What Is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is a type of energy that never runs out. This is energy produced by natural processes, which is constantly renewed. Examples of renewable energy include energy produced by sunlight, wind, geothermal heat water, or even biomass.
The Different Kinds of Energy
Renewable energy is very appealing today as the world worries about running out of oil and coal reserves. Much of the energy in the past relied heavily on oil and coal. However, the concern is that this is a limited resource. As a result of this concern, research has been done on using renewable sources of energy.
Solar power is energy provided by the sun. In countries which receive enough sunlight, this is a very good way to get energy. Many people in Africa, for instance, now use solar power to generate electricity for their houses. Making the solar panels does produce some toxic waste, which is a drawback. The other problem is the cost. In the past they were much more expensive and over time they have become much more affordable. Once in place the panels do not produce any pollution, but of course you can’t use solar power if you live somewhere that does not receive enough sunshine. Today a person can buy solar kits to use to power a cell phone. This form of energy has really become very popular today.
Wind power has become popular as well. Wind power has been available for several years if you think about it. After all, windmills are old structures that were used traditionally to mill flour or pump water. The modern wind turbine converts the moving air into electricity. The biggest problem with wind power is the cost it has on birds. The wind turbines often kill birds. This has a terrible toll on any birds flying past, and thus conservationists are very concerned about wind power.
Geothermal heat energy is heat that is produced within the earth by radioactive decay. This heat from the earth can be used to provide energy. The most energy is at plate boundaries which are more tectonically active. The downside may be the cost of drilling to find the best sources of heat. It has been used to produce energy in such countries as Iceland.
Water is a clean source of energy that can be used to generate electricity. Hydroelectricity is a cost-effective way of producing electricity. Very little greenhouse gasses are emitted from hydroelectric plants, and no direct waste is generated. When combined with a dam, the cost is low. Hydroelectric dams can store water until it is needed. Not many staff are needed today to run hydroelectric plants since they are now mostly automated. This also means the cost is low.
Biomass is the weight of living organisms. The idea is that biodiesel fuel can be made soybeans, other crops, or animal fats. Biofuels are considered to be clean-burning fuels, which helps with pollution levels. There also is not the environmental contamination that you get when spilling conventional fuels. Biodiesels are much safer for the environment than the traditional and conventional fuels.