Over the centuries, the humanity has been damaging the environment to live in comfort and prosperity. Consumption of natural resources is the least harmful human activity on Earth; nevertheless, people managed to turn it into natural disaster by burning coal and gas to get fuel and electricity. This procedure releases incalculable tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (methane, ozone, etc.) into the air, which is fraught with severe environmental consequences. When all predictions about negative connections between greenhouse gases emission and climate changes started coming true, new ways to get fuel and energy gained popularity: “Rising concerns about the effects of global warming, air pollution and declining fossil fuel stocks have led to increased interest in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energies”. Wind, tide, and solar power, together with energy generated from biomasses, can serve as less cost-effective electricity sources that are safe for environment.
One of the most wide-spread green electricity sources is wind power that allows obtaining electricity with the help of wind turbines. Wind power has grown to be a significant source of electricity supply in Europe and increasingly in North America and Asia. Its share of electricity production is likely to grow robustly in the coming decades. At first, wind power was used for home-power systems because it was rather costly and unreliable. Over time, however, large windmills were proved to be less expensive than small ones, and wind power technology started to be used on a larger scale. Since windmills demanded specialized maintenance, the costs of which were high, it was more cost-effective to locate them together; this is how wind farms emerged. Similar to wind power, tidal power has long proved to be a reliable energy source. Unlike wind power, it is less dependent on weather; to be more exact, it is predictable. Tide mills consist of a dam and a sluice; this structure is called tidal barrage. It captures the energy from water masses right the way wind mills get energy from the air masses moved by the wind. In this way, wind and tide power are perfect green energy sources given to the humanity by nature.
Another source of green energy is solar power which is not only more environmentally friendly, but also more economical. At present, solar energy is quite a popular way of electricity generation, especially in agriculture where not much energy is needed, for instance, for flowers cultivation. Besides, solar energy can contribute much into economic development of remote areas. Energy has always been a crucial element of wealth generation and economic prosperity as such. Thus, the use of solar energy can not only help save the environment, but also contribute into economic development of some countries: “There are many remote areas where electricity is absent, but solar irradiation is plentiful, thus the utilization of solar energy to produce cold in these areas is very important”. In general, solar power is generated with the help of solar photovoltaic (PV) module that converts sunlight into electricity. Also, sunlight conversion can take place indirectly; this is done using mirrors and lenses to turn sunlight into smaller beams. Such system is commonly referred to as concentrated solar power. Commercial plants use this system to generate electricity; the largest solar power plant is located in California. Therefore, solar energy, just like wind and tide energy, is a simple and relatively inexpensive source of electricity that does not harm the environment.
Lastly, biomasses are also a great source of electricity that is able to improve the environment instead of damaging it. Biomasses can be used to generate wood, waste, and plant energy. Dead trees, yard clippings, etc. are able to produce energy when they are burnt and when they leave wastes (i.e. when producing paper); however, it is mostly used as fuel. In contrast, waste energy refers to green electricity resources that have been used in the United States for more than a decade. The energy is derived from manufacturing and solid wastes, as well as from landfill gases; combustion of these wastes is able to produce electricity and heat. Finally, some plants are also able to generate electricity. The greatest advantage of using plants as a source of energy is that they do not release extra carbon dioxide into the air when they are burnt, because they consume the same amount of this chemical compound when they are grown. Energy can be produced by crops (i.e. wheat whose straw can generate electricity when it is incinerated) or other plants that are grown specifically for these purposes: “By combining the photosynthetic activity of hydrogen-producing green algae and a new electrode concept, the direct conversion of the energy of sunlight into electricity is possible by means of a living, green solar cell”. Thus, biomasses, including wood, wastes, and plants, can be used to generate electricity in a way that is safe for the environment.
In conclusion, there are a number of electricity sources that nature offers to humanity. Electricity can be generated from wind, tide, and solar power, as well as from incinerating biomasses. Wind mills, tide mills, and solar power systems and plants offer much safer ways of generating electricity than burning the fossil fuels that entails climate change and severely damages the environment. Renewable electricity sources are less expensive and more environmentally friendly. This is why it makes sense to use these resources instead of the ones that pollute air and lead to irreversible climate changes.
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