We all know what are our conventional, ‘main’ sources of energy…
They are Non-renewable resources: fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas that take millions of years to form and, once used, take equal time to replenish.
Not only do they take longer to reproduce than it takes to consume them, non-renewable resources cause global warming and continually lead to climate change.
Eventually, we need to resort to renewable resources of energy as an alternative.
What are renewable resources of energy?
Renewable resources are found in nature and can be naturally restored. We get energy from the sun, wind, waves, tides, which are better alternatives to the conventional non-renewable resources.
Why do we need renewable energy?
Unlike non-renewable energy, renewable energy sources are better for the environment. Extracting fossil fuels from the earth is only emptying the reserves. This is an almost irreversible process as our progeny may not ever attain the non-renewable resources.
Non-renewable resources are for industrial use and cause pollution of the air and water.
Renewable energy does not have such drastic side effects. There is no waste in creating renewable energy as the resources are all found in nature, without any drastic human interference.
Renewable energy is cheaper than non-renewable energy. Because renewable resources are readily available in nature, and are replenished constantly, there is no price tag on them except for the equipment to extract them. Prices of non-renewable energy, especially petroleum (crude oil), are sky high and many times drive political will of nations. Extraction of oil and conversion into vehicle fuel is an expensive process.
3. Inexhaustible energy
Renewable energy is inexhaustible and constantly available in nature. This is its biggest advantage and the next best alternative that is in use. Renewable energy will not run out because it is the very part of the earth’s atmosphere. In that sense, it is reliable and we should propagate more innovation in this field.
Types of renewable energy
Organic materials store energy from the sun which when burned emit the chemical energy as heat. The organic materials are dead wood, dried vegetables, organic garbage etc.
Hydropower is the energy derived from a fast running water source or falling water. The biggest use is the hydroelectric power from this renewable resource.
3. Wind power
This is the cleanest of the renewable energy sources, the wind moves the turbines which generates electricity. Only a little land is used and hardly any water for this process. It also does not emit any greenhouse gases.
4. Solar energy
The light and heat emitted by the sun is used as an energy source for heating, solar thermal energy, water heating etc. It is a renewable resource of energy that we can deploy even in our houses to generate electricity.
5. Geothermal energy
The heat trapped in the Earