from humans and animals can also be used as biomass to produce methane gas, which can be used directly as the fuel. Methane is an important part of natural gas, which is used extensively as a cooking gas and also for running a number of vehicles like cars and trucks. The methane gas obtained by this method is also called as the landfill gas or biogas.
The Fuels Obtained from Biomass
Besides using the biomass for producing heat, it can also be used to produce fuels. The fuels produced from the biomass are called as biofuels. The biofuels can be used independently to or in combination with the other fuels like gasoline and diesel. Some of the popular biofuels made from the biomass are ethanol, biodiesel and natural gas.
Ethanol is produced by fermentation of sugar which can be found in sugarcane, grains like corn, sorghum and wheat, and other sources like potato skins, rice, sugar beets and yard clippings. The biodiesel can be produced from vegetable oil and animal fat feedstock. In this age of escalating fuel prices, biodiesel is one of the most popular types of alternative fuel for the vehicles. Biodiesel is mixed with traditional diesel in certain proportions to power the vehicles. The biodiesel is a clean fuel and does not produce any pollution. The natural gas can be obtained from the biomass like cow dung, human wastes, and livestock wastes. Methane, which is important part of the natural gas, is produced from the biomass.
Benefits of Using the Biomass Energy
Here are some of the important benefits of biomass energy:
1) Biomass energy is obtained mainly from the plants, animals, human wastes and garbage which would have otherwise created dirty environment and lots of disposal problems. When converted to biomass energy most of the wastes get burnt completely or they get converted to useful manure. Thus using biomass energy helps keeping our surroundings clean.
2) Biomass is a renewable source of energy that would last as long as there is plant, animal, and human life on the earth.
3) Biomass helps producing indigenous fuels and helps reducing dependency for fuels on other countries.
special thanks to
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
Sun has been producing energy in the form of radiations since billions of years without taking any rest. The energy obtained from radiations of the sun is called as solar energy. We know plants absorb energy from the sun by the process called photosynthesis. The humans beings and animals eat plants, thus directly or indirectly all the plants, animals and human beings are dependent on the sun. Human beings have learned to extract the energy from solar radiations and use it for various purposes.
Solar energy can be converted into heat and electricity. The British astronomer John Herschel is considered to be the first person in modern days to utilize solar energy. In the period of 1830s, on his expedition to Africa, he used solar energy to cook food. Since then there have been lots of developments in the field of solar energy.
The importance of solar energy has been understood since ages. Considering the fact that human life is crucially dependent on the energy emitted by sun, sun is considered to be the God in many religions. In Hindu mythology Sun God is considered to be the sources of energy and wisdom, which is always on the move to spread its energies and knowledge. The main deity in Egyptian mythology is sun god named Ra, who was also the first king. In Greek mythology, Helios is considered to be the sun god, who moves on the chariot throughout the world to illuminate it and spread the knowledge. Sun is also important part of many other mythologies and religions.
In which Places is Solar Energy most abundant?
Solar energy is the most promising energy with the potential for meeting all our future energy requirements. The main benefit of the solar energy is that it is available in all parts of the world. The quantity of solar energy is so huge that it is capable of providing many times the energy currently demanded throughout the world. Solar energy is being used for number of applications in countries like US, China, India, and many others.
The only problem with solar energy is that it is not available uniformly during all the hours of the day and all the days of the year. However, when supplemented with the other energies like thermal, and hydroelectric, solar energy can effectively meet our long-term requirements with little dependence on fossil fuels.
Applications of Solar Energy
Some of the common applications of solar energy are:
1) Solar water heaters: The solar water heaters comprise of the solar collectors that absorb solar energy which is use to heat water. The hot water can be used for various domestic and industrial purposes, in bathrooms, homes and swimming pools.
2) Producing heating effect: The solar energy can also be used for heating of the rooms during winter seasons.
3) Cooking food: Cooking food is one of earliest applications of the solar energy. Solar cookers are available in different shapes and sizes with different types of solar collectors. The most commonly used type of solar cooker consists of box inside which the raw food to be cooked it kept. At the top there is a reflective mirror on which the solar rays are directed. The solar rays get reflected on the utensil in which the food is kept. Due to concentrated solar rays, the food gets heated and cooked.
