Renewable energy is clean energy that is derived from nature. This energy does not typically produce a lot of carbon emissions. You have probably heard much about renewable energy in recent years as each country strives to reduce its carbon emissions and dependency on fossil fuels. Therefore, there are a few things you should know about renewable energy.
Renewable energy comes in many forms. For example, solar panels, hydropower, biomass plants, and wind turbines are used to generate electrical power. In contrast, passive solar can be used to heat water for radiant heating, water heaters, and swimming pools. Geothermal and biofuel energy, which are generated underground, are also used in heating and cooling projects. These energy sources are continually replenished and do not directly produce greenhouse gasses.
Wind energy is by far the most popular renewable energy in many countries. For example, the UK has 11,000 wind turbines that create almost 66 million MWH of the country’s electricity. Wind and solar power are used to generate up to 47 % of the UK’s power. In addition, you can gain enough electrical energy to power up to 300 homes with one large wind turbine. However, hydropower still generates the most electrical energy, producing up to 18 % of the world’s power. In the U.S., more than 200 biomass plants provide electrical power to 1.5 million homes.
Hydropower is considered the best source of renewable electrical energy because water resources are readily available throughout the world. This method of energy collection is efficient, and hydropower dams are already connected to power grids throughout the world. However, deserts and frozen areas cannot capture hydropower energy.
Areas that receive consistent sun, such as those closer to the equator and desert regions, have much more efficient and effective solar power industries. In addition, areas with consistently high winds and below-freezing temperatures should not rely on wind turbines because their blades bend and break and these turbines freeze up. Geothermal energy is efficient in cold regions, especially volcanic activity because it produces constant energy. Biomass energy is used in areas where other renewable sources are inefficient. Therefore, you have to choose the right renewable energy source for your location.
In some countries, fossil fuels are more expensive than alternative energy solutions. Emerging economies often find this to be true. This is typical because these countries need to import their fossil fuels or lack the infrastructure to make their production more efficient. Traditional electrical generation is a backup for renewable energy solutions in other areas.
As technology improves and efficiency increases, renewable energy sources have become more economical than before. For example, utility-scale solar panels reduced in price by up to 85 % from 2010 to 2020. This reduction in cost and the lower cost compared to traditional coal-fired power plants has resulted in significant coal plant closures.
Renewable energy is a fast-growing industry. In fact, Iceland is known for generating 100 % of its heat and electrical power from renewable sources, while Paraguay and Brazil produce 76 % and 17 %, respectively, of their power using renewable sources. In 2019, China started building wind farms that generate up to 100GW of power. The renewable energy industry is expected to continue its rapid growth. In fact, the U.S. experienced a 28 % growth from January to August of 2021. In Australia, 24 % of the electrical power is now created from renewable sources, and it has grown up to 28 % per year over the last decade. As these technologies become more efficient, their energy production will increase while their prices decrease.
Renewable energy is the future of electrical power and heat generation. Countries are searching for ways to reduce energy costs and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels throughout the world.