Hydropower has been a slumbering giant in the energy game. Since the 1960s, its use has actually gone down compared to other energy sources. This is beginning to change.
Now, Tom set his sights on working out a plan to take his home “off the grid”, out of the hands of the public electric works. He needed a way to provide his own electricity, so that he and Barbara could stop using electricity from the city. He did his research and found that he had three options for an alternative power source to bring electricity into their home: solar energy, wind power, and hydropower.
The fact is that you can come off the grid and you can even sell your surplus, home-made electricity back to the grid. This is not likely to make you a lot of money, but it is a lovely feeling after only paying out for decades. However, the savings of life off the grid do not end there. There are ecological savings and the saving of human life too.
These designs are readily available online from specialist web sites and the pieces of equipment are available from DIY or hobbyist stores. Once you have made your green energy resources, they are practically maintenance free, although you may have to top up the batteries with sulphuric acid or distilled water.
The problem is that we humans are burning, churning and polluting our way through a finite fuel source. What if, on the other hand, we got handed to us a viable energy source that doesn’t stink up the place?
One of the renewable energy sources that is really moving forward is known as biomass. This allows for common waste materials including wood, trash, crops, and even gases from landfills to be used to create energy. This is also going to reduce the amount of materials lying around in our landfills. Maybe one day the use of geothermal energy will be more plausible. Right now though it is complex, complicated, and expensive. The procedure for accessing it involves going into the core of the Earth more than 4,000 miles beneath the surface.
In order to meet this demand, we will have to focus on research and then development of energy technologies that are not only sustainable, but profitable.
This might be the only time you ever read about molten batteries in your life. The next time you read about your utility company buying electricity from a solar farm, this may be exactly what is involved.