In addition to nonrenewable energy sources like fossil fuels and nuclear power, our electrical mix also includes several forms of renewable energy.
Learn more about the many renewable electricity sources already in use and their potential future applications in the fight against climate change.
What Is Renewable Energy?
Power generated from renewable resources is not depletable. They have a negligible or nonexistent impact on the environment’s carbon cycle because they are natural and renewable.
Wind, solar, bioenergy (organic matter burned as a fuel), and hydroelectric, including tidal, are all examples of renewable energy.
Electricity generation by burning fossil fuels has been a major source of atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions for decades; as a result, these renewable energy sources are crucial in the fight against climate change.
Renewable Resources That Are Most Widely Used
The four most common types of renewable energy are:
In both the United Kingdom and the United States, wind power is the primary source of renewable electricity generation. Wind turbines at both onshore and offshore wind farms spin to produce power. By turning a driving shaft and gearbox that is attached to a generator, the turbines transform the kinetic energy of the spinning blades into electricity. The power is amplified before being added to the national grid.
It stands to reason that sunlight, one of the most abundant and cost-free energy sources on Earth, would rank as the top renewable energy option. Nonetheless, the amount of daylight we experience varies considerably across latitude, season, and hour of the day.
The ‘photovoltaic effect’ (or PV) is the name given to the chemical and physical reaction that occurs when sunlight is captured on solar panels to produce energy.
Flowing or falling water is used to generate hydropower. Dams are the sites of hydroelectric power plants, which use the rotation of underwater turbines to power a generator and produce energy. Wave and tidal power, which use ocean forces to generate electricity at the mouths of vast bodies of water, are also included under the umbrella term “hydropower.”
Burning organic matter as a fuel source can produce electricity. Biomass refers to any fuel derived from organic matter, such as plants, trees, or even food scraps. When bioenergy is produced, carbon dioxide (CO2) is released; however, these fuel sources are considered renewable because they can be regrown and, over their lifetimes, absorb as much carbon as they emit.
The Definition of Nonrenewable Energy Sources?
Non-renewable energy sources include things like coal, natural gas, and oil, all of which are considered fossil fuels. These are natural possibilities, but their availability is limited.
Non-renewable energy sources have the drawback of taking thousands of years to originate, then being mined and burned to produce the energy needed to power generators. When burned, they release dangerous greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.
Why Should We Use Renewable Energy Sources?
There are a number of reasons why we need to start using renewable energy now.
Governments around the world are striving to use renewables to exclusively power their country since they are in a much more plentiful supply than fossil fuels.
Most importantly, the usage of renewables results in almost no harmful emissions, therefore the clean energy they supply will be vital in halting climate change. That’s why achieving many of our future net-zero objectives depends on expanding their use right now.
Is Renewable Energy the Same as Clean or Green Energy?
Many people become confused because the terms “green energy,” “clean energy,” and “renewable energy” are sometimes used interchangeably.
- Clean energy produces electricity without emissions. However, its manufacture or maintenance can sometimes have a ‘carbon cost’. For example, natural environments have to be cleared to create hydroelectric plants with a dam, and the work to construct them often creates carbon emissions.
- Green energy comes from totally natural sources, which have low or no environmental impact in their creation or use.
- They can both be renewable, which essentially means that they come from a source that can’t be depleted.
So, while renewable energy sources are generally accepted as being environmentally friendly, this is not the case for all of them.
Stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the world of technology by following our Twitter page. Our recent posts cover a wide range of topics, from wearable tech to artificial intelligence and beyond.
If you’re interested in learning more about the latest developments in technology, be sure to visit the links below. We’ve provided detailed information on the most recent breakthroughs in the field, so you can stay informed and ahead of the curve.