Renewable energy is trending nowadays and brings clean energy for future. We are heading towards a low-cost bright future with renewable energy. Moreover, it is breaking records and converts into the biggest electricity grid without compromising with reliability.
However, renewable energy is highly displacing the harmful dirty fossil fuels in the power sector. It also helps to lower down the emission of carbon and pollution from the environment. But some renewable sources are not beneficial for our environment.
For example, hydroelectric dams and biomass energy sources create difficult tradeoffs that result in the harmful impact on climate changes and wildlife. If you want to know the different renewable energy sources, you have come to the right place. But before moving ahead, it is vital to understand what it is exactly? And how using it is beneficial for our planet and economy. In this article, we are going to cover up all these topics.
What is renewable energy
Renewable energy is the type of energy that comes from natural sources and constantly recharging processes. Moreover, it is a source of low-cost clean energy. For example, sunlight and wind are the best sources of renewable energy.
However, renewable energy is the new technology of utilizing nature’s power. For a long time, this energy has been used in lighting, transportation and many more. For example, the sun provides warmth and helps to create power for various purposes, and wind energy helps to power up the boats to sail and windmills to grind grains. Over the decades, many people are moving towards cheaper electricity sources such as coal and cow dung.
Nowadays, people are becoming more innovative and have low-cost ways to retain solar and wind energy. Moreover, renewable sources are becoming vital energy sources for most of the people around the world. Solar panels on the rooftops of many homes also help sell power back to the giant offshore wind farms. However, many rural areas depend on renewable energy for lighting and heating.
Simply, renewable sources are continuing to integrate across the region and create a smart and secure electricity grid. Now let’s start with understanding different types of renewable sources.
Different types of renewable energy
Below is the list of different renewable sources with detailed information;
1. Solar energy
Over a decade, humans are utilizing solar energy to grow crops, dry foods and stay warm. Nowadays, the sunlight falling on the earth is harnessed in many ways, such as power devices, warm water, and heat homes and companies.
We can install solar panels on our rooftop to generate solar energy. The cells present in the solar panels made of silicon are expensive and convert the warmth of sunlight into power. However, the solar system mostly generates electricity for homes, businesses and many community projects. It can generate electricity for thousands of homes using panels that concentrate sunlight on many solar cells. Moreover, floating solar farms can be beneficial for using non-sensitive ecological wastewater bodies.
We can generate solar energy to power up the whole house at a smaller scale, but we can produce more than enough electricity through passive solar home design. It is a design of having south-facing windows through which sunlight enters and stores heat in bricks, tiles and concrete.
Lastly, it does not produce any greenhouse gases and air pollutants. That results in no harmful impact on the environment.
2. Wind energy
Now we are moving forward from the old-fashioned windmills to the tall turbines. These tall turbines are the best ways to generate power. When the wind moves the blades of the turbines that start feeding the electric generator to generate electricity, it works.
However, wind energy is becoming popular in many parts of the countries involving Oklahoma, California, Texas and Kansas. We can place turbines on high wind speed areas such as open plains, hilltops and offshore in open water to generate electricity.
Small cell phone companies, boats, and ranchers use small turbines to generate energy. Moreover, a wind turbine reduces your electricity bills depending on power needs and wind speed.
3. Hydroelectric energy
Though before wind energy, wind energy was the largest source of electricity in the world. Hydropower works with fast-moving water in a large river from a high point. The force of water spins a generator’s turbine blade, thus converting water’s power into electricity.
But large hydropower plants and mega-dams are considered to be non- renewable sources of energy. Hydroelectric plants tend to decrease the natural flow, thus, harming the living water bodies. Therefore, small hydroelectric plants are a little better because they do not harm the environment and restrict only fraction flow.
4. Biomass energy
Biomass is an organic material, including crops, plants, animals, trees and waste wood. When a biomass material is burned, that converts heat energy into electricity with a steam turbine.
For generating electricity, biomass particles are the best alternatives to fossil fuels and coals. But recent studies show that the forest biomass material produces higher carbon emission than fossil fuels.
Whereas, there are some of the biomass materials that produce low carbon emission under the right situations. Chips from sawmills quickly decompose and produce less carbon dioxide.
5. Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is another best way to produce electricity from the core of the earth. The slow decay of radioactive material at the center of the earth results, making the center warm like the sun’s surface.
We drill deep and bring out hot water from the earth’s core to the surface, pumped through a turbine to generate electricity. Geothermal plants have low carbon emission because they can use the pumped steam and water into the reservoir to generate electricity. There are many ways to create geothermal plants in the areas where underground ponds are not present, but it seems that it increases the risk of earthquakes in the areas considered hotspots for earthquakes.
Nowadays, geothermal technology is trending worldwide. For example, the coils at the back of your refrigerator are the type of mini geothermal heat pump that removes heat from inside to keep food cool and fresh. We all can use geothermal pumps to warm our house in winter and to cool our homes in summer.
The geothermal system is expensive to install, but it is a one-time investment only because they last longer than air conditioners and have low maintenance issues.
6. Tidal energy
The moon controls our ocean that makes tidal energy possible. This system is still under process, but some tidal energy plants like dams that are harmful to wildlife. However, wave energy depends on the dam-like structure or ocean floor over the water surface.
So these are the different types of renewable sources of energy that are trending nowadays worldwide. These sources of energy are beneficial for our environment and bring a better future.
