The term ‘alternative energy’ implies energy that is used as an alternative to using fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). It can be either solar, wind or other renewable energy, that can replace or supplement fossil-fuel.
The reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas are limited and they are called non-renewable resources because once the supplies that are available are used up, they cannot be replaced. With the extensive use of fossil fuels, the reserves of fossil fuels are getting depleted at a very fast pace and considering population growth and future energy requirements, we have to prepare for the future energy demands by the use of alternative energy.
Combustion of the fossil fuels is considered to be the largest contributing factor to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Due to the adverse affects, the globe is heating up and the polar ice caps are melting faster. Air pollution is also a direct result of the use of fossil fuels, resulting in smog and the degradation of human health and plant growth. But there are also the great dangers posed to natural ecosystems that result from collecting fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil. Oil spills have devastated ecosystems and coal mining has stripped lands of their vitality.
Alternative energy sources have no undesired consequences and they don’t harm environment in any way. They are renewable and are thought to be "free" energy sources. Not only do the use of renewable energy sources help reduce global carbon dioxide emissions, but they also add flexibility to the energy resource mix by decreasing our dependence on limited reserves of fossil fuels.
The development of alternative energy sources provides a clean environment, an evironment that will not be affected by the consequences of the use of traditional energy sources, such as nuclear energy or fossil fuels.
Being compared to the conventional processes of obtaining energy, the ones obtaining alternative energy have all considerably decreased amount of carbon emission.
Renewable energy comes under different options, such solar energy, wind energy, biomass energy, geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy, they all having rich potential to satisfy the energy needs.
Renewable energy can also be a cheaper option in comparison to the conventional sources of energy and it also may represent a boost in countries' economies, under the form of new jobs created.