4) Photovoltaic (PV) cells: PV cells are the devices that convert solar energy directly into electricity, which can be used for running of number of appliances like calculators, mobiles, lanterns, street lights etc. The electricity generated from the PV cells can be stored in battery, which can be utilized for lighting the home and also running the cars. In the solar power plants large numbers of solar panels are spread over big area spread across several acres. The solar energy collected by the panels is transmitted to the PV cells that convert it into electricity.
5) Solar thermal power plants: The working of solar power plants is similar to thermal power plants. In these plants instead of coal, solar energy is used to convert water into steam, which drives the turbines that eventually produce electricity. At the end of 2008 there were nine solar thermal power plants operating in US.
Benefits and Limitations of Solar Energy
There are number of benefits of solar energy including:
1) Solar energy is available abundantly and free of cost in many parts of the world.
2) Solar energy is considered to be clean and green energy since it does not produce any environmental pollution like carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
3) The equipment required to collect solar energy can be kept at suitable locations in the campus of the building without affecting its aesthetics or surrounding atmosphere.
However, there are some limitations to solar power most notably:
1) The solar energy is not available in uniform quantity. The intensity of solar radiations changes during different hours of day and various days of the year, different climatic conditions and at different locations of the place. At times large amount of energy may be available, but at other times the available energy may be insufficient to meet the demands.
2) Large solar collectors are required to collect the solar energy of required quantity, which occupy large space inside the building.
special thanks to
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
Sources of Alternative Energy
Alternative energy or renewable energy is important for creating clean energy future not only for the individual nations but the whole world. It offers excellent alternatives to the fossil fuels to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. The sources of the alternative energy are inexhaustible and one can rely on them for long-term basis Here are some important sources of alternative energy:
1) Solar energy:
The energy obtained from the radiations of the sun is called as solar energy. Sun is the massive source of energy releasing radiations since billions of years non-stop. The radiations emitted by sun are vital for all the plant, animal and human lives on the earth. At present solar energy is being tapped successfully for a number of applications.
Solar cooker is small box type equipment used for cooking of the food without requiring any additional fuel. There are number of variations of solar cooker with different efficiencies and different sizes. Solar water heaters are used extensively for heating water that can be used for bathing, domestic use and industrial purposes. It saves lots of electricity costs and the burning of other fuels like wood, coal, LPG etc. Another very important application of the solar energy is the photovoltaic or PV cells. The PV cells comprise of the solar panels that absorb solar energy and store them in the batteries. The energy from the batteries can be used for different domestic as well industrial applications
Besides these, there are number of other applications of solar energy like solar street lights, solar lanterns, calculators, mobiles etc. Solar energy is available abundantly in countries like India, China, US and others. It is considered to be one of the most resourceful sources of energy for future.
2) Wind energy:
The energy obtained from naturally flowing wind in the atmosphere is called as wind energy. Wind energy is available extensively in specific geographical locations without any costs. The wind in motion carries kinetic energy and it can be converted into mechanical and electrical energy. Presently wind energy is widely used for the generation of electricity.
To tap the energy from wind turbines are used. The wind turbine comprises of large blades looking like the fan. The blades are attached to the hub, which in turn is mounted on a shaft When the moving wind comes in contact with the blades it causes the rotation of the blades, which in turn causes the rotation of the shaft at low speeds. This shaft is connected to the gear box and causes slow rotation of the input gears and fast rotation of output gears and shaft. The output shaft rotates in an alternator that produces electricity. To get sufficient amount of grid power, large number of wind turbines are required at a specific location, which is called as wind farm or wind power plant.
The power obtained from the flow of water is called as hydraulic power or hydro power or water power. The alternative energy from water can be obtained in a number of ways, the most popular being the hydroelectric power plants. In these power plants huge dams are built across the flow of the river. The water is stored in the dam at large heights and it carries potential energy. When the water flows down the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. The flowing water comes in contacts with the large water turbines and makes them rotate in the transformer that produces electricity. Hydroelectric power plants are important source of electricity in a number of countries including US, China, India, Russia, and others.
Alternative energy obtained from the tides of the oceans is called as tidal energy. The waves in the waters of the oceans can also be utilized to produce electricity.
4) Geothermal Energy:
The heat energy obtained from the deep layers of earth is called as geothermal energy. The heat is produced continuously in the deep layers of earth, which can be utilized for various purposes like heating water, operating the heat pumps, producing electricity etc. Large amount of heat is generated in the core of earth and it gets conducted through the surrounding layers of rock. It comes to the surface of the earth in various forms like lava, hot springs etc, while other heat is stored below the surface of the earth. This heat is the geothermal energy and is available in unlimited quantity.
