Electricity powers the modern world. However, that energy still needs to be produced by something, which requires an energy source. Here are five commonly used sources of energy.
1. Natural Gas
Natural gas is one of the most cost-effective sources of energy, due to newer, more robust methods of extraction, such as fracking. It’s the cleanest burning of the fossil fuels and is also one of the most commonly used sources of electricity in the United States. Companies such as Verde Energy USA may produce more than one source of energy, such as natural gas and solar power, for example.
2. Solar Power
Solar power is still less commonly utilized than other energy sources, but it’s one of the fastest growing sectors of the energy production industry. Photovoltaic, or PV, is the form of solar energy production that captures sunlight energy and converts it into electricity within solar cells. The other form of solar energy production, solar-thermal power systems, are capable of generating electricity via the use of steam turbines. Solar power is a source of clean energy with large amounts of potential, and many governments have begun offering subsidies for consumers and businesses to transition over to solar and other types of green energy production.
Oil has historically been the largest sector of the energy production industry. In recent years, it has been relatively stagnant, though demand for oil is still higher than most other popular sources of energy. Oil is a fossil fuel, and it doesn’t burn cleanly the way natural gas does. As a result, oil is a large contributor to energy emissions and climate change. The United States and China tend to be the largest consumers of oil in the world.
4. Nuclear Power
Nuclear power is produced by a process called nuclear fission, where the nuclei of atoms in the reactor are split to generate energy. This type of energy production accounts for about one-fifth of the energy market in the United States. The United States is also the country that produces the most nuclear energy, but France also has a robust nuclear energy sector. Nuclear power is considered a clean source of energy because it doesn’t require the burning of fossil fuels to produce. However, nuclear power can be a dangerous source of energy if power plants aren’t subject to stringent regulations and upkeep, due to this source’s waste products. The waste products of nuclear reactors include highly radioactive material which must be properly contained and disposed of, as this material is hazardous to the environment and to human and animal health.
5. Hydroelectric Power
Another source of clean energy is hydroelectric power. This sector of the energy production market is one of the fastest growing ones. Hydroelectricity is the product of the natural power of water, which means not only is it clean, but it is also much more affordable than many other sources of energy.
There are many sources of electricity available and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some energy sources are renewable, others are finite. Some are cost-effective, others are expensive.