A Report Outlining the Various Types of Alternative Energy Systems, their History, and the Difference Between Renewable and Non–renewable Energy Resources

Essay by ruddoHigh School, 10th gradeA, May 2010

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Alternative Energy

"A report outlining the various types of alternative energy systems, their history, and the difference between renewable and non -renewable energy resources."

By Alex Rutherford




With the current state of the environment, and the fast depletion of fossil fuels starting to become a major concern, the push for alternate energy is as strong as ever. Alternative energy is any energy source which doesn't require the burning of fossil fuels, such as wind or solar. This results in a cleaner and more cost effective form of energy.

Historical Development

Throughout time, humans have developed the need for energy, for uses such as heating and cooking. There is evidence that fossil fuels were used by the Chinese to heat their homes as early as 2000BC, though it wasn't until 200BC when the first use of renewable energy was starting to be used. The Europeans realised that moving water could be used to turn a wheel, which could power mills to perform many tasks such as crush grain, tan leather, and saw wood.

Then, more than 700 years after the invention of the waterwheel, the first windmill was developed for pumping water and grinding grain. The next 1000 years saw little developments in these inventions, though they became widely used and refined. These windmills reached their best in the hands of Dutch engineers towards the end of the 16th century, with the windmill quickly becoming the most efficient renewable energy source of its time.

With the coming of the industrial revolution, the 17th century saw the use of coal wiping out the need for any other energy source, putting a halt on the development of renewable energy systems. The late 19th century saw the first use of solar energy, used to produce steam which in turn was used...