Renewable Energy Sources
Renewable energy or alternative energy comes from renewable sources like sunlight (solar energy), wind (wind power), rivers water (hydroelectric power), hot springs (geothermal energy), and biomass (biofuel) are naturally replenished on a human timescale. But all sources of energy are not beneficial for the earth’s environment. For example, renewable energy like hydroelectric power and biomass can affect the living of wildlife, create different types of climate change in the environment. The uses of different types of renewable energy increase by replacing fossil fuel which offering lower emission of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and other pollutants responsible for environmental pollution.
The energy comes from fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, and natural gas (hydrocarbon) uses (about 80 percent) for the power generation of the world. But due to limited resources non-renewable energy and the large demand for electric power, the resources do not meet the global demand in the middle of the century. Therefore, we need to grow renewable energy resources in the middle of the century. The combustion of fossil fuels also a negative effect on our earth’s environment. The burning of fossil fuel (coal, wood, oils, and natural gas) in power plants or engines of vehicles emits different types of air pollutants like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, unburnt particles of matter, and toxic chemicals or heavy chemical elements like mercury, chromium, and arsenic. The emission of these pollutants causes acid rain (responsible for water pollution and soil pollution), the greenhouse effect causes global warming.
Renewable Energy for Electricity Generation
Now become, renewable energy sources are a more important power source of the world. From world report, renewable energy contributes about 21 percent for different types of global activity like heating or cooking and about 24 percent uses for the energy generation process. The energy consumption of the world comes from the sources, according to a 2015 report, about 16 percent of world electricity come from hydroelectric power plants (established in dams), and about 6 percent of electricity coming from other renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal power generation process. Nuclear power also considers a renewable energy resource (electricity generation) according to some energy analysts due to the low emission of carbon but it is not a clean source due to radioactive pollution.
Hydroelectric power or hydroelectricity is the source of renewable or clean energy that produces or converts the potential energy to electrical energy by falling water into turbines. Most of the hydroelectric power plant has a reservoir or dams which control the flow of water from the reservoir. The water from the reservoir used to turn the blades of turbines to generate electricity for global customers. Due to many advantages, about 71 percent of renewable energy comes from hydroelectric power plants, and the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, and Russia are the leading hydropower producer in the world. Large dams can affect our river’s ecosystem and harming the wildlife of our environments.
Water reservoirs or dams are not only the source of hydroelectric power, different types of tidal, and wave energy projects around the world generate electricity for global demands. Less than that one percent of renewable power (about 500 megawatts) comes from the marine projects of the world. The United Kingdom is the leading country in the wave and tidal power generation process. The world-first marine energy test faculty established in 2003 by the United Kingdom, Scotland, and European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
Wind energy or wind power is the renewable source of electricity produced from the wind turbines of our globe. United States, China, and Germany are the leading country for wind energy generation. About 40 percent of electricity demand in Denmark fulfill by wind energy and about 20 percent in Ireland, Portugal, and Spain fulfills by wind resources. Recently due to limited resources of fossil fuel and increasing global pollution, we increase the capacity of wind power in the world.
Wind energy is the low-cost energy source of the world due to fuel-free sources and running over a long time about 20 years. It creates jobs for employers. For example, more than 100,000 workers and turbine technicians work in the United States wind project. Wind energy does not pollute our environments like power plants which run by fossil fuel (coal, natural gas) or do not emit dangerous gas like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. The wind is the form of renewable solar energy because it forms by heating the atmosphere by the sun which blows wind or turbine to produce electricity.
Solar Renewable Energy
Solar energy is the cleanest source of renewable energy obtained from radiant light (electromagnetic radiation) and heat from the sun by using different types of technologies like photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling, and concentrating solar power. It converted solar power into thermal and electrical energy. Germany, Italy, Chana, Japan, and the United States are the largest producer of solar renewable energy in the world due to their technologies and geographical location. The renewable energy come from solar technologies free from pollution and we use different types of domestic and commercial purpose like generating electricity, providing light and heating water. In this century, different countries of the world using solar technologies due to saving our environment from pollution and limited resources of fossil fuel (coal, petroleum, and natural gas).
Biomass uses by people since the first burning of wood for cooking or warming the environment where they live. Biofuels (alcohol and biodiesel), wood and wood waste, biogas like methane from landfills, and municipal waste coming from organic living organisms are the main source of biomass energy. Like renewable solar energy, biomass also uses for producing electricity, heating water, or blinding, uses as fuel for vehicles. The use of biomass energy more effective for our environment due to reducing the greenhouse effect. Buring of biomass and fossil fuel release the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2). The fossil fuel releases carbon dioxide uses in photosynthesis for a large time (millions of years) but biomass releases carbon dioxide balanced the carbon dioxide cycle of our environment.
Geothermal energy is another source of renewable energy generated from the earth’s internal specific heat. Some counties of the world used geothermal energy for heating, cooking, and clean electricity generation carry by water or stream of the earth surface. Geothermal energy does not depend on the weather and due to high capacity, it uses the long term for global electricity demand. Due to renewable sources, geothermal energy is useful or significant to fulfill huge electricity demand in countries (Iceland, El Salvador, New Zealand, Kenya, Philippines) and more than 90 percent of heating demand in Iceland.
More than 20 percent of the power demands of 30 counties of the world fulfill by renewable energy. Iceland and noway generate all the electricity from renewable sources like sunlight (solar energy), wind (wind power), rivers water (hydroelectric power), hot springs (geothermal energy), and biomass (biofuel), and many countries of the world set up the goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy for their power demands in the future.