The primary energy resources used by industrialized and developing nations alike throughout the last century have either been fossil fuels or atomic. These include nuclear power, coal, natural gas, oil, petroleum, diesel and propane. None of these fuels are renewable, which means that when the sources of those forms of energy are depleted, so is the energy. To compensate, alternative energy must be more thoroughly utilized in order to continue to supply power to economies. The good news is that there are a number of underutilized energy resources that have long been known to provide power. There simply has not been the political will to develop them on a massive scale. With fossil fuel resources on the wane and repugnance towards atomic power, alternative energies are on the rise, although they are still met with suspicion and are consequently underutilized.
The following list consists of energy resources about which people have known for a long time. For various reasons they have not been developed to the fullest extent. This, however, is changing and indeed must change is economies are going to continue to prosper into the 21st century.
Governments and private industry are slowly catching on about the potential of solar power. Critics say it will never be as efficient as fossil fuel. Perhaps not in places where the sun hardly shines, but an array of solar panels covering parts of the desert could theoretically power Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In addition, private homes fitted with solar panels can at least partially offset their reliance on the power grid.
Another alternative form of energy that is on the rise is wind power. On the coasts, in the plains and gorges and anywhere that wind is constantly blowing are good places for wind turbines. Powered by the wind, they produce energy that can be sent long distances to power homes and businesses.
The earth is constantly producing heat inside its mantle. Tapping into it allows people to both heat their dwellings and transform that heat into electrical energy to power other things. Some geographical locations are superior to others for this energy source, but it is still underutilized.
Wave and Tidal Power
Imagine using the motion of the waves and tides to power turbines to in turn create electrical energy. Considering that two thirds of the surface of the earth is covered with water, much of that tidal, this is both an extremely clean and grossly underutilized energy source.
Hydrogen, being the most abundant element in the known universe, could theoretically be used to produce electrical energy to power homes, cars and all manner of industrial machines.
As fossil fuel prices rise and nations’ ability to depend wholly upon them diminishes, alternative energy sources will have to be developed and fully utilized in order to power the world. These five underutilized energy sources are ready and waiting to be exploited if only there was the will.