Alternatives to fossil fuels include geothermal energy, solar energy, water power, wind power, and biomass fuels. Some of these alternatives are already being used, and efforts are underway to develop other. After reading this chapter, you should understand:
- What passive and active solar systems are, the advantages and limitations of each, and the environmental effects of developing and using the various types of active solar systems.
- What are the potential uses of photovoltaics.
- Why hydrogen may be an important fuel of the future.
- The advantages, disadvantages, and environmental impacts of developing hydropower.
- Why wind power has considerable potential, and how its development and utilization could affect the environment.
- What are the potential environmental consequences of using biomass as an energy source.
- What geothermal energy is, and how developing and using it affects the environment.
- What important policy issues will affect large-scale use of alternative energy sources.