What are non- renewable sources
However, burning wood is better than coal burning. But burning wood is not the best choice because it releases some harmful particles in our environment, resulting in the reduction of natural habitat and deforestation.
Why Renewable Energy Is Important
Using renewable energy is one of the best ways to reduce the harmful effect on the environment. Clean energy and greenhouse gases are the number one electricity source because it decreases the smog and chemicals in the air.
However, it takes up a lot of time, money and consistent support from both state and federal mandates to replace fossil fuel infrastructure with renewable energy plants.
There are benefits to people, businesses and the planet through renewable sources of energy.
All energy sources have some harmful effects on our environment, unlike human activities. However, each renewable energy has its benefits. But the benefits of renewable sources over the impacts of non-renewable sources are unbelievable. It lowers air and water pollution, reduces land use, and fewer impacts wildlife and habitat or lower carbon emission in our environment.
Additionally, the dispersed character and its technology development have come up with vital benefits for people, businesses, the planet and our economy.
1. Renewable sources emit fewer greenhouse gases.
Burning coal can result in higher carbon emissions. Therefore, it causes climate change and global warming. While considering the full cycle of renewable technologies, most clean energy sources result in little or no carbon emission.
2. Clean energy is beneficial for our health by emitting harmful pollutants.
Worldwide there is an increase in the use of fossil fuels, road transportation, electricity generation and industrial activities that results in the expansion of harmful pollutants in the air.
In rural areas, most people use charcoal for cooking and heating, resulting in poor air quality. Harmful air pollutants from non-renewable sources cause health diseases. Most of the studies show that all these non-renewable energy sources are responsible for millions of premature deaths.
3. Renewable energy is low in cost.
Renewable sources of energy are highly expensive for installation, but it is a one-time investment only. Because after installation, it generates electricity at a low cost. Moreover, it is less affected by the geopolitical crisis and sudden disruption in the supply chain.
4. Renewable sources of energy bring jobs to the local community.
Most of the renewable energy needs humans to build and maintain the materials. The investments are spent around the continents and within the same country and the same town. Therefore, it results in more people can pay off their energy bills by staying home and creating jobs that fuel up the economy.
5. Renewable sources of energy prevent power shortages.
Nowadays, renewable sources are making modern electricity infrastructure more independent and beneficial. Moreover, most companies and Businesses are using renewable sources to avoid a harmful impact on the environment and avoid disruption.
6. Renewable energy sources are better for development.
However, in most parts of the world, renewable sources are bringing low-cost power generation technologies. This cost is continuing to decline. Renewable sources are the best way to generate power access to all inhabitants, particularly for most people living in the urban slums, informal settlements, and peri-urban areas in the developing world.
7. Renewable energy sources are secure and better for stability.
Increasing geopolitical uncertainty and energy markets have grown the energy generation infrastructure to the forefront of many national energy strategies. From India, the European Union and the US to Egypt, the security of renewable sources are a concern in energy markets.
8. Renewable energy sources are easily acceptable.
Over the decades, the number of energy projects is using renewable sources in various parts of the world. However, the energy community is associated with northern European countries such as Germany and Denmark. These renewable energy projects are increasing in various parts of other countries such as Japan, Canada and Thailand. Therefore, it confirms that democracy is vital for the change in renewable sources.
Why we need renewable energy
Electricity generation is the cause of the increasing pollution in all around the world. Nowadays, we all are using non-renewable sources to generate energy. However, generating electricity from these sources results in global warming, polluting our air, harming our water and land-living habitats.
So we can use renewable sources to generate energy to get rid of these harmful impacts on our atmosphere. Nowadays, it is possible to generate electricity from renewable sources without producing carbon dioxide. Above in this article, we have discussed some types of renewable sources that generate energy.
Moreover, renewable sources are abundant, available everywhere and less harmful to our environment. For example, the energy present in the sun, wind, wave and thermal energy from the earth’s core. Whereas, fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gases are not renewable and are cheaper in rate because they are ready to use after extraction.
Where we can use these renewable sources
We can use these renewable sources everywhere, from cooling buildings to various industries and businesses.
- We can use renewable sources for heating and cooling the buildings involving solar thermal water heaters, geothermal heats and biomass boilers. It can also provide heat through efficient heat pumps. Decreasing down the demand of energy of buildings is vital for the renewable generating energy system.
- Food, pulp and paper processing are the industrial processes that can run on renewables. Biomass energy is the best way to produce heat that we can use in industrial processes. Renewable energy produces hydrogen that is beneficial to meet industrial processes in cement, iron, steel and chemical industries. Substituting fossil fuels with renewable sources is reducing energy demand.
- We can use renewables in the form of sustainable biofuels in vehicles. Electricity generation from renewable sources can help to power up electric automobiles. Moreover, we can also conserve energy by using car batteries as storage units. It can also produce electro fuels such as hydrogen to fuel up ships. Through energy efficiency and conservation, we can accomplish reducing overall energy demand in the transport sector.
The future of renewable energy
The energy demand is increasing as the world population rises to power up their homes, communities and businesses. Nowadays, innovation and integration of renewable sources are vital to maintain the level of energy and protect our earth from harmful particles.
According to the international energy agency, renewable sources will reach 30% by 2024, but today it is 26%. However, the UK hits new renewable milestones. For the first time, on Wednesday, 10th June, the country celebrates the purely running of renewable sources.
Lastly, in the future, the demand for renewable sources of energy will be increasing as the demand for power also increases. Further, decreasing the price that will give a big release to our wallet.