What Are the Most Common Renewable Energy Sources?

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.

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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.

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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.

3. Biomass

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.

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A quick glance at popular biomass resources

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.