Renewable Resources; Power from the Sun, Wind and Earth
Climate change, greenhouse effect, air, and water pollution are just some of the many ill-effects that traditional fossil fuels have brought to our planet. Many of these are irreparable effects of using non-renewable forms of energy. Each day we are witness to protests, campaigns and documentaries against the continuous use of such damaging power sources. Realizing that there are alternative sources of power that we can use, more and more people turn to different types of renewable energy that are greener and much more abundant. With so many alternative sustainable energy sources, we can be sure to have an energy source to address the particular needs of our home such as heating or electricity, perhaps.
So let’s take a look at the most common types of renewable resources of energy out there.
Over the last decade, the demand for solar energy has constantly increased. This is probably the most common and popular type of renewable energy. An efficient solar panel has the capability to provide around 80% of electricity and heat requirements of a simple household. Hot water from solar power or a solar-powered heater used summer and winter are getting more common, especially on locations where sunlight is quite abundant. Electricity from solar photovoltaics or solar cells is not yet fully exploited but is still being used by some households with very minimal electricity requirements.
As long as the sun shines, we can also feel the wind blow. And the wind is another renewable energy. Unlike solar energy, wind power is mainly used for generating electricity. But while we can feel the wind almost all around us, this does not mean we can put up wind farms anywhere. In order for wind turbines to generate enough power, the wind power plants need to consider how fast and how much the wind blows all year round. Normally, these strategic locations for this type of renewable energy are open plains or shorelines, smooth hill tops, and mountain gaps that generate wind funneling.
Geothermal means earth and heat. When you speak of geothermal energy, this is power generated from heat within the earth through geothermal heat pumps. These pumps use the steady even heat from the earth and exchange it with the heat from that of your home to generate either a cooler or warmer air. Almost 1% of the world’s energy requirement is now supplied by geothermal energy.
The potentials of these renewable resources have not yet been fully harnessed. Realizing the urgency to use these alternative forms of energy, government bodies have offered incentives and tax cuts to those using green power. And while using these energy sources could help save you money today, the bigger impact is painting of a brighter future for our Mother Earth.
Renewable Resources Summary.
There are plenty of other options out there. Biomass is another important one to look at. A reported 2% of total U.S. annual energy consumption in 2018 came from wood and wood waste. Ethanol is a renewable biofuel, which is becoming more and more popular. Again this is a Biomass type of fuel. The same applies to biodiesel, another biomass fuel. The majority of U.S. biodiesel is produced from animal fats & vegetable oils.