Other forms of natural energy

There are various forms of natural energy sources which are currently being used to produce some of the electricity in the UK.

Solar Power
Solar power is becoming one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources in the UK with private individuals and home owners being tempted by the many grants available to install solar panels on your roof and the opportunity to sell any excess energy they do not use.

Solar energy is also starting to feature prominently in consumer electronics such as phone and laptop chargers. This is a case of every little helps and the more the public move towards using these products the less we will rely on fossil fuels.

The main disadvantage to solar power is the lack of energy produced throughout the winter when sun levels are low.

The UK current has a total capacity of 122 MW of solar power.

Water Power
Water can be used to create energy in several ways, these are tidal, wave and hydrological.

Tidal power is using tides to drive turbines which is then converted into power, just like wind turbines. Tidal power can create a lot of energy, quickly and as the tides operate on a timetable with the moon the level of power produced can be predicted. There are some negatives however, these tend to be the high cost and opposition from environmental groups.

Waves use the movement of the sea around a cavity to trap and then compress air which in turn drives a turbine to produce electricity. This form of energy production is currently not used on a large scale due to the high cost of constructing the turbines and air traps.

Hydrological is a more common form of using water to create power and uses dams. The dams use the energy from the moving water to create energy . As the construction of a dam often involves flooding a local area, which may be a village or several fields the production of energy is also used in conjunction with reservoirs which collect water, usually for public use.

Biomass is a natural form of energy which is derived from the production of gases in decaying animal and plant mass. You can use biomass either by burning it or treating it with chemicals so it can be used as a fuel in diesel vehicles.

The main advantage of biomass is the renewable nature which can always be replaced. The main problem is it is not easily used or implemented by the general public in the way that wind and solar power can be. One of the popular forms of biomass is oilseed rape which is farmed in the UK, if these are not replanted and harvested each year then there would be no fuel!

Biomass is not always environmentally friendly as the burning or gas production can release greenhouse gases.