Unlike solar panels, solar cells serve a dual purpose. While solar cells are used to power homes, they also protect a home’s roof. Dow created POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles with durable plastic that mimic the style of modern shingles. These shingles also serve as an aesthetically pleasing alternative to bulky solar panels. Developers have found that the molecules in certain plastics open pathways creating “nanowires” that allow electricity to flow through more efficiently. Researchers believe plastic solar cells are the way of the future due to their ease of installation and durability.
Another alternative energy source is energy recovery. Through this process, non-recycled plastics become a source of renewable energy that can produce up to 50 net megawatts of electricity. Krista Friesen of Canadian Plastics Industry Association says that amount of electricity is enough to power 60,000 homes. Through processing, non-recycled plastics can also be used to create synthetic crude oil and synthetic diesel fuel. There are many routes to take when reusing plastic, rather than allowing it to fill the landfills.
Wind Turbines are a booming source of modern day alternative energy. Driving down a highway in Middle America, you are likely to run into these monster-sized windmills. Rather than using electricity to spin their pillars, the pillars are made to catch the wind high up in the air. As the wind turns the pillars, electricity is created. Through the use of plastic, the pillars on the wind turbines are made lighter, allowing them to turn faster to create even more electricity than before