Tag Archives: clean energy

Renewable energy exploration – economical wonders

Renewable energy sources were doubted. Renewable energy was subsidized. Technology was blamed as unreliable. The Earth was flat and the stakes were burning.
But now it seems that there are believers. Believers in the power of the sun, wind, water. A power that could not be measured. And these believers support the technology and exploration of these resources. For less than a decade, their efforts have made the solar technology four times cheaper, while in the same time the prices of the fossils were going up. What would a reasonable man prefer as an investment?

Water energy

Hydroelectric power

Hydropower, hydroelectric power or water power is power that is derived from the force or energy of flowing or falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as watermills, sawmills, textile mills, dock cranes, and domestic lifts. Today, the term is used mainly in conjunction with the modern development of hydroelectric power, the energy of which can be transmitted considerable distance between where it is created to where it is consumed. Hydroelectricity is the  electricity generated by hydropower.

Types of Hydropower

– Riverine hydropower

– Marine energy

History of Hydropower

Hydropower has been used since ancient times to grind flour and perform other tasks. In the mid-1770s, French engineer Bernard Forest de Bélidor published “Architecture Hydraulique” which described vertical- and horizontal-axis hydraulic machines. By the late 19th century, the electrical generator was developed and could now be coupled with hydraulics. The growing demand for the Industrial Revolution would drive development as well. In 1878 the world’s first hydroelectric power scheme was developed at Cragside in Northumberland, England by William George Armstrong. It was used to power a single arc lamp in his art gallery. The old Schoelkopf Power Station No. 1 near Niagara Falls in the U.S. side began to produce electricity in 1881. The first Edison hydroelectric power plant, the Vulcan Street Plant, began operating September 30, 1882, in Appleton, Wisconsin, with an output of about 12.5 kilowatts. By 1886 there were 45 hydroelectric power plants in the U.S. and Canada. By 1889 there were 200 in the U.S. alone.

Hydroelectricity

At the beginning of the 20th century, many small hydroelectric power plants were being constructed by commercial companies in mountains near metropolitan areas. Grenoble, France held the International Exhibition of Hydropower and Tourism with over one million visitors. By 1920 as 40% of the power produced in the United States was hydroelectric, the Federal Power Act was enacted into law. The Act created the Federal Power Commission to regulate hydroelectric power plants on federal land and water. As the power plants became larger, their associated dams developed additional purposes to include flood control, irrigation and navigation. Federal funding became necessary for large-scale development and federally owned corporations, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (1933) and the Bonneville Power Administration (1937) were created. Additionally, the Bureau of Reclamation which had began a series of western U.S. irrigation projects in the early 20th century was now constructing large hydroelectric projects such as the 1928 Hoover Dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was also involved in hydroelectric development, completing the Bonneville Dam in 1937 and being recognized by the Flood Control Act of 1936 as the premier federal flood control agency.

Solar energy

Renewable solar energy

The Sun produces a lot of light every second and it has been doing that for billions of years. Energy from the sun is called solar energy. Renewable solar energy is a resource that is inexhaustible and readily available, unlike fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. It is a clean energy source that can be used pollution free and allows for local energy independence.


People have used this power for thousands of years. Houses have windows so that sunlight can get inside and provide heat and light. The sun’s energy can also be used to heat water and even food. If you own a magnifying glass, your parents have probably warned you about leaving it in the sun. Solar energy can actually make the magnifying glass burn objects underneath it, causing a fire. This type of energy from the sun in the form of heat is called solar thermal energy. We can also turn the sun’s light into electricity. This is done with solar panels. Solar panels are made up of a material called silicon. The silicon is heated and formed into very thin wafers. When the sunlight hits the solar panel, the electrons (tiny particles) in the silicon move and flow through wires built into the panel.

Types of solar energy

Solar power is used a number of different ways, of course. There are two very basic kinds by the type of energy it is converted into:

– Solar thermal energy collects the sun’s warmth through one of two means: in water or in an anti-freeze (glycol) mixture.

– Photovoltaic solar power – converting solar energy into electricity using photovoltaic cells.

History of solar power

The Romans took their knowledge of the sun being a source of energy as they were the first people to use glass windows to trap the warmth of the sun in their homes. They were so serious about the preservation of this solar energy that they erected glass houses to create the right conditions to grow plants and seeds.

While many people were benefiting from solar power it wasn’t until 1776 that the first solar collector was built. This collector was built by a man named Horace de Saussare. His collector was cone shaped and would boil ammonia that would then perform like refrigeration and locomotion. This first solar power collector attracted much interest in the scientific community through the 19th century.