Energy Generation in the New Millennia

Generation is the process of creating electricity from other sources of energy. As the world's population grows, the need for electrical power grows with it. China, for example, has increased its need for electrical power, which has more than doubled in the last five years. As China, like most of the world, burns coal for its power, the cost to the environment is staggering. Other forms of energy generation are available and are much more ecologically friendly than coal. Electricity can be generated through solar, nuclear, wind or carbon power. Coal based plants burn carbon to generate steam that drives turbines generating electricity. Nuclear power is similar as the fission reaction heats the water surrounding the core; of course, then there is the challenge of dealing with the waste. Solar and wind power are considered the cleanest energy sources, and they are limitless resources. As always, the catch is making the development of such sources economically lucrative before they become truly universal, but steps are being made. It is increasingly clear that the world is going to have to make some changes in its energy production since the current model is unsustainable. Rolling blackouts are becoming more common as energy needs peak and the electrical grid is unable to meet demand. A redesign of the grid is necessary at this point to allow better management of this critical resource, and plans are being made to do so. Still, since the electrical infrastructure currently used is relatively old, it will take time to incorporate the new technology. With the looming end of the fossil fuel era anticipated in the next fifty to one hundred years, according to some experts, there is an increasing need for clean energy technology. Previously considered too expensive, wind and solar power are slowly gaining a foothold in the electrical generation scheme. With growing need and an aging infrastructure, electrical generation companies are struggling to keep up. That new technologies are constantly being revealed is a source of hope.

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by Ben Joe Stockton


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