Image by hnix
In our never ending quest for energy sources, there have been remarkable scientific breakthroughs. According to Enmax Calgary, renewable energy usage has increased about 10 percent in the past couple years. Here are some alternative energy resources that are being tapped and some that well could be, even if they are a little bit on the odd side.
Algae has several beneficial uses that extend beyond feeding fish and other aquatic life. There have been studies done that have shown that the lipid oil found in algae not only has health benefits for humans, it can also be used as fuel.
The biggest challenge facing lipid oil as a renewable energy source is the large amount of product that would be need to be harvested. Large scale use is something to look at down the road, but for now, it can be used on a smaller scale.
As odd as it may sound, an electric eel in Japan was hooked up to a set of Christmas lights. An electric eel is capable of a jolt of electricity of 440v. While this isn’t going to power your house any time soon, imagine having a tank of them ready to light up your annual holiday decorations or even an outdoor lamp that provides some light for a late night picnic.
Your Nightly Leftovers and Food Scraps
There are companies using leftover food like fruit peels and coffee grounds to create anaerobic digestion to create powerful gases. These gases are being harnessed to produce electricity.
Food that is often headed for the landfill is now being used to power small towns and houses. The future will continue to get even brighter with the ever increasing use of these gases, giving us near perfect renewable, sustainable power generation.
We know that vibrations and sound waves can generate piezoelectricity. This is caused by harnessing a sound wave by putting some objects into mechanical stress. At present, it looks like this type of power is only useful for generating small amounts of electricity for uses such as charging a cell phone or small battery. However, as research grows and companies find ways to harness this power, we may see houses and small towns powered through this method.
Yes, everyone’s favorite food, chocolate can be used to produce energy. A UK company fed leftover waste from it’s chocolate factory and added it to e coli bacteria. The combination of the two created hydrogen. Hydrogen is a clean burning fuel with only one by-product: water. The fats in chocolate were also recently utilized to power a race car. This biofuel byproduct got the car up to 130 mph on the track. A New Hampshire-based company even started using cocoa beans to be converted into biofuels. They began taking what were originally waste products and turned them into new power source.
The future of alternative power generating methods is bright and continues to grow. As the dependence on fossil fuels begins to dwindle, companies and individuals are finding new methods. Some have been around for years and others are strange, shots in the dark.