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How do alternative energy sources work?

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Like other developed nations, the United States relies heavily on fossil fuels. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, less than 10 percent of the country's energy supply is derived from renewable sources (see References 1). read more

The supply of fossil fuels is limited, and burning them creates greenhouse gas emissions; consequently, replacing coal and oil with alternative energy is a high priority (see References 2). Alternative energy sources may be used on a small scale by individual homeowners and businesses, especially in the cases of solar or wind power. read more

Most of them operate on exactly the same principle that fossil-fuel energy sources work. Something is exerted to turn a magnet inside a coil of wire, or a coil of wire inside a magnet. This converts the mechanical energy that turns the thing into electrical energy. read more

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, renewable energy comes from either sources that cannot be depleted or from sources that can replenish themselves on a human time scale. The former category includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power, and an example of the latter is biofuel. read more

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