We are still currently exploring more ways to get clean renewable energy and we look for more innovative ways to bring down costs and then start to deliver the promise of a clean energy future. What are renewable energy services? Is renewable energy accessible? Is renewable energy clean? There are a ton of ways for renewables that are increasingly displacing dirty fossil fuels in the power sector and it often benefits from lower emissions of carbon and other types of pollution. Here are some renewable energy clean facts to give you a bit of knowledge about clean and renewable energy.
What Is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy (also known as clean energy) comes from natural resources and processes that are constantly replenished. Harnessing nature’s power has long been used for heating, transportation, lighting, and more, even though renewable energy is often thought of as new technology. Over the past 500 years, humans have increasingly turned to cheaper, dirtier energy sources like coal and fracked gas.
Dirty energy, otherwise known as nonrenewable energy, includes fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coil. They are only available in limited amounts, and they take a long time to replenish. You are using dirty energy when you are pumping gas at the station because you are then using a finite resource refined from crude oil that has been around since prehistoric times.
Types of Renewable Energy Sources
- Solar Energy
Solar energy would have to be the most common type of renewable energy that people get because humans have been harnessing solar energy for thousands of years. We use solar energy to grow crops, stay warm, and fried foods. The more energy from the sun that falls on the earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in a year.
Solar Cells (or Photovoltaic (PV)) are made out of silicon and other materials that transform sunlight directly into electricity and they distribute solar systems that could generate electricity locally for homes and businesses through the rooftops or community projects that could power the entire neighborhoods.
Solar panels supply more than one percent of the US electricity generation but nearly a third of all new generating capacity came from solar in 2017. They do not produce air pollutants and greenhouse gases, and most solar panels have few environmental impacts beyond the manufacturing process as long as they are responsibly sited.
- Wind Energy
Today, turbines as tall as skyscrapers stand at attention all around the world and we have come a long way from all of those old-fashioned windmills. The turbine’s blades would be turned by the wind, which would then deem an electric generator and would produce electricity.
Wind energy is responsible for a little more than 6 percent of the US generation and has become the cheapest energy source in many parts of the country. Though turbines could be placed everywhere and anywhere with high wind speeds, you could find them in hilltops, open plains, and offshore in open water and are usually found in California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa.
Other Alternative Energy Sources
- Biomass Energy
Biomass energy is an organic material that would come from plants, animals, crops, waste wood, and trees. The chemical energy is released as heat and could generate electricity with a steam turbine when the biomass is burned.
- Hydroelectric Power
This is the largest renewable energy source for electricity in the US, but it is expected that wind energy will take over soon. Hydroelectric power relies on fast-moving water in a large river or rapid descending water from a high pond and it converts the force of that water into electricity through spinning the turbine blades of a generator.
The ocean (also known as tidal and wave energy) will always be ruled by the moon’s gravity, which would make harnessing its power an attractive option. Some tidal energy approaches may harm wildlife like tidal barrages, which would then work like dams and be located in an ocean bay or lagoon.
- Geothermal Energy
A great example of geothermal energy would have to be a hot spring. Since the earth’s core is about as hot as the sun’s surface, drilling deep wells would bring very hot underground water to the surface as a hydrothermal resource, which is pumped through a turbine to create electricity because of the slow decay of radioactive particles in rocks at the center of the planet.
Renewable Energy in the Home
- Geothermal Heat Pumps
- Solar Power
- Small Wind Systems
Using renewable energy in your homes could accelerate the transition towards a clean energy future and you may be able to opt for electricity from a clean energy source even if you are not yet able to install solar panels.