Renewable energy is the energy coming from various natural resources which are continually renewed on a sustainable basis, such as wind, sun, water, tides, and geothermal heat, to name a few. In fact, renewable energy accounts for a large percentage of renewable energy globally, accounting for more than 15% of total global energy production. As people become increasingly concerned about the finite resources of fossil fuels and the harmful consequences they have on the environment, renewable energy is becoming much more popular each day. However, it can be difficult to understand how it works and what it does for the environment, especially if you do not live in the arid or semi-arid areas where renewable energy is most often used. The following is a brief guide to renewable energy.
The main benefit of renewable energy over fossil fuels is that it is directly fed into the power grid of a home or office, rather than being extracted from the ground or dug out of the ground. As long as the renewable resource is stored in a reservoir or other storage structure, it will continue to generate electricity indefinitely. When the resource is used, it uses up a fraction of the energy it produces, meaning that carbon dioxide emissions remain at minimal levels. This also means that the average greenhouse gas emission is kept to a reasonable level, making renewable energy much more environment-friendly than fossil fuels.
There are many other environmental benefits of renewable energy sources. It is considerably cheaper to use than most other forms of energy, such as solar and wind energy, because the materials do not require digging and are generally easy to maintain. Also, unlike nuclear energy, renewable energy does not add to the growing number of greenhouse gases being produced in the atmosphere. Wind and solar power are also extremely reliable. As well as being extremely green, they also create no residual waste and no byproducts, meaning that they are extremely safe to use.
The earth’s natural resources are replenished every day. During daylight hours, the sun provides us with enough natural energy to supply our needs for a full day – that is, provided that we have sufficient sunshine. Similarly, when darkness falls, we can easily obtain renewable energy by using light-absorbing materials, such as wood or bamboo, as well as passive solar technology systems that trap sunlight during the day, allowing it to heat up water and air to be used at night. In fact, we could provide all of our electricity needs through renewable energy sources alone, should we choose to.
Hydrogen is a great natural resource, and it is also abundant, so we can use it in place of fossil fuels in our cars. One issue is that currently, the only commercially viable method of creating hydrogen is through the combination of oxygen and hydrogen in water. Although this method has been around for some time, it is not very practical for powering your car. Nevertheless, scientists are constantly working on ways to produce hydrogen, so that it will be more practical for households and eventually, vehicles as well.
Solar energy doesn’t really belong to “renewable energy” category because it does not utilize any natural resources. However, it can be harnessed through the use of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. Solar energy can also be utilized through natural sources such as heat and the earth’s molten core. Although geothermal heat energy isn’t readily available to individuals, it can still be utilized to create electricity for your home. With the use of specialized heaters, you can even convert geothermal heat into usable electricity, depending on the equipment you use.