As a simple definition, renewable energy refers to any form of energy derived from natural sources which can be replenished at a rate higher than the rate at which they are being consumed. In other words, these energy options and business electricity deals are available in abundance. In spite of being easily available, these sources are not the primary source of energy for us humans. Here are a few of the common and important sources of renewable energy that you should know about.
As the name suggests, solar energy is the form of energy where sunlight and rays are directly harnessed to generate power. This remains the most plentiful of all the available options of sustainable energy and can be generated in spite of cloudy weather. These systems provide a variety of other added perks as well, like heat, cooling, lighting, fuels, etc.
The solar panels convert the sunlight they capture into electricity with the help of photovoltaic panels or mirrors that concentrate the radiation from the sun.
Statistically speaking, the levels at which solar energy intercepts the earth is about 10,000 times greater than the energy consumption of the overall population, meaning that it is highly unlikely to run out of solar power to function on.
With the cost of manufacturing these solar panels being minimal, solar energy is considered one of the most affordable yet sustainable means of switching to sustainable forms of energy. They also have a much-extended lifespan of up to 30 years and can work efficiently with minimal effort on maintenance.
This directly harnesses the kinetic energy of wind with the help of turbines placed on top of towering structures called windmills, which can be offshore or onshore. Even with the varying wind speeds with respect to time, place, and season, these systems have just enough energy to keep things running.
This method makes use of the direct heat emanating from the depths of the earth. This technique can be used to directly act as a heating system or as a source of electricity. There are even a few geothermal reservoirs that are naturally heated and permeable, while others are enhanced through manual methods.
By making use of the energy from fast-flowing water from higher to lower elevations, the numerous water bodies around the world are being used to generate hydroelectricity. These plants mostly make use of water stored in the form of check dams and reservoirs, while a very few plants called run-of-river plants make use of the flowing river water itself.
These reservoirs which store water for the generation of electricity can also be used for a multitude of purposes, including
- Drought control
- Provide drinking water
- Navigation services
In a nutshell, making an effort to keep your functioning sustainable is now considered the most responsible thing to do. That being the case, renewable energy sources greatly help you support this cause. Such renewable forms of energy can greatly reduce the degree of negative impact left on earth by harmful pollutants and by-products.