This past few years saw rising interest expressed for renewable energy, the kind of energy that is abundant and free, taken from natural resources like sunlight, water, rain, geothermal heat, wind, and tides. Because of concern over dwindling fuel supply and the increasing problem of global warming, numerous governments and organizations from all over the world are now looking for viable energy source options using these natural resources.
Countries like Denmark and Spain have already successfully harnessed wind power to supply a portion of their electric power. In London, a vast wind farm expected to become the largest in the world has already begun construction, a physical manifestation of the country's efforts towards encouraging the renewable energy sector. Elsewhere in the United States are several wind farms established for power generation, such as those in Pampa, Texas and in Fond du Lac County in Wisconsin. In Wyoming, there is the Happy Jack Windpower Facility that already began its commercial operations in September 2008.
Another renewable energy source is also being used to generate power and for other practical purposes as well as solar power. In states filled with sunshine the whole year through, such as California and Nevada, solar thermal power plants are being constructed with the aim of supplying power to a large percentage of households. However, the largest photovoltaic plant in the world is found in Germany and is expected to become operational in 2009. Several communities in the United States are also implementing plans of purchasing and installing their own photovoltaic farms to supply renewable energy to its households.
Many places all over the world are also harnessing geothermal energy for power supply. In the United States, the latest projects of this kind have been initiated in Beaver County, Utah and in New Mexico. The former has a geothermal power plant called Thermo while the latter has just begun construction on the Lightning Dock Geothermal Power Plant.
Wave power is also being tapped as potential source of renewable source, with the opening of a large wave farm in Portugal in September 2008. This first of its kind facility is expected to generate more than 2 MW of electricity. In Oahu, Hawaii, the US Navy has funded and taken active participation in the development of a wave energy technology expected to generate about 1 MW of electricity.
And elsewhere in the world, car manufacturers, legislators, and private individuals have taken interest and commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the use of more energy efficient automobiles. Most of these vehicles are also capable of using the biofuel ethanol, which is certainly affordable and produces no pollutants into the atmosphere.
With most of the countries in the world and environmental organizations pushing for the use of renewable energy resources and for the development of supporting technologies, there is an expected trend of consumer preference toward renewable energy supply. Because of these, it is also expected that the renewable energy sector will continue to increase and expand with more investments from capitalists all over world. With these developments, the goals of reducing the world's dependence of fossil fuels and enjoying cleaner environment are slowly reaching realization.
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