Categorized | Environment, Featured, Science

Energizing Our Future

With the conventional sources of energy fast depleting, nations are looking for alternative sources to light up their homes and drive their cars. These sources are present literally in the backwards of these countries.

An interesting and very little known source is gas hydrate which is frozen methane gas. It is present in the depths of the oceans around the World. One such area is the Gulf of Mexico where at a depth of 29000 meters one of the largest deposits of gas hydrate has been found.

Usually at such murky depths there are very few living organisms. But in the area in which the gas is found is marked by characteristic evolution of gas bubbles from the faults in the ocean floor and attracts quite a few animals due to rich food reserves.

Holland is one such country where wind power is being harnessed on a large scale from the North Sea for powering homes. Shell has undertaken a huge project to make the first of its kind off shore wind energy harnessing system. Huge wind turbines standing more than 200 feet above the water surface have been installed in the open sea for this purpose. each turbine can support 200 households for a year.

In the UK the TORUS fusion reactor is well on its way to recreating the “Sun” on Earth. The reactor took 29 years to build and after the NASA, it is one of the premier centers of science. It uses hydrogen and heats it up to a temperature of several million degree centigrade to transform it to the plasma state and then there is release of neutrons. These collide to initiate the fusion reaction that occurs in the core of the Sun and is the source of its energy. This reaction involves no harmful radioactive fuel source and hence has no toxic waste management issues.  But the only problem is that it would take another 50 years for this source to light up homes on a large scale.

Australia uses more coal than any other country in the world. And hence needs to fast look for a clean source of fuel soon. The search has led to the planning of one of the most ambitious solar energy  project in the heart of the Australian desert. The country gets 300+ days of sunshine and hence this is the most abundant source of energy available which is strong enough to light up the Island’s homes. The project will have a tower, which will be taller than Taipei 101 (1,671 ft), and it will trap the solar energy and pass it down its length to be processed.

In New York the amount of power consumed by one citizen is equivalent to that used by several African nations. Here efforts are being made to tap the tidal energy of the East River by using water turbines and converting it into electricity. In the initial stages it is being used to light up a small convenient store. If this project can be put to use as the wind turbines in the North Sea then it will give New Yorkers clean electricity for their needs. (Corn fuel is another popular substitute being actively used etc.)

Climate change is a natural phenomena but human activities are aggravating it. If we try to use alternate fuel sources for our basic use then probably we’ll be able to slow the process considerably.

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