What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy refers to clean energy, which comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly sought. For example, sunshine or wind keeps flashing and flowing, even if their availability depends on time and weather.
While renewable energy considers new technology, the power of nature has long use for heating, transportation, lighting, and more. The wind has driven the boats to drive the windmills and to grind the grain.
The sun has provided warmth during the day and has helped a fire to burn in the evening. But in the last 500 years, humans have increasingly turned to cheaper. Non-Renewable Energy sources such as coal and foreign gas.
Now that we have increasingly new and less expensive ways to capture and sustain wind and solar energy. Renewable energy is becoming a more important power source, accounting for more than one-eighth of the American generation.
It is also expanding on a large and small scale, from rooftop solar panels on homes. And that can sell electricity from the grid to huge offshore wind farms. Also, some entire rural areas rely on renewable energy for heating and lighting.
All these different types of energy have unique characteristics and they have great potential as they develop technologically. The most important advantage of these renewable resources is that it does not emit any harmful gas.
Definition of Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is the energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replaced over a human timeframe. Such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy often provides energy in four important areas. Like power generation, air, and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services.
Types of Renewable Energy
The most popular renewable energy sources examples are:
- Solar energy
- Wind energy
- Hydro energy
- Tidal energy
- Geothermal energy
- Biomass energy
1. Solar Energy
Humans have been using solar energy for thousands of years to produce crops, stay heated and dry foods. Today, we use the sun’s rays in many ways to heat homes and businesses, to heat water or electrical appliances.
Solar, or photovoltaic (PV), cells are made from silicon or other materials that convert sunlight directly into electricity. Distributed solar systems generate electricity locally for homes and businesses, either through roof panels or community projects that power the entire neighborhood. Solar farms can generate electricity for thousands of homes in solar farms by using mirrors to focus sunlight over an entire area of solar cells.
Solar energy source does not produce air pollutants or greenhouse gases, and as long as they are sitting responsibly, most solar panels have some environmental impact beyond the manufacturing process.
2. Wind Energy
Wind energy is energy derived from the power of naturally occurring wind. Electricity generates when a windmill automatically turns due to wind pressure and mechanical energy converted into electricity with the help of a generator. This method is adopted in areas where wind energy is sufficient.
3. Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is a type of energy drive from the internal heat and energy of the Earth. This type of energy is usually found in the earth’s crust in rocks and the radioactive decay of minerals. Geothermal energy is done in areas where there are active volcanoes.
Electricity can create from the natural heat of the Earth. Geothermal heat is a by-product of the natural decay of minerals in the soil. This ecologically developed technology does not produce any greenhouse gas and has great potential for future development.
4. Tidal Energy
Tidal energy is a type of energy that collects from the waves or the tides that are calm and more or less predictable. The 3 types of methods used to transform tidal energy into electricity are tidal stream generator, tidal barrage, and dynamic tidal power. Some of these methods use in dams and hydroelectric stations.
5. Hydroelectric Power
Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source for electricity in the United States, although wind power requires to take an edge soon. Hydropower is a large river that usually relies on rapidly rising water or rapidly descending water from a high point and converts the force of that water into electricity by spinning the generator’s turbine blades.
Large hydropower plants or mega-dams are considering non-renewable energy at national and international levels. Mega-dams reduce natural flow and restrict access to animals and human populations that depend on rivers. Small hydroelectric plants (an installed capacity below about 40 MW), carefully managed, do not pose as environmental damage, as they divert only a fraction of the flow.
6. Biomass Energy
Biomass is an organic element that comes from plants and animals and includes crops, waste wood, and trees. When biomass burns, chemical energy release as heat and can produce electricity with a steam turbine.
Biomass is described as a clean, renewable fuel and greener alternative to coal and other fossil fuels to produce electricity. However, recent science suggests that many forms of biomass particularly from forests produce higher carbon emissions than fossil fuels. Biodiversity also has negative consequences. Nevertheless, some forms of biomass energy can serve as a low carbon alternative under the right conditions.
Pros and Cons of Renewable energy
Benefits of Renewable energy
There are some benefits of renewable energy as described below:
- Low cost: One of the main advantages of renewable sources of energy is that it is low cost and abundantly available. This basically means that no additional cost is required in acquiring these natural sources of energy which naturally increases the savings.
- Renewable: The main attraction of these natural forms of energy is that it can be renewed again and again. Wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, tidal energy, and other forms of natural energy have to be replenished over time. The more it is being used, the more it is reclaimed.
- Stability: These renewable sources provide stability in energy prices. This can be done mainly because energy-efficient techniques are implemented with a low-cost source of energy. It provides stability.
- Employment: They provide employment opportunities to a large number of people. A large number of people are employed in fixing solar plants and building dams. More and more factories have been set up to utilize this renewable source of energy. Most labor-intensive techniques are used, which means that more jobs are created. This, in turn, improves people’s living standards.
- Health Improvement: These renewable resources do not emit gases harmful to the atmosphere. This, in turn, avoids the depletion of the ozone layer. Thus, the balance is made in the percentage of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Air pollution is greatly reduced, which in the end improves people’s general health, from asthma and other lung disorders such as respiratory problems.
- Non-pollutants: One of the major advantages of renewable sources of energy is that it does not cause any pollution. It is a pollution-free energy source. And does not produce any waste product. It does not emit any greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Disadvantages of Renewable Energy
There are some disadvantages of renewable energy as described below:
- Reliability, a major disadvantage of renewable sources of energy is that they are not reliable. The replenishment property of this renewable resource mainly depends on the climate, weather conditions, and geographical location of the region. There is a constant change in atmospheric temperature due to global warming, emission of greenhouse gases, and depletion of the ozone layer. Therefore, the work of this renewable resource is at great risk and cannot be relied upon.
- High capital investment: This is a major disadvantage of this renewable source of energy. Proving resources does not require much investment, but using these resources requires large capital investment to build plants and their conversion to the desired form.
- Limited space: This is yet another loss of renewable resources of energy. Industries cannot be determined anywhere; Rather it has to be established in areas where the availability of these resources is abundant. For example, geothermal units can be set up only where volcanic eruptions are active. Windmills can only be installed in areas where the air level is high.
- Misuse: Since the availability of this natural renewal is comparatively more and cheaper, it is more likely to be misused.
Renewable resources are the property of Mother Earth and they need to properly utilize so that they can be used by future generations. Minimal and careful use of such resources helps them to reclaim naturally over time. The latest technology should use and new ones introduced for the major development of available resources. Proper guidelines should make and appropriate steps should take by the government to ensure minimum wastage of renewable resources.
Renewable energy is useful energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, including carbon neutral sources like sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. The term often also encompasses biomass as well, whose carbon neutral status is under debate.
Following are the types of renewable energy:
1. Solar energy
2. Wind energy
3. Hydro energy
4. Tidal energy
5. Geothermal energy
6. Biomass Energy
Advantages of renewable energy:
1. Renewable energy won’t run out.
2. Maintenance requirements are lower.
3. Renewables save money.
4. Renewable energy has numerous health and environmental benefits.
5. Renewables lower reliance on foreign energy sources.
6. Higher upfront cost.
8. Storage capabilities.
Disadvantages of Renewable Energy:
1. The Electricity Generation Capacity is Still Not Large Enough.
2. Renewable Energy Can be Unreliable.
3. Low-efficiency Levels.
4. Requires a Huge Upfront Capital Outlay.
5. Takes a Lot of Space to Install.
6. Expensive Storage Costs.
7. Not Always a Commercially-viable Option.
8. It Still Generates Pollution.
- Renewable energy Sources: Solar Schools