Most of the energy that we use in today’s day and age is non-renewable. However, the concern about using these forms of energy is rising and people are now looking for more sustainable energy sources.
Renewable energy sources are more natural forms of energy, such as sunlight, wind, water, geothermal heat, and tides. Switching over to renewable sources of energy can reduce the use of the Earth’s limited resources, like fossil fuels (natural gas, coal, petroleum, and nuclear energy).
Currently, around 12.4% of energy in the United States comes from renewable sources. Because of this, fossil fuel reserves have been significantly depleted over the last few decades. Scientists suggest that within just a few decades, there will be no non-renewable sources of energy left.
However, with renewable energy sources, there is no limit. They won’t run out and they are inexhaustible.
Alongside their inexhaustibility, renewable energies have a second benefit in that they don’t produce greenhouse gases. This means that using these energy sources does not contribute to global warming or climate change.
What Are the Most Common Forms of Renewable Sources of Energy?
The most commonly used renewable energies include wind power, solar energy (photovoltaic and thermal), and the use of biomass (organic matter) for energy.
Let’s delve into each of these in a little more detail.
1. Wind Power
Wind is produced naturally as the Earth’s surface gets heated more in some areas than others. Wind energy can be harnessed by large wind turbines and converted into electricity to power homes across the country.
Wind power is the most commonly used and most widespread renewable energy source that is used in the modern-day. Large wind turbines can generate a large amount of electricity and require very little maintenance, making them sustainable and reliable.
2. Solar Energy
The sun’s energy production is massive and much of this energy reaches Earth through radiation. Solar energy can be split into two categories – photovoltaic and solar thermal. Each of these forms of solar energy uses the sun’s energy in slightly different ways.
Photovoltaic solar energy uses specialized solar cells that convert the energy from the sun into electricity. These cells can be used in solar panels, solar-powered electronic devices, and more.
Solar thermal energy uses the heat that is produced by the sun and converts it into a liquid that produces steam to generate electricity. This electricity can be supplied to homes across the country.
There are lots of great devices that can harness solar energy from the sun and are perfect to have in your home. For example, the EcoFlow Delta Pro 3600 is a portable power station that can be used to generate energy in your home and elsewhere to help you live more sustainably.
Biomass power is being used in large-scale biomass projects. This form of renewable energy uses organic matter from animals and plants to provide energy.
Biomass sources may include:
- Agricultural crops and waste
- Wood waste, including firewood, lumber, and sawdust
- Biogenic materials, such as paper, wool, and cotton
- Animal waste