Renewable energy has become more and more important in the recent past. Especially as we gain new knowledge about climate change and its causes. We now know that climate change is largely caused by emissions from non-renewable energy sources in industries. So in an attempt to heal the damage that’s already been done, renewable energy sources have gained popularity.
Here are ten of the most accessible;
Solar power is the most popular renewable energy source. Mostly due to its easy availability, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and capacity. The Sun is an unlimited, easily accessible energy source. Because of this, it is starting to be used for residential purposes with great success.
Many governments have even set up large solar power plants to power towns and cities.
Hydroelectric power involves creating electricity out of the kinetic energy produced by the movement of water. The most common method to produce hydroelectricity is via dams. These dams store water that is then funneled through turbines to release electricity.
However, there has been some opposition to the use of dams as an energy source because of their impact on natural water flow and ecosystems. Dams are known to cause issues with flooding and reduce the natural course of a river.
Much like hydroelectric energy, tidal energy also utilizes moving water spinning a turbine to produce electricity. However, it is dependent on the natural flow of water bodies instead of dams. Making it a highly renewable energy source.
Biomass energy is produced by organic material coming from plants and animals. So, wood, corn, soybeans, paper, cotton, and animal manure would all qualify. It’s the original source of energy, in fact, wood is the primary biomass energy source even now. Nonetheless, biomass energy consumptions often require burning and if the plants are not replenished at the rate they are burnt, this will cause pollution. So it is better to convert biomass to biogas.
Biogas primarily consists of methane and carbon dioxide. It is produced by the decomposition of organic matter such as agricultural waste, manure, or sewage. Gas can be a clean, renewable, and reliable alternative to coal or natural gas. While having the added benefit of using the large amounts of organic waste that are produced every day.
Geothermal thermal power is the almost unlimited heat produced by the earth’s core. Even in places where the main source is hot water, the source can be recycled and injected back into the earth’s core. The plants work similarly to coal power plants, with the only difference being the heat source. Unfortunately, they are expensive and can cause instability that triggers earthquakes. They are also only possible in certain regions with geothermal reservoirs and so not accessible to all.
Similar to hydroelectric power, wind power utilizes the movement of the wind to produce electricity. It is easy to install and cost-effective. The main drawback however is that it is completely dependent on the wind speed of the day and can cause noise pollution.
Also known as Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR), this energy is transmitted without the movement of mass. Solar energy is a type of radiant energy but others include, radioactive components that generate heat to produce electricity.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
A common substitute for gasoline, diesel, and petroleum it is easy to use and causes significantly less damage if leaked. However, it does release greenhouse gases when it is burnt and it is easily combustible.
The final alternative energy source, it’s said to give off zero emissions because it is produced via the heat released during the process of fission. Fission involves the splitting of uranium atoms to produce energy. The heat released produces steam that spins a turbine to create electricity.
But, uranium is finite and not unlimited. So there is significant controversy over whether or not to label nuclear energy renewable.