Scientist have been on a great journey for years (especially in the 21st century) for a better and more efficient way to harness energy, that does not pose a negative impact on our environment. Many paths have been explored and a few of them are: Tidal Power, Solar Windows, Nuclear Waste, Flying Wind Farms, and Nuclear fusion. In my research I have found some of these sources to be more practical than others. However, they all contain the potential to be large scaled and put into effect if not in the near future then in the distant future. A few that I wanted to key in on is: Tidal Power, Solar Windows, and Flying Wind Farms.
Why is it necessary for us to look into alternative sources? Well it is because in our current situation we are polluting our environments with harmful substances that can have long lasting impacts. Not only does these substances affect the human life but also the wild life. That is only one aspect of need in our world. Another aspect would be in third world countries. Cheap and efficient ways to harness power will bring many of these countries out of poverty and into wealth, benefiting us all.
Tidal power is the process of harnessing the energy from waves in the sea/ocean. This idea was at one point highly sought out for. However, as wind turbines started to come into the picture this idea was put aside and neglected for a few years. Recently this idea has been getting more attention and has been resurfacing as an engineer with the air force has created a way to harness theoretically 99% of its energy (as opposed to the 50% it was getting a few years ago). In past projects drag was the main element used to capture the energy. The new method from the air force engineer uses lift instead of drag which gave him higher results in the end. I can strongly see this source of energy playing a big part in powering our homes day in and day out.
Solar Windows is a higher level of solar panels. A recent break-through in quantum dot solar technology enables solar panels to act as transparent windows. When this technology becomes available to the public, every window in every metropolitan building (highly efficient) to every household can be equipped to power itself. In the Past four years itself the US has increased its solar capacity by 500% in seeing its potential for an avenue in clean energy source. So this is yet another source that I strongly believe and trust will have an impact on our environment.
Flying Wind Farms comprised of Buoyant Air Turbines (BAT) is an interesting topic. It involves a blimp and a wind turbine fused together to get into higher altitudes (1000-2000 ft) to get stronger and more consistent winds. Not only is the energy harnessed but also this blimp will also act as a double to provide Wi-Fi in a larger scale. It is predetermined that the entire tower based wind farms will be replaced by BAT. These Bat devices are capable of retracting and extending in altitude as it senses the wind pressure getting too strong or too weak. The wind turbines were initially considered a hoax but now have taken the industry by storm. In saying that I do see a future for this innovation. However, I do not see it being accomplished in the near future.
Overall my understanding is that there are many ways to harness renewable energy, however, some will be more efficient than the others. In the short list that I presented I see the Tidal power project having the greatest capacity to be seen in the near future. It is also one of the most efficient forms of collecting energy as it can collect up to 99% of the tidal energy. This will be great for a large scale like powering entire cities. However, for an average consumer looking to power their homes then I would point them to the Solar Windows as soon as they arrive in the market, because they provide an energy source without having to sacrifice appeal of the home. As regular solar panels tend to be bulky and weird looking sitting on the top of the roofs. As scientists and engineers look for alternative energy sources lets provide our support by simply accepting the fact that there is a need for all these alternative energy sources.