Renewable energy has become one of the most appealing sources of energy for everyone from “green” minded, eco-oriented individuals to heads of corporations around the world. Since carbon-based fuels are not only limited but also tend to have very negative impacts on the environment when they are processed to form the energy required to power homes and businesses, it is only natural that people have sought out other options. Since renewable energy can be obtained from a wide range of sources, it is worth getting to know the various options that are available to people in this day and age so that individuals can decide for themselves whether they’ll benefit from one or more of them.
According to the NRDC;
Renewable energy comes from natural sources that are constantly and sustainably replenished.
There are few energy sources that are more sustainable than wind, which is why turbines have been seen popping up all over the place. According to the experts, this resource is not only abundant, but it’s also affordable and a very efficient method of producing electricity. In terms of cost effectiveness, it compares very well with coal and other carbon-based fuels, and the fact that it’s pollution free makes it particularly appealing.
This resource not only provides people with safe, clean and sustainable energy, but the industry has actually created many jobs as more and more turbines are being constructed in many parts of the world. Altogether, this source of energy not only benefits the environment, but also the economy, making it easier for more people to start looking into sustainable energy themselves.
In order to convert the kinetic energy into electric energy, the former is garnered with the blades of the generator before being transferred through a central hub and converted. Electricity is then transported to a power grid. Some of the main advantages of this power source include the fact that it doesn’t produce polluting emissions, and the electricity that is formed won’t fluctuate drastically in price as it does with carbon fuels. It is also worth noting that wind farms do not take as long to construct as gas or coal power plants, which means less funding, time and energy will have to go into setting up these sites.
Solar power has become a big hit in many areas of the world; in fact, this resource tends to be more popular than wind power because of its “aesthetic” benefits (the fact that large turbines don’t have to be constructed to harness the energy). Those who are not happy about having large turbines peeking out from the land around them might actually prefer these options since they’re more discrete.
In order to gather heat energy from the sun, it is quite common for panels or mirrors to be installed in areas where the rays are most likely to pass through, such as on the roof of a property. The solar cells are responsible for converting the light into electricity, and in some areas of the world, sunlight is plentiful throughout the year. This is perhaps one of the most common sources for renewable energy and it is being used everywhere from the U.S. to remote areas of Africa.
In areas where sunlight isn’t as plentiful, or people aren’t able to rely solely on the electricity that is generated from this source, they tend to at least partly rely on it, which means their utility bills will drop because of this.
With regards to the pricing of solar, the NRDC has this to sayabout the future;
Experts predict the cost of solar power will drop below retail electricity rates in many parts of the country between 2013 and 2018.
As more systems are set up, this number will continue to plummet as solar energy becomes more freely available. Keep in mind that the costs of running this type of system are minimal, which is why they can then choose to sell of the energy at cheaper rates.
Biomass is a form of energy that is acquired from plants, such as corn kernels and even residue in the forests, which are then turned into biofuel, such as gas, and this one resource actually makes up about half of the renewable energy that is currently produced in the U.S. the difficulty with this type of renewable energy is that it isn’t always “green”; this is because some of the methods that are used to produce this form of fuel could end up contributing to pollution levels.
While in this day and age scientists are producing the fuel from crops that are grown annually, scientists are trying to find ways to cultivate it using fast growing plants that they have termed “energy crops”.
According to the EIA;
Hydropower is generated using the mechanical energy of flowing water by forcing it through piping called a penstock, which then turns a generator in order to produce electricity.
This source of energy is extremely popular because it is one of the more sustainable forms of energy available to people. The Hoover Dam is one of the many great examples of hydropower being put to work, and also one of the largest in the U.S.
Geothermal power is drawn from reservoirs of hot water and steam that lie beneath the surface of the earth. While the potential of this power source is great, researchers haven’t spent a lot of time exploring this option. According to recent research into the usage of geothermal energy, it accounts for less than 1% of the electrical power usage within the country. Over time, this number should increase as professionals continue to explore the possibilities that renewable energy has to offer.
Renewable Energy that Works for You
Just about everyone can take advantage of some type of renewable energy, it just depends on where they live and the type of resource that they have access to. While some forms of alternative energy are more efficient and cost effective than others, everyone can benefit, at least in part, by turning to these resources, which makes them all the more appealing.