Renewable energy includes energy sources that will never deplete. Coal, natural gas, and oil are processed by many nations to supply energy needs, but this creates a long-term problem for relying on these unrenewable fossil fuels. Because they are finite resources, gradually the fossil fuels will become scare and very expensive to use. Fossil fuels also causes water, air, and soil pollution, along with production of greenhouse gases which are responsible for global warming.
Wind, solar, and water are renewable energy resources that offer clean alternatives to fossil fuels. They emit very little or no pollution or greenhouse gases. Here are some of the most effective renewable energy sources that will eventually take the place of conventional petroleum sources.
- Solar Energy
Our most powerful energy source is the sun. Sunlight is converted into solar energy which can generate electricity used for lighting, heating, or cooling homes or buildings, as well as heating water or energizing other industrial processes. Most renewable energy forms come directly or indirectly from the sun. For example, sun produces heat which contributes in the growth of trees and plants which form biomass energy. This plays an essential role in the evaporation and precipitation cycle for which hydropower is made possible. All of these support green energy without any pollution.
- Wind Energy
Wind energy is another powerful renewable energy source which is produced by the movement of air when warm air rises and cooler air rushes to replace it. Wind energy has been used for centuries for sailing ships and driving windmills. Nowadays, wind energy is captured by wind turbines which are used to generate mass amounts of electricity.
Water is a renewable resource that generates a powerful force when it flows downstream. Water is constantly recharged by the global cycle of precipitation and evaporation. The sun’s heat causes lakes and oceans to evaporate and form clouds. Then the precipitation falls to the earth as rain or snow, where it drains back into rivers and streams that flow to the ocean again. When water flows, it is used to power water wheels that act as generators and turbines to create electricity. Water sources are held at dams around the world for this purpose. Water energy, or hydropower, is a renewable energy resource which, if used responsibly, will never end.
- Biomass Energy
Biomass has been a vital renewable energy source since people first began burning wood to cook and warm themselves in winter. The most common source of biomass energy is wood, but there are also other biomass energy sources including grasses, food crops, other plants, forestry waste, agricultural mulch, and organic components from industrial land municipal wastes. Harvested methane gas from community landfills is also a biomass energy. Biomass are used for electricity production, transportation fuel, and for manufacturing products required for the use of non-renewable fossil fuels.
Hydrogen is a potentially tremendous energy source and fuel, but the technology it takes to realize its potential is in early stages still. The most common element on Earth is hydrogen, such that it is found in water and in combination with other elements in nature. Once it is separated from the other elements, it can be used a powerful energy source to power vehicles and replace natural gas for cooking, heating, and generating electricity.
- Geothermal Energy
The entire Earth creates heat in the form of steam and hot water, which are used in electricity production, power generation, and many other applications such as home heating, industrial power, and so on. Geothermal energy is drawn from deep underground reservoirs by drilling, or from other geothermal reservoirs closer to the surface.
- Ocean Energy
The ocean is a huge resource of several forms of renewable energy. Each type of ocean energy is driven by different forces. Ocean energy from the ocean waves and tides can potentially be used to generate electricity. The thermal energy stored in the ocean seawater can also be converted to electricity. Current technologies have been invented to harvest ocean energy, but right now it is not as cost-effective compared to most of the other renewable energy sources. However, the ocean is an important potential renewable energy source for future.
In conclusion, these are the seven sources of renewable energy that people will be counting on for future needs. If we use these sources properly, the power generation will remain cost-efficient and pollution-free.