Renewable Energy and its Applications

Renewable energy. Clean energy. Green energy. Sustainable energy. Alternative Energy. Renewal Energy. No matter what you call it, energy such as wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric is having an impact on your life and could have an even bigger impact in the future. Renewable energy, in the most basic terms, is precisely what it sounds like. It’s power that comes from sources that regenerate, unlike fossil fuels, which only exist in a limited amount.

The cost of alternative energy systems has dropped sharply in recent years

From 2000 to 2016, the use of renewables in the United States more than doubled and is expected to continue to grow. In 2016, they made up about 10 percent of total energy consumption and 15 percent of electricity generation. During the last 5 years, green energy patents filing worldwide has increased by 50 percent. Consumption of renewable energy has grown worldwide due to government incentives and requirements for renewable energy and the desire to switch to cleaner fuel in order to protect the environment.

There are a number of different sources of renewable energy in use today. Here are some of the most common renewable energy resources and their applications:

Solar Energy

The U.S. solar industry has grown at an average annual rate of 68 percent over the last decade in the form of rooftop solar panels for individual buildings, solar farms built by utility companies and community solar projects, which produce solar for energy users in a certain area through a collection of solar panels.

In Australia the solar industry is also increasing with a record breaking 3.5 million panels installed last year. Queensland was the leader in solar panels that were installed.

Solar photovoltaic panels capture sunlight and convert it directly into electricity, which can power a small device such as a watch or sent into the grid to be distributed to a utility’s customers.

Wind Energy

People have been using windmills to utilize the wind’s energy for a long time, but today wind turbines are used to capture that energy and turn it into electricity. There are approximately 53,000 wind turbines operating in the United States today.

Wind turbines consist of a large tower, which is often around 100 feet tall, and several blades that use the power of the wind to spin. The blades are connected to a shaft that spins a generator in order to create electricity.

Like solar energy, power generated with wind can either be used for a specific application such as pumping water or powering a farm, or transferred into the electrical grid to meet other energy needs.

Biomass Energy

Biomass is another common form of renewable energy. Biomass is any natural substance such as wood, plant matter, gas from landfills and even municipal solid waste that contains stored energy from the sun.

When those substances are burned, they release that energy, which can be used as heat or fuel. Biomass can also be made into a liquid or gas that can be used as fuel.

Bioliquids, such as ethanol and biodiesel, are frequently used to power vehicles. Around 40 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. today is used for biofuels. Researchers are currently exploring new ways biomass can be used and additional substances that could be used for biomass energy.

Hydro Energy

Hydropower, energy generated with water, is one of the oldest and the most common renewable energy resource in the U.S., making up 6.5 percent of utility-scale electricity generation and 44 percent of generated renewable energy.

When water flows, it produces energy. We capture this energy by allowing moving water in rivers, waterfalls or elsewhere to turn generators that produce electricity. Hydroelectric plants can also be man-made, as is the case with dams. Man-made reservoirs hold water through the use of dams. That water is then released to flow through a turbine and create electricity.

Benefits of Renewable Energy

The main benefit of renewable energy sources is the fact that they release very little greenhouse gases and so are better for the environment. Because electricity makes up the largest share of our greenhouse gas emissions, changing how we get our energy is crucial in the fight against global warming.

Biofuels are increasingly being used to power vehicles

Biofuels are increasingly being used to power vehicles

Another key advantage is the fact that they are renewable, which means we won’t ever run out of them. This stability could make access to energy more stable in the future. It can also keep energy prices more predictable, because the markets are subject to changes in supply.

Renewable energy is also flexible and can power large areas or single homes. Additionally, renewable energy projects create a number of well-paying jobs and tend to have a significant economic impact.

Key Drawbacks of Clean Energy

Just like with fossil fuels, there are some disadvantages as well. Renewable energy plants are subject to fluctuations in wind, sunlight and other natural resources, meaning some days or in some particular months, a facility might produce more electricity than others. Today, in areas where renewables are common, fossil fuels are often used to make up any shortcoming in renewable energy production.

Due to their reliance on natural occurrences, renewables may fare better in some areas than others. An area with lots of direct sun all day long will be more suitable for a solar plant than somewhere that’s often dark and cloudy. Renewable energy projects also often require large areas of land, and while renewable energy tends to be cheap, initial construction and development costs can be quite high.

Despite these disadvantages, renewables are proving an important part of the energy mix of today and of the future, especially in the face of environmental concerns and worry about the availability of fossil fuels. Chances are we won’t see the end of the growing renewable energy industry any time soon.

Top 5 Reasons to Use Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is extracted from environmental assets that recharge in less than half of a human lifespan without draining the earth’s resources. Sunlight, wind, rain, oceans, waves, carbon, and thermal energy deposited in the earth’s crust are all commodities that are present in some way or another almost everywhere. Renewable energy is practically inexhaustible. What’s even better is that they don’t have much effect on the economy or the atmosphere.

clean energy in italy

On the other hand, fossil resources such as gasoline, coal, and natural gas are only present in limited amounts. They will eventually run out even if you want to harvest them. Fossil fuels are not replenished as quickly as humans need them to, even though natural methods create them. Currently people have started realizing the necessity of renewable energy usage and want to learn more about its functioning and its benefits. People are opting for different courses on renewable energy to get a step closer towards a greener world. Have a look at Renewable Energy Courses Basildon Essex which has quality courses available at affordable rates.

What are the reasons for using renewable energy?

