All life forms on earth require energy for their evolution. We obtain it from different sources. Thus, you see that everything which you use from clothes to food, we obtain them from resources on the earth. The prime source of energy for daily human activities is natural resources. However, using these resources also impacts our surroundings. Thus, you see that we have renewable energy and non-renewable energy. This article focuses on the former and helps you study it in detail.
Introduction to Renewable Energy
Renewable energy refers to the energy which is generated from natural processes and keep replenishing constantly. For instance, sunlight, water, wind, tides, geothermal heat and biomass.
The energy which renewable energy provides us is used in 5 important areas like air and water cooling or heating, electricity production, transportation and the rural sector. A lot of countries are starting to invest in renewable energy resources.
It is beneficial because these resources help to maintain sustainable development. Moreover, the use of these resources is only increasing day by day. Further, these resources are present over a wide geographical area.
This is advantageous as it is unlike the conventional energy resources which are usually concentrated to a limited number of regions. For instance, oil and gas are mostly present in Middle East Countries.
Most importantly, when we use renewable energy resources for producing energy, it causes less pollution. Similarly, it has an essential impact on the economic benefits and energy security.
Examples of Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is ones which can never get depleted. In other words, their importance is valuable. Thus, you see how these resources are different from fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. Now, let us take a look at the examples:
- Wind energy
- Solar energy
- Geothermal energy
- Biomass energy
Sources of Renewable Energy
We can sustain the sources for a longer period of time as they can be renewed often very easily. Sustainable sources are solar power, nuclear power, wind energy, biomass, wave power, geothermal, and tidal power.
Further, you will see that these sources do not pollute that much. Thus, everyone is eager for the new carbon emission norms. Carbon will play an important role in the development of new factories and industries.
The rating of the factories and industries will be done as per the carbon emission and the products which they will produce will be rated accordingly.
Types of Renewable Energy
Now that the meaning, examples and sources of this energy are clear, we will move on to the different types of reasonable energy.
To obtain solar energy, we harness the radiant light and heat energy from the sun by using solar collectors. There are different types of solar collectors available, They include photovoltaics, artificial photosynthesis, concentrator photovoltaics, solar heating, (CSP) concentrated solar power, and solar architecture. After that, we use this collected solar energy for providing light, heat and different forms of electricity.
Wind energy, as the name describes, is what we obtain from winds. To harness this energy, we set up windmills. They have been in use for hundreds of years for pumping out water from the ground. Large tall wind turbines are used for allowing winds to produce electricity.
We make use of the natural airflow on the surface of the earth for running the wind turbines. The modern-day wind turbines range from around 600 Kilowatt to 5 Megawatts. For commercial purposes, these are rated with an output power of 1.5 to 3 Megawatts.
Usually, it is preferred to install these wind turbines in locations which are strong and get constant airflows on offshore. Similarly, at sites which are at high altitudes. Interestingly, the power produced by wind energy in 2015 comprised 4% of global energy consumption.
It is an alternative source of energy which we produce by constructing dams and reservoirs on the flowing water. We make use of the kinetic energy from the flowing water for running the turbines which produce electricity.
Tidal power converts the energy of tides and wave power that captures the energy from the surface of the ocean waves for power production. These two forms of hydropower also have huge potential in electric power production.
Looking at the statistics, we come to know that about 16.6% of the global energy resources were produced by hydroelectricity. Further, it also constitutes around 70% of all renewable electricity.
This is the energy which generates from the thermal energy and is stored in the earth. Basically, sources like hot springs and volcanoes capture this heat energy. The industries directly use this heat for heating water and other purposes.
We derive this kind of energy from the biomass. It is a kind of biological material which we derive from living organisms and plant-derived materials that are known as lignocellulosic biomass.
We can directly make use of biomass through combustion for producing heat and indirectly using it by converting to biofuels. Further, we can also convert it into other usable forms of energy like transportation fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, and methane gas.
FAQ on Renewable Energy
Question 1: What are the examples of renewable energy?
Answer 1: Examples of renewable energy are as follows:
- Wind energy
- Solar energy
- Geothermal energy
- Biomass energy
Question 2: What is solar energy?
Answer 2: We derive solar energy from the sun. To obtain solar energy, we harness the radiant light and heat energy from the sun by using solar collectors. There are different types of solar collectors available, they include photovoltaics, artificial photosynthesis, concentrator photovoltaics, solar heating, (CSP) concentrated solar power, and solar architecture. After that, we use this solar energy for providing light, heat and different forms of electricity.
Question 3: State the benefits of renewable energy.
Answer 3: Renewable energy resources and significant opportunities for energy efficiency are present over wide geographical areas when we compare them to other energy sources as they limit to a specific number of countries. Rapid consumption of renewable energy and energy efficiency and technological diversification of energy sources can result in momentous energy security and economic benefits.