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A Guide to Alternative Energy for Consumers


For centuries man has relied on the Earth for sources of energy. Through the use of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, they have been used to heat and provide power to our homes. For several centuries this has been an adequate source for us to provide power for our homes and businesses. However, due to continued reliance on these sources of fuel, they are becoming increasingly difficult to find, causing people to find alternative and renewable sources of energy.

In recent times man has come up with various sources of energy to become alternatives to traditional fuel supplies. These alternative energy sources have become helpful ways to supplement the fossil fuel sources that we have been using. Recently we have started to find ways to harness the power of the sun, wind, water, and the Earth to provide us with energy. By starting to use alternative energy, we are ensuring that we have a sufficient supply of power for generations to come.

While using alternative energy is a way to help preserve the elements of the Earth, there are a few drawbacks. Switching over to using alternative energy supplies can be costly for homeowners and business owners. Also, the technology is fairly new and is still being perfected to ensure efficient operation. People looking to incorporate alternative energy sources need to balance the pros and cons, in order to come to a decision based on their specific needs.

We have put together a number of resources to help you learn more about alternative power, including the various types, advantages and disadvantages. We hope this information is helpful for you.

  • Kids Definition – Kid-friendly definition providing information on what renewable or alternative energy is.
  • Renewable Electricity Generation – Informative page from the U.S. Government which provides information on using renewable energy.
  • Alternative Energy Sources – This web page provides an introduction to alternative energy sources that are available.
  • Learn About Renewable Energy – In this page from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory you will find helpful information about renewable energy.
  • What is Renewable Energy? (PDF) – Web page which provides a definition of renewable energy and how it is used and benefits of usage.
  • Benefits of Renewable Energy Use – The benefits of using renewable energy are outlined in this helpful article.
  • Renewable Energy Benefits – Information on some of the positives that result from the use of renewable energy.
  • Renewable Energy Advantage – In this article you will learn about the advantages of using wind power as a source of energy.
  • Renewable Source Advantages – Useful information about renewable energy sources and advantages of using them.
  • Renewable Energy Pros and Cons – Helpful web page from the BBC which provides an easy to use chart on advantages and disadvantages of various renewable energy sources.
  • Pros and Cons – Information on the advantages and disadvantages of wind power as a source of energy.
  • Disadvantages of Renewable Energy Technologies – In this article you will find the disadvantages of using renewable energy outlined and discussed.
  • Energy Source Information (PDF) – In this publication you will find advantages and disadvantages of various types of energy sources.
  • Disadvantages of Solar Power – This government article provides five disadvantages for using solar power in the home.
  • Renewable Energy – Overview on renewable energy types and how it is used as a source of energy.
  • Solar Power Information – Web site which provides information on using the power of the sun for energy.
  • Solar Energy – Helpful page from the Solar Energy Industries Association which has a variety of information about using solar energy.
  • Basics of Solar Energy – In this University of Oregon page you will find the basics of solar energy being covered.
  • Solar Power – Information on solar power and how it can be used as a source of energy.
  • Wind Energy Center – This page from the University of Massachusetts provides information for consumers about the power of the wind and how it can be harnessed.
  • Introduction to Wind Power – Informative page which introduces people to using wind as a source of energy.
  • Wind Power Information – In this page from National Geographic you will find information and facts about wind power.
  • Hydro Power Information – Helpful page which provides a historical look at using water for power.
  • Geothermal Energy Facts – In this page you will find basic information on geothermal energy.
  • Geothermal Energy – This government page provides basics to learn about geothermal energy.
  • Geothermal Energy Information – Article about geothermal energy from the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Geothermal Energy Facts – Facts and information to help teach kids about how to use the Earth as a source of energy.
  • What is Renewable Energy – Helpful information on what renewable energy is can be found on this page from Penn State.
  • Bioheat Fact Sheet – Harvard provides a page with even more helpful information on renewable and alternative energy.
  • Alternative Energy’s Economic Hurdles – Some of the reasons people are more resistant to switching to alternative energy sources is due to the initial cost associated with it. This article discusses this hurdle in more detail.