Archive for October, 2011

Renewable Energy Sources By Norman Heslop

October 15, 2011

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Renewable energy is harnessed using natural, renewable resources such as wind, water, and the sun. Solar energy from the sun, hydroelectric power from the water, and wind power are all becoming more common sources of power around the world. Every year the percentage of homes and businesses that run off these renewable resources increases.

 

Wind power is one of the fastest growing forms of renewable energy sources in the world. This type of power harnesses the intense force present in the wind through the use of turbines. Generally the turbines are grouped together in massive fields known as wind farms, sometimes located offshore. Wind power currently accounts for about 1% of global energy consumption. As of 2011, the Empire State building in the United States, one of the largest buildings in the world, has been set up to run completely off wind energy.

 

Solar power, another form of renewable resource energy, remains one of the most discussed forms of energy alternative, primarily because it is more readily accessible to the average consumer than wind power. Currently, solar electricity makes up less than 1% of global consumption. Some studies suggest that by 2025 solar power will account for up to 10% of American energy consumption. In the past 8 years, the increase in consumers utilizing this form of alternative energy has increased by around 40% each year.

 

Finally, there is hydroelectric energy, which has been used for over a century in some parts of the world. This is the type of energy that is used by harnessing the power of water through the use of dams. This type of electricity holds the distinction of being the most utilized form of renewable resource electricity in the world, accounting for 20% of global consumption. Massive dam systems can be found in the Tasmania, China, and in certain parts of the United States such as Niagara Falls and Arizona.

 

As fossil fuels become scarcer, the demand for renewable resources of power will grow. It is quite likely that within the next 100 years, alternative energy sources that are gathered from the wind, water, and sun will come to account for most, if not all, of global energy production. In addition to ensuring that electricity remains a plentiful resource for the world, this will also help to reduce pollution and decrease the effects of global warming.

 

About the Author: Norman Heslop firmly believes that renewable forms of energy will play an integral part in future power usage in the United States and beyond. When not looking for ways to reduce the effects of global warming and increase our sustainability as a nation, Norman Heslop enjoys traveling to locations like Niagara Falls and Mexico.

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Traveling to Niagara Falls By Norman Heslop

October 15, 2011

Niagara Falls, which lies along the international border of New York State and Ontario, Canada, has long been a hotspot for tourists. Honeymooners frequently visit the massive waterfalls, often taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist, a famous boat tour that has existed for over 100 years.

 

Apart from being a romantic sight, Niagara Falls provides hydroelectricity to much of New York and Canada. In 1961, Niagara Falls was the largest source of hydroelectricity in the Western world, and to this day it remains the largest provider of its type in the New York area. The Niagara River provides approximately 1,500,000 gallons of water per second on average. In 1950, both the United States and Canada signed a treaty that limited the amount of water that could be diverted from the falls for hydroelectric purposes. The intent of this treaty was to conserve the falls for future use. As a result, throughout the day from April through October, at least half of the available water must be present at and flowing over the falls. At other times, the nearby power plants may use up to three-fourths of the available water.

 

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Travelers to Niagara Falls will be greeted with a choice of numerous hotels, resorts, and campgrounds. There is even a state park on the U.S. side, which sometimes offers free guided hikes through the Niagara Gorge. On the Canadian side, there are a series of parks and recreational areas surrounding Niagara Falls, including a butterfly conservatory, a botanical garden, and the serene Queen Victoria Park.

 

About the Author: Norman Heslop, who loves to travel, counts Niagara Falls as one of his favorite places to visit. Another favorite destination for water-lover Norman Heslop is the Caribbean coast of Mexico.