Humans differ from other living organisms in a number of ways. One important difference is their contribution to negative environmental events such as pollution and global warming. Since we, as mankind, are responsible for causing these phenomena, it is our responsibility to eliminate or reduce the different ways by which we contribute to these negative environmental impacts. One method to make this goal possible is to utilize alternative energy forms. These forms do not rely on fossil fuels. They are always available, renewable, and are not as harmful to the environment. Some companies throughout the world have been set up to develop and distribute these alternative forms of energy.
One such company is known as Innovative Power Systems, or IPS. Established in 1991 and located in Minneapolis on the corner of Como Avenue and Highway 280 Southbound, “Innovative Power Systems designs, installs, and services solar electric, wind electric, and solar thermal systems for residential, commercial, and utility-scale applications.” The solar electric energy utilizes photovoltaic (PV) cells as its basic unit. “The cells convert solar energy into direct current electricity…” Solar energy is “represents the most abundant, most renewable form of energy available to our planet”, and is non-pollutant. One possible disadvantage is the low efficiency, as far as photovoltaic cells are concerned (ibid). Wind electric is another form of energy available from this company. In this form, “a wind generator´s rotating blades convert the wind´s kinetic energy into rotational momentum in a shaft. The rotating shaft turns an alternator, which makes electricity. This electricity is transmitted through wiring down the tower to its end use.” The wind offers the same advantages as the solar electric, but may require more maintenance (ibid). Finally, a solar thermal system “generates heat by using lenses and reflectors to concentrate the sun’s energy.” Solar thermal systems are beneficial in that not only do they utilize a renewable, environmentally-friendly source of energy, but also “A report issued in January 2005 by Green Markets International found that solar water heating can be more cost-effective at reducing greenhouse gases than solar electric. They also found that solar thermal is comparable to wind farms and hydro electric facilities in terms of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”
In conclusion, IPS, a local company, makes solar electric, wind electric, and solar thermal systems available. These utilize renewable, abundant sources of energy. Despite some disadvantages, these systems help to reduce the negative impacts on the environment, such as pollution and global warming.