What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is a type of energy which will not run out. For example, energy from the sun is renewable as we won't be able to "use up" all the light that the sun provides. The opposite of renewable energy is non-renewable energy. Non-renewable energy sources include fossil fuels like coal and oil. Once we use or burn these resources to generate power, they're gone forever.
Why is Renewable Energy Important?
Many places of the world depend on non-renewable energy to heat their homes, power their electronic devices, and fuel their car. Once these energy sources run out, they cannot be replaced. It's undeniable that for developing technologies, which need cheap sources of energy, non-renewable sources will be an important part of the future.
Using renewable energy sources is more beneficial for the environment than burning fossil fuels, as they do not pollute the environment as serious as non-renewable energy sources. Therefore renewable energy is able to help protect the environment and ensure cleaner air and water.
Major Types of Renewable Energy:
Wind Power - The use of air flow through wind turbines to generate electricity.
Solar Power - The rays from the sun can passively heat a building or a pool, as well as being used for electricity in solar panels.
Hydro Power - Derived from the energy of falling water or fast running water (mostly utilized with dams), which may be exploited for useful purposes.
Wave and Tidal Power - The capture of energy from waves to do helpful work, such as electricity generation, water desalination, and pumping water.
Geothermal Power - We can use the heat from inside the Earth to warm our houses with the help of underground heat pumps.
Biomass - Plants gather energy from the sun by chemical processes. We are able to exploit this energy by burning plants such as trees, or making fuel from plants, in the form of alcohol and biodiesel, for example. Even gas from trash and manure can be used to produce energy.
Fun Facts About Renewable Energy:
Burning coal still remains a popular way of generating electricity in the United States, accounting for a significant portion of electricity used around the country. Carbon dioxide is created by burning coal. Currently, the U.S consumes 26% of the world's energy, although it only has 5% of the world's population.
In 2008, only about 10% of energy used wourldwide came from renewable sources.
One large wind turbine can help prevent the emission of 5.000 tons of carbon dioxide every year.
Around 50% of power from renewable energy is used to generate electricity.
In some places, you can sell renewable energy that you've produced from wind turbines or solar panels for example, to local energy companies.