5) Biomass energy:
Biomass is the organic material obtained from the plants. The plants absorb energy from the sun by the process of photosynthesis so the energy is store in them. The biomass is the garbage leftover by the plants in the form of fallen leaves, broken branches, dead trees, wood chips, wasted crops etc. A number of other garbage and waste materials can be considered to be biomass. The energy obtained from the biomass is called as the biomass energy.
When the biomass is heated, the chemical energy within it is converted into heat energy, which can be used for heating water, producing steam, cooking food etc. Biomass can also be used to produce the methane gas, which can be used as the fuel. Rotten garbage and human waste can also be considered as biomass that can be used to produce methane, which is called as landfill gas or biogas. Biomass can also be converted biodiesel, which can be mixed with the traditional diesel fuel to run the vehicles.
special thanks to
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources
The Energy Department announced on April 26 a three-part plan to help implement the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Women’s Initiative aimed at attracting more women to clean energy careers and advancing their leadership positions. The new program, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative, is designed to translate the goals of C3E into action in the United States.
The new components of the U.S. C3E action plan were announced at the Clean Energy Ministerial, a global forum of the energy ministers and leaders promoting clean energy technology and the transition to a global clean energy economy. Australia, Denmark, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States each committed to undertake meaningful activities to advance women in clean energy. The U.S. C3E plan includes drawing together ambassadors, a cohort of distinguished senior professionals sharing an interest in broadening the recruitment, retention, and advancement of highly qualified women in the field of clean energy. Also, the DOE C3E Awards program will recognize mid-career individuals who advance the leadership and accomplishments of women in clean energy by offering six awards, including a cash prize of $10,000. Finally, an invitation-only symposium will be held on September 28, 2012, bringing together women and men to help build a strong national and international community of professionals who support women in clean energy. The MIT Energy Initiative, in partnership with the Energy Department, will sponsor this event. See the Energy Department press release and the inaugural C3E Ambassadors.
The Energy Department announced on April 30 that it has launched the Utility Data Access Map tool, an interactive Web platform that enables electric utilities across the country to show customers, in a simple way, the data they can access on their electricity use. DOE has already received responses from more than 500 participating utilities.
Many consumers do not have enough data or they are not aware of the data they can access to make informed decisions about energy efficiency measures that could save them money. Among those who do have access to their data, some lack the ability to share it with service providers who might help them identify energy savings opportunities and verify savings once improvements have been made.
The Utility Data Access Map tool provides “crowd-sourced” maps in user-friendly formats based on information gathered from electricity providers nationwide. It highlights local access to electricity data and allows consumers to compare their electricity data access to others in their state and across the country. The data access maps display different features of consumer electricity data, including the time period and timeliness of data—informing consumers, for example, whether their utility supplies same-day electricity use information—and the extent to which the data can be shared. By helping consumers better understand their energy use and providing new ways to compare, local utilities are adopting “smart grid” technologies. See the DOE Progress Alert, the Utility Data Access Map, and the DOE OpenEI website, a collaborative system managed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) on April 25 released an annual progress report highlighting the rapid progress made in some renewable energy technologies. The report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, noted the gains are due to solar photovoltaic (PV) panels being easily installed by households and businesses as well as gains in onshore wind technologies. IEA said that onshore wind has seen 27% average annual growth over the past decade, and solar PV has grown at 42%, albeit from a small base. Even more impressive is the 75% reduction in system costs for solar PV in as little as three years in some countries.
According to the IEA, estimated energy use and carbon dioxide emissions would increase by a third by 2020 and almost double by 2050. The report notes that many technologies with great potential for energy and emissions savings are making halting progress at best. Vehicle fuel-efficiency improvement is slow, and significant untapped energy-efficiency potential remains in the building and industry sectors. The IEA is an autonomous organization that works to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy for its 28 member countries and beyond. See the IEA press release and the complete report.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that the University of Pennsylvania won the 2012 College and University Green Power Challenge for the fifth consecutive year. The winner beat out 72 other schools across the country by purchasing more than 200 million kilowatt-hours of green power, which is 48% of its total power purchases. And at the conference level, the Pac-12 conference topped the list with more than 228 million kilowatt-hours, the largest total purchase among all conferences, and earned EPA recognition as the 2011-2012 Collective Conference Champion.
Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. Penn’s green power purchases represent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 27,000 passenger vehicles each year. See the EPA press release, the list of winners, and the Green Power Partnership website.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 25 that it has awarded more than $1 million in grants to 15 university and college teams. The awards went to teams from across the country that participated in the eighth Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for their innovative environmental solutions. EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) award competition was held at the expo and featured more than 300 college innovators showcasing their sustainable projects designed to protect the environment, encourage economic growth, and use natural resources more efficiently.
The P3 team projects include a new process that uses spinach to capture and convert the sun’s energy to electricity, as well as a partnership with a local landfill to design a process that uses waste heat and drainage to grow algae for biodiesel production. Following an initial peer review process, this year’s winners were selected from 45 competing teams after two days of judging by a panel of national experts convened to provide recommendations to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Each P3 award-winning team will receive a grant of up to $90,000 to further develop its design, apply it to real-world applications or move it to the marketplace. Previous P3 award winners have started successful businesses, and they are marketing technologies in the United States and around the world. See the EPA press release and the list of P3 award winners.
HVAC Efficiency Controls Could Mean Significant Savings
According to a new report from the Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), commercial building owners could save an average of 38% on their heating and cooling bills just by installing a few new controls onto their HVAC systems.
These findings mean significant potential savings for building owners who use commercial rooftop systems, but there’s just one problem: the controls aren’t currently commercially available.
Srinivas Katipamula, the PNNL engineer leading the study, says the report makes “a convincing case for manufacturers to produce more advanced HVAC controllers and for building owners to adopt these energy-saving methods.” The PNNL team hopes the report will encourage manufacturers to begin producing the four different control methods. Three companies currently manufacture HVAC controllers, but only one company offers a product with all the control options that resemble the team’s simulations. To help the manufacturers better understand their market, PNNL’s report examines potential pricing options for the controllers and how long it would take building owners to recoup that cost. Since packaged HVACs regulate more than 60% of the commercial building floor space in the United States, the potential savings from retrofitting advanced controls on these systems is enormous. See the complete story on the DOE Energy Blog.
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources(CCRES)
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
Energy has become integral parts of our day-to-day lives. Energy is required to produce electricity for domestic and industrial applications. We need energy to drive our vehicles, to run the machines, keep our houses cool and hot, run the computers and mobiles, and for a number of other purposes.
Comparison of Traditional and Alternative Energy Sources:
Traditionally we have been using fossil fuels for production of electric power and driving our vehicles. The fuels used for the generation of electric power are fossil fuels like coal and oil, and nuclear fuels like uranium. The fuels used commonly for running the vehicles are crude oils like gasoline and diesel. Alternative energy refers to the energy that is not dependent on fossil fuels, crude oil and nuclear fuels. Alternative energy, also called as renewable energy, is obtained from various sources like radiations of the sun (solar energy), wind, water, geothermal heat and tides in the oceans. Burning of fossil fuels is one of the major causes of environmental pollution and greenhouse effect. They release lots of carbon dioxide and particulate matter. The alternative or renewable energy is considered to be the clean energy since extracting energy from its sources does not produce any pollution.
The sources of energy like fossil fuels, crude oil and nuclear fuels are also called as non-renewable sources of energy since their deposits are reducing in the nature as they are being used extensively throughout the world. Fuels like coal, natural gas and oil took millions of years to develop but once used they cannot be replaced immediately. The alternative energy on the other hand is available in abundance from various sources and they get replaced easily immediately or within short period of time.
Alternative sources of energy provide unending supply of energy. For instance the solar energy from the sun will be available for unlimited period of time till the sun keeps shining. Solar energy can be collected by the collectors and it can be used for a number of applications like cooking food, heating water, generating electricity, running the vehicles etc. Similarly, the wind will keep on blowing on the surface of the earth tills its atmosphere is in place so it can be utilized for unlimited period of time. The ability of the wind to produce motion can be utilized to run the fans of the windmill and produce electricity from them.
The tidal energy is obtained from waves of the oceans having huge quantity of water that would last forever. One of the important sources of alternative energy is hydro-power used for the generation of electricity in hydroelectric power plants. Throughout the world, the hydroelectric power plants are one of the major sources for the generation of electricity. In these plants the flow of river is blocked at certain places and water is allowed to be collected at large height in the dam. The rivers have been flowing since thousands of years and continue to exist for unlimited period of time as they are replenished by rain water from time-to-time.
Geothermal energy is obtained from the lower layers of the earth usually for producing the heating effect. Once the energy is obtained from the earth, it is replaced immediately naturally and it can be used for ending period of time interval.
