The use of renewable energy sources as an alternative to current energy sources has been on everyone’s mind. In fact, it is one of the topics of discussion that excites most people.
We are in 2022; renewable energies have never been so hot. Many governments, companies, businesses and individuals have started to realize the need for renewable energy.
Why is renewable energy important for our future
We have already caused irreversible damage to mother nature. But, we can always stop and stop any future damage. And to stop that, we need to stop any further rise in temperature, reduce emissions of harmful gases and stop deforestation.
One of the keys to self-assurance at the individual level is to see how we get and use energy. You will be surprised to learn that the UK alone generates almost 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. And most of the carbon dioxide comes from how the UK heats its homes.
Although the amount of carbon dioxide generated in the UK is enormous, the UK is not the only country. The combination of all the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere can link it to the rise in global temperature.
In addition, the resources used to generate energy for our daily uses are limited. This means that one day we will have nothing left to generate energy.
This is where we need renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources are natural sources that will never run out. Therefore, renewable energy options hold tremendous promise, not only in the clean energy they produce, but also in what they can do for local economies.
What are the different types of renewable energy sources?
Simply put, renewable energy sources can help you generate electricity without running out. The energy resources we are talking about here are wind, sun, water, geothermal energy and biological matter.
Compared to traditional energy sources such as fossil fuels and petroleum based crude oil, renewable energy sources are cleaner, sustainable and emit 0% carbon dioxide.
There are different types of renewable energy sources available that can be used depending on their geographical location.
1. Solar energy
Solar energy is generated from light and heat from the sun. It is the most common form of renewable energy harnessed by solar panels and photovoltaic cells.
Solar cells are arranged from edge to edge to capture sunlight in a photovoltaic power plant. The cells of a solar cell are created using a semiconductor material.
When the sun’s rays fall on the cells, they lose electrons. These free electrons pass through the cell, generating electricity.
- Reduces your energy consumption.
- Benefits the power grid.
- Makes us more energetically independent.
- It won’t work at night.
- Expensive initial investment.
2. Wind energy
Human beings have harnessed wind energy for hundreds of years. They use wind energy to move around and produce food. But today, we capture wind energy for a different reason: to power homes and businesses.
If you’ve ever walked through a huge field of grass, you’ve probably seen wind turbines spinning on the horizon. These towers with giant blades are personifications of old-school windmills. Although they use the same principle, the purpose is different.
Wind turbines use the wind to generate kinetic energy. This kinetic energy is then converted into electrical energy.
- Need a windy place.
- High initial development cost.
3. Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is a type of energy extracted from the earth’s core. It is the heat that comes out of the subsoil of the Earth. The energy is contained in the molten rocks and the fluid under the earth’s crust.
To generate power from thermal energy, wells are dug to a mile-deep underground reservoir to access hot water and steam. This steam can be used to power turbines and generate electricity.
- Reliable power source.
- Usable for large and small scale installation.
- Small footprint.
- Location dependent.
- High initial development cost.
4. Hydroelectric power
Hydroelectric power is a renewable energy source that produces energy from moving water. Hydroelectricity relies on the endless recharging of water to maintain a constant power supply.
Although there are other renewable energy sources, hydroelectric power is so important and widely used that it is called white coal for its power and availability.
- Reliable form of energy.
- Safer to use.
- Low carbon dioxide emission.
- Drought potential.
- Limited reserve.
5. Biomass energy
Biomass has been used since people learned to burn wood to cook their food. Wood is still today the greatest form of energy from biomass.
Other sources of biomass include food crops, woody plants, oil-rich algae, residues and other organic components of municipal and industrial wastes.
Although there are many sources for harnessing biomass energy, there are only two main sources for generating electricity: combustion and decomposition.
Depending on the type of organic waste used, it is either burned or broken down to produce heat and methane.
The heat can be used to boil water and produce steam. This steam can then be used to power turbines to generate electricity.
- Easily available in many forms.
- Cheaper than fossil fuels.
- Reduce the load of waste in landfills.
- Help mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Support deforestation.
- The cost of exploiting biomass is high.
Benefits of using a renewable energy source
Energy that comes from natural and inexhaustible sources is a renewable energy source. For example, the sun, wind, water, plants and earth can be considered renewable sources.
While we know that renewable energy sources are clean, let’s explore a few other benefits.
- Generates no emissions: Generating electricity from fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases include methane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and fluorinated gases. However, this is not the case for renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources use natural energy sources and convert them into electricity.
- Resources don’t run out: One of the major problems with non-renewable energy sources is that they eventually run out. But with renewable energies, they are inexhaustible. This gives us the opportunity to create a sustainable energy system without risking the future of the next generation.
- Reduce economic uncertainty: Unlike the production of energy from fossil fuels, where the price is constantly changing, the production cost of renewable energies is predictable. Moreover, renewable energy sources can be found in any part of the planet, giving every nation the opportunity to achieve energy independence.
Renewable Energy: Global Challenges
Renewable energy is considered energy derived from natural resources. Recently, an influential entity has started prioritizing renewable energy sources.
Renewable energy sources are expected to be the fastest growing source of electricity over the next five years. However, the diversification of energy sources creates many challenges for existing infrastructure and systems.
Challenges Facing Renewable Energy
We live in a world where almost everything requires electricity to operate. Even a single minute of downtime can cost businesses millions of dollars. However, with the renewable energy source, you cannot be sure of the consistency and high quality of power. Poor quality issues include frequency, current harmonics, voltage variations, and transmission line transits.
One of the biggest concerns of experts in the field of renewable energy resources is that electricity production cannot be controlled. For example, solar electricity is only generated when there is sunlight outside; wind power depends on the availability of wind in the area. This uncertainty in the production of renewable energy makes the whole process complex.
Although this field is improving, people still lack the necessary information and need renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, investments and capital investments have been made available for implementation. It’s just that the government has to be a bit proactive in helping and advising the requests.
Most renewable energy plants need large areas to set up. This means that renewable energy sources are dictated by location, which can be turned off for users. Then there are some renewable energy sources which are not available in different regions. For example, you can configure
Although the energy you get from natural resources is free, the initial cost of setting up the whole development is a major hurdle. In addition, the storage system for the energy generated is expensive and poses a real challenge to convert them into megawatt production.
Can 100% renewable energy power the world?
Renewable energy sources can be used everywhere. For example, buildings can be heated and cooled with biomass boilers; the water can be heated with solar water heaters. Additionally, the inverters can be charged with natural energy sources like wind and thermal heat from water.
Even the transportation industry can use clean energy to power its vehicles. In addition, renewable energy sources can be used to generate electricity and produce electrofuels such as hydrogen. The possibilities are limitless.
Believe it or not, we have the potential to create a world where renewable energy is the only source of energy powering the entire Earth.
And the sooner we do it, the better!