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Alternatives to Fossil Fuels and Fracking on a Commercial Scale

The Dangers of Fracking

The extensive use of fracking in the US, where it has revolutionised the energy industry, has prompted environmental concerns.

Fracking uses huge amounts of water, which must be transported to the fracking site, at significant environmental cost.

Environmentalists say potentially carcinogenic chemicals used may escape and contaminate groundwater around the fracking site. The industry suggests pollution incidents are the results of bad practice, rather than an inherently risky technique.

There are also worries that the fracking process can cause small earth tremors.

What Is It?

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

The process can be carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer and can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels.

Alternatives to Fossil Fuels and Fracking

There are many alternatives to burning through the scarce resource of fossil fuels that we have, it's a matter of financing renewable energy systems that are beneficial to the consumer. The technology available in the green energy industry is continuously growing and there are more government incentives coming available for both domestic and commercial size technologies.

Solar Energy

Solar energy can be captured by solar panels. There are 2 main types of solar panels which uses complete different technologies to make use of the energy from the sun:

  • Solar Water Heating collectors: These panels absorbs the energy from the sun and transfer it to heat water.
  • Photovoltaic or solar electric panels: These panels transform the solar radiation directly into electricity.

Wind Power

People have used the power of the wind for many years to produce mechanical power for milling grain and pumping water. In recent times wind turbine technology has enabled us to harness wind to generate electricity. The electricity is then exported either to the grid for use locally or to power a standalone application.
This renewable source of energy has great potential in both onshore and offshore wind farms. Wind power is one of the cleanest and safest of all the renewable commercial methods of generating electricity. The UK has the largest wind resource in the whole of Europe.

Geothermal

Geothermal energy is the heat of the Earth, which can be tapped into to produce electricity in power plants, and to use its warm water for industry, agriculture, bathing and cleansing. Although in use worldwide, its potential as an energy source is not fully utilised, thus geothermal offers a real option in future environmentally-friendly energy supply.

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