Another important source of alternative energy is the biomass like waste wood, leaves of the plants, broken branches and twigs of the trees, agricultural wastes, garbage, human wastes etc. The fuels obtained from biomass are called bio-fuels. Some of the common bio-fuels are ethanol, biodiesel, and natural gas. Biodiesel is a type of alternative fuel used for running of the vehicles. It is made from renewable energy sources like plant and animal fats. Biodiesel is not a petroleum fuel, but it can be easily blended with petroleum fuel diesel in various proportions.
All the above alternative sources of energy are expected to last for long intervals of time line. While the supply of coal, oil and natural gas is expected to reduce and stop in the future, the supply of energy from sources like sun, wind, water, earth, and biomass is expected to last forever.
Consumption of alternative energy in US has been increasing over the years. In the year 2009 the consumption of alternative energy in US was 7.7 quadrillion Btu, which was 8% of all the energy used in the whole nation. Half of the alternative energy was used for producing electricity, while 10% of the total electricity produced was from alternative energy sources. Besides this alternative energy sources were also used for production of heat and steam. Alternative energy was also used for transportation, and to provide heat for homes and businesses.
Alternative energy sources reduce the pressure on fossil fuels and also help keep environment clean. The only major problem is that alternative energy is expensive compared to the fossil fuels mainly because they are located in remote places and its difficult to bring them to the main grid. Some of the sources like wind and solar are not uniform during various periods of the day and the year. However, their demand has been increasing and various technologies are being developed to utilize alternative energy sources more efficiently.
special thanks to
CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
If you’re thinking about switching to solar energy, now’s the time. Prices have never been lower, and in some areas, PV systems can now produce electricity at a cost that’s competitive with — or even lower than — conventional electricity from coal, nuclear or natural gas.
That’s right — the day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. The cost of solar energy rivals electricity produced by much less environmentally friendly sources. What’s more, the cost of solar power will continue to fall while the price of conventional fuels spirals upward.
The cost of a residential solar power system has dropped about 40 percent in just the last two years. As a result, the lifetime cost of solar electricity produced by these systems now competes with conventional electrical power plants. In places where electricity sells for a premium, it’s competitive even without subsidies. In New Jersey, for instance, conventional electricity costs about 17 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). A residential solar power system can produce electricity at or slightly lower than that price, without any incentives.
Families in many major cities are paying 10 to 12 cents per kwh for conventional power, and soon, many in the Midwest will pay up to 15 cents/kwh for conventional power. Meanwhile, in the Midwest, the unsubsidized cost of solar power is about 13.7 cents/kwh, and a 30 percent federal tax credit drives that cost down to 9.6 cents/kwh.
Rebates that are available from some utilities lower the price even more. In St. Louis, Ameren offers a $2 per watt rebate based on installed capacity. A 5 kilowatt system would receive a $10,000 rebate as soon as the system is up and running. This incentive drives the cost of solar energy down even further — to 7.1 cents/kwh. That’s much cheaper than conventional power. In addition, the cost of solar electricity will remain the same for the life of the system — at least 30 years, maybe longer. This provides a tremendous hedge against inflation.
Ameren and other U.S. utilities also are currently buying renewable energy credits from their customers, which help utilities meet state-mandated goals for renewable energy production. Ameren pays $50 for every 1,000 kwh of electricity a solar electric system will produce for 10 years, regardless of the amount of power consumed by the system owner. For instance, if a system is projected to generate 40,000 kwh in the first 10 years of operation, Ameren will pay the homeowner a one-time payment of $2,000. That lowers the lifetime cost of solar electricity to 4.3 cents/kwh.
Businesses throughout the country receive even more financial incentives. They can apply accelerated depreciation to solar power systems, which lowers the cost of solar energy by 15 to 30 percent, depending on the company’s tax bracket. Rural businesses can receive a 25 percent grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It may actually be possible for some businesses to install a large solar power system at virtually no cost!
The challenge of most renewable energy systems is that you have to spend money now to save money over time. If you don’t have the funds to purchase a solar electric system upfront, you can consider financing one, or look into leasing options. Some companies will install a system on your home at their expense, then sell electricity to you at a rate that’s the same or lower than you’re currently paying.
Solar electricity and other forms of renewable energy are desperately needed to combat costly climate change and other serious environmental problems. They’ve always been good for the environment — now they’re great for the wallet!
CCRES special thanks to Dan Chiras
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)