The World’s Top 7 Renewable Energy Sources and How They Work
Top Sources of Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is booming. From farmers to city dwellers, people are switching to renewable energy sources and making a difference. Even though clean energy is still a small part of the overall pie, its rapid growth has been impressive.
Indeed, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy sources increased their share of global final energy consumption from 18% in 2010 to 21% in 2015, with the majority of that increase coming from new bioenergy, solar, and wind capacity.
We’ve seen how the demand for clean energy is increasing, but what are the best renewable sources?
Let us now take a closer look at seven of them:
What exactly is renewable energy?
Renewable energy, as the name suggests, is a resource that can be created indefinitely due to its ability to regenerate. This means that there are numerous renewable energy sources, such as water and sunlight, that can be continuously recharged and replenished.
Renewable energy sources have several advantages over fossil fuels, including lower pollution and a lower environmental impact. They are also widely available in many parts of the world, with certain sources capable of being generated in almost any location. While the foregoing is correct, there are several challenges associated with using renewable energy.
These include the high initial investment required to set up the technology, as well as the requirement to use energy storage devices in the process.
What are the advantages of renewable energy?
Renewable energy is a technology worth investing in for a variety of reasons, including providing a cleaner and healthier way of life, improving energy security, and creating jobs.
Let’s take a look at the top advantages of renewable energy sources:
1. Sustainable – Renewable energy sources are environmentally friendly. They do not deplete and can be used for decades.
2. Energy Independence –Energy independence occurs when countries rely on renewable energy rather than imported fossil fuels. This is especially beneficial for countries that rely heavily on oil, gas, and coal.
3. Job Creation – Renewable energy creates new job opportunities ranging from infrastructure installation and maintenance to component manufacturing and plant operation.
4. Health- Renewable energy sources are much cleaner than fossil fuels, resulting in less air pollution and better public
health -Climate – Because renewable energy sources are climate-friendly, they can help mitigate climate change by reducing emissions and preventing the greenhouse effect caused by fossil fuels.
Top Seven Renewable Energy Sources
You’ve probably seen the first renewable source on our list if you’ve ever walked on a rooftop or seen a solar panel. When photons from the sun are absorbed by solar panels made of photovoltaic materials, solar energy is produced.
Solar power is a highly efficient method of generating clean energy. It is inexpensive and cost-effective, requires little maintenance, and emits no sulfur, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide, making it a sustainable and environmentally friendly source.
The wind is another popular renewable energy source. Wind turbines, which use the kinetic energy of the wind to generate electricity, can be used to generate wind energy. While there are several types of turbines, vertical-axis turbines (VATs) are the most common. The most difficult challenge with wind power is that it comes and goes, requiring energy storage systems to meet power demand during low wind periods.
One of the most common renewable energy sources, hydroelectricity is generated primarily by the flow of water through water turbines to generate electricity. Hydroelectricity is the world’s most abundant renewable energy source, with installations in over 150 countries.
Producers can either construct a dam to create a reservoir or use the flow of a river to generate electricity, a process known as run-of-the-river hydroelectricity. While hydroelectricity is a low-cost renewable energy source, it does have some environmental consequences, such as reduced river flow, wildlife displacement, and increased erosion due to flooding.
Ocean energy is a form of renewable energy that uses the power of ocean waves, tides, currents, salinity, and temperature differences to generate electricity. Ocean energy has a huge potential to meet the world’s energy demand, as the oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and contain a vast amount of kinetic and thermal energy
Some of the technologies that are being developed to harness ocean energy include:
1) Wave energy converters, which capture the energy contained in ocean waves and use it to generate electricity. Wave energy converters can be floating or fixed to the seabed, and can have different designs such as oscillating water columns, oscillating body converters, or overtopping converters.
2) Tidal energy, which uses the difference in water level between high and low tide, or the movement of water caused by tidal currents, to produce electricity. Tidal energy can be harvested by using tidal-range technologies such as barrages or lagoons, or tidal-current technologies such as underwater turbines.
3) Ocean current energy, which exploits the steady and predictable flow of water in ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream or the Kuroshio Current, to drive turbines or other devices that generate electricity.
4) Salinity gradient energy, which utilizes the difference in salt concentration between freshwater and seawater to create osmotic pressure that can be converted into electricity. Salinity gradient energy can be produced by using membrane-based technologies such as pressure-reduced osmosis or reverse electrodialysis.
Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), which takes advantage of the temperature difference between warm surface seawater and cold deep seawater to produce electricity or other useful products. OTEC systems can be classified into open-cycle, closed-cycle, or hybrid-cycle depending on how they handle the working fluid.
Ocean energy is a promising source of clean and renewable energy that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy security and diversity. However, ocean energy also faces many challenges, such as high costs, environmental impacts, technical difficulties, regulatory barriers, and social acceptance.
When organic matter decomposes, it releases energy in the form of methane, which is referred to as biogas. Biogas is a renewable energy source that can be used in heating systems as well as power plants.
Biogas can be produced using a variety of techniques, including anaerobic digestion, fermentation, and composting. It is one of the most environmentally friendly methods of energy production because it has no effect on global warming. It is one of the most environmentally friendly methods of generating energy because it has no effect on global warming, emits no harmful chemicals, and uses organic waste as a source.
Farming that is good for the environment
Farming is not only necessary for food production but it can also be used as a source of energy. When organic material, such as plant residue, is broken down by microorganisms, a gas known as biogas is produced. Biogas can be used as a renewable energy source. Using biogas for energy is an excellent way to repurpose waste, generate clean energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The process is also very cost-effective and efficient, with energy plants producing electricity at a low cost.
Conclusion Switching to renewable energy has numerous advantages, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, and increased energy independence. Technology may be new, but it is rapidly evolving and has the potential to change the world for the better.