Both sources of energy affect the climate, much as every other human operation. Renewable energy is no different, and each supply comes with its own set of trade-offs. However, the benefits of renewable energy over fossil fuels are evident. Here are five prominent reasons to use renewable energy in your daily life:

1. Renewable energy is abundant

As the name implies, renewable energy is produced from naturally replenishing sources such as sunlight, air, rain, compost, and even geothermal (buried) energy.

minnesota-solar

Renewables turn natural resources efficiently into energy, unlike oil, coal, and natural gas mines, which involve large networks of heavy equipment, refining facilities, pipes, and distribution. Although certain fossil fuels are getting increasingly difficult and costly to obtain, resulting in the degradation of natural ecosystems and significant financial damages, renewable energy is infinite. 

2. Renewable energy emits little to no pollutants

Increased air emissions are caused by global growth in conventional fuel, required in road transportation, manufacturing activity, electricity production, and outdoor garbage combustion in many regions. The usage of coal and lumber for cooking and heating in many developed countries leads to low indoor air quality. Cities are physically suffocated by contaminants and other air pollution generated by fossil fuels. According to World Health Organization reports, their appearance over metropolitan skies causes millions of early casualties and costs billions of dollars.

Air, thermal, and hydroelectric power emit little to no emissions into the atmosphere. Other alternative power generating techniques, such as biomass and geothermal, release emissions into the atmosphere, albeit at far lower levels than most fossil fuels.

energy-company

Renewable energy follows reuse and recycling goals and is a powerful engine for social and economic development, rather than depleting precious energy and polluting the atmosphere.

3. Renewable energy is cheap

Increased oil costs and insufficient access to capital are often associated with international unrest and uprisings. Since renewable energy is mainly generated locally, it is less impacted by geopolitical conflicts, price rises, or supply chain disturbances.

Using green resources can save you funds in the long run. You can save not only on repairs but also on running expenses. You don’t have to spend money to refuel if you use equipment that produces electricity from solar, wind, steam, or geological activities. The sum of money you save when you use green energy depends on various things, including the system itself. In most situations, switching to green energies results in cost cuts ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollar.

4. Renewable energy creates jobs

The renewable energy sector is more labor-intensive than fossil fuel systems, which are traditionally automated and capital intensive. Humans are required to mount photovoltaic panels, and technicians are required to maintain wind turbines.

electrical-engineering

This implies that more jobs are created on aggregate with each unit of energy produced by renewable energies than from fossil energy.

Thousands of workers are now supported by renewable energies in the United States. In 2016, the wind energy sector employed directly over 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers in processing, project production, design and turbine implementation, administration, and maintenance.

5. Renewable energy is reliable and resilient

Since renewable energy sources are dispersed and flexible, they are less vulnerable to large-scale malfunction. Because distributed grids are spread over a wide geographic area, an extreme weather incident in one place would not result in the loss of control for an entire site. Numerous independent windmills or solar panels make up modular structures. And if any of the system’s machinery is disabled, the remainder usually continues to function.

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Solar panels are becoming more accessible, for homeowners and businesses

Hurricane Sandy, for example, wreaked havoc on New York and New Jersey’s fossil-fuel-dominated electric production and delivery grids, knocking out millions of residents. On the other hand, renewable energy facilities in the Northeast escaped Hurricane Sandy with no injury or destruction.

In conclusion

Despite certain uncertainties, it is apparent that renewables can one day provide emission-free electricity to all of our households, industries, and cars.

While no one energy source will ever be able to satisfy all of the human requirements, a mixture of solar, air, biomass, geothermal, tidal, and power storage can fuel the entire planet without emitting any toxins or greenhouse gases.

4 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Green Energy Right Now

According to a study by Ourworldindata, around 11% of global energy comes from renewable technologies, around one-quarter of our electricity comes from renewable energy, and that’s great news for the planet. From hydroelectricity, wind and solar energy, biofuels and geothermal, there are now many alternatives for public and private use. But why should you invest in green energy? What are the benefits of eco-friendly energy sources and why should you care?

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1. It’s actually cheaper!

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, renewable energy is increasingly the cheapest source of new electricity, in fact the cost of photovoltaic energy has fallen by 82% in the last decade! But why is that? Well, the operating costs are much lower for renewable energy plants than fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. As long as there is sunshine there are possibilities of creating solar energy!

If you’re looking for an energy plan for your home, you’ll soon find out that energy suppliers offering renewable electricity are cheaper and more accommodating. They also tend to have environmentally friendly policies with projects such as planting trees every time you sign up for a new contract for example.

2. It’s better for our health

One of the most underrated benefits of renewable energy is the impact on our health. Increases in fossil fuels, road transport or open burning of waste in cities has contributed to air pollution around the globe. The particles found in this polluted air can have a devastating effect on our health. In fact, according to many studies, air pollution increases the risk of lung infections, lung cancer, premature death and asthma.

3. It’s good for the climate

One of the main benefits of renewable energy is the fact that it produces no or very low greenhouse gases. Therefore, it produces much less pollution, resulting in cleaner air and water. Renewable energy is derived from nature so by definition the resources have the benefit of being abundant and pretty much available anywhere.

4. It’s the future

In the future, we are more than likely going to only use climate-friendly energy sources such as the sun or wind to heat and power our homes and cars. Electric cars will become the norm and more jobs will be created around environmentally friendly energy all over the globe. We’re also expected to see fossil fuel cars disappear in the long run.