New Alternative Energy Source For Homes

The need for alternative energy sources for homes are very high as fuel prices continue to climb or stay very high.

Ethanol, and other bio-fuels are increasing in popularity, as is solar, wind, and water-generated power. Although not yet in widespread use, many new homes are coming equipped with such things as solar panels and various means to conserve energy.

The idea of nearly free energy sources and self-sufficiency is very appealing. I think it would be great to set up a still, make ethanol, and run a generator off of that for electricity, and set up a wood burning furnace for heat.

The beauty of some of these alternative energy sources is simplicity. Before we became so dependent on petroleum based fuel products, wood-burning stoves were our major source of heat, coal also was used, and anything else that would burn. Cooking was done over the same source of heat. Coal and wood-burning boilers became popular for heating larger areas and supplying warmth throughout a home. These are still viable options for us to take advantage of today.

Wind, and water-generated power is also a simple and time-tested method for supplying electricity. Rural areas with space and wind can effectively set up a windmill, and those with streams running through their property can use waterwheels.  There are now very quiet and inexpensive wind generators in the market for individual home use.

Most people in the United States do not own land or have access to such sources of energy, but almost everyone has access to sunlight. This is where solar panels can be most effective. New houses are being built to maximize their efficiency and take full advantage of the energy from the sun, but almost any home with an unobstructed southern facing surface can implement some solar power.

(Watch Latest Home Solar Conversion Video)

There are pros and cons to the use of each of these energy sources. Sometimes the initial cost to be invested is too great for the average person to implement. Other times there may be consequences or obstacles that weren't counted on. Using alternative sources of energy may take more manual labor on the part of the homeowner. There is also the question of efficiency. Sometimes methods of producing energy are not efficient and not enough power is generated.