In contemporary society, alternative energy is that which is produced without the undesirable consequences of burning fossil fuels. Renewable energy is that which is produced and continuously renewed by nature such as sunlight, wind, rain, ocean currents and geothermal heat. An ideal sustainable energy solution is to produce alternative energy using the most renewable sources.
Some alternative fuels require only basic equipment and natural processes. Wood, for instance, is one of the most common and available alternative fuels and when burned, produces the same amount of carbon that it emits if left to degrade naturally. Other alternative energy fuels require a considerable investment of resources (i.e. physical and chemical processes) before they can be converted into useful energy. These include: biogas, plant-based oils, coal, and natural gas. Renewable energy can be used in an "active" form which often requires the use of advanced technology (i.e. solar panels, hydro-electrical plants, wind turbines, etc.) or in a "passive" form which often requires low or no technology such as water mill, windmill, capturing radiant heat, reflecting light, etc.
There are literally hundreds of ways to generate and utilize power and energy. Whether passive or active, the practicality of any method involves consideration of terrain, climate and the availability of natural resource and/or man-made technology.
Alternative Renewable Energy Description
Our Sustainable Training Center provides a combination of resources, education and guidance to support those who seek to become more knowledgeable and proactive in their sustainable energy objectives. The curriculum includes the knowledge to help people increase their use of more natural, alternative and renewable energies while reducing their overall energy footprint. The classes include practices and techniques for improving energy efficiency, practical energy alternatives and how to match the optimal energy source with a specific application. Our alternative and renewable energy classes include the following topics and many more.