Electricity has been the most important part of mankind. Since the discovery of electromagnetic induction by Michael Faraday in 1831, it came a long way in helping every activity of man. And with this, demand for electricity has gone up in recent years. A need for larger plants to produce electricity is necessary to sustain this demand. However to obtain electricity, we must harvest this from energy sources. Currently, fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy, however these are considered non-renewable and fossil fuels are being consumed rapidly in recent years. With this scare resources depleting, different sources of energy are being seen as an effective alternative choice. Also, different ways are being utilized to conserve energy and properly allocate energy in order to minimize electricity loss.
Although most of power and electricity source is dependent on fossil fuels, it is known to have a lot of disadvantages. Mainly, fossil fuels are a scarce commodity and only a few have access to these resources. Fossil fuels are not distributed fairly to different areas. Aside from that, burning fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases that affects the atmosphere and further destroy the ozone layer thereby destroying our environment. And with this, there is a realization of other ways of producing electricity away from the dependency on fossil fuels.
Non-renewable energy aside from fossil fuels are now being tried for their effectiveness in generating the required electricity for the current demand. Traditional renewable energy sources include hydroelectricity, geothermal, wind and solar power. Hydroelectricity is done by harnessing the energy of falling water. This is converted to mechanical energy which in turn gives out electricity. With this kind of energy generation, no fossil fuel is needed, unlike water that can be sourced from oceans, rivers and lakes. However even if it has its advantages, hydroelectric energy also has its disadvantage. Since water is needed for to run the turbines, a plant needs to be built near the body of water. This in turn could damage the ecosystem of that area. Usually a dam is also set up, thereby altering the whole surrounding. In geothermal energy, the steam pressure is harnessed from hotspots seen by the presence of geysers and fumaroles. But even finding this naturally occurring geothermal system is scarce and rare. So other forms of energy source like wind and solar energy are also being used because they are abundant and free. Wind, for example, is practically available every day. The only problem with wind is its changing intensity throughout the day. Oftentimes wind turbines are set at a very high altitude to get faster wind speed and to get assured intensity. Solar power can be done either by concentrating the solar heat and boiling water to create steam for turbines to move or to use photovoltaic energy. Recently there has been a strong development and research for photovoltaic energy by using the right semiconductors and constructing solar modules that would collect the light source from the Sun.
Aside from finding renewable sources of energy, there has been a tremendous research as well in proper managing electricity and making sure that energy loss is minimized. Storing electric energy is also a big factor in energy conservation mainly because large amounts of this can’t be stored for a long time. So in order to do this, different energy storage is used such as PHES, CAES, SMES, FES, ECs and Batteries. There also has been advancement in power plant management by using Smart-grid. It is used to identify supply and demand for electricity by controlling networks and rerouting energy to prevent outages.
With the increasing demand for electricity, different ways of sourcing of energy has been expanding to renewable sources. In such time, this energy would be harnessed efficiently and further provide a stable electrical source. Aside from this, energy management is also crucial in controlling the demand for electricity. People on the other hand must be educated on conserving energy and properly using it in order to minimize the need for energy production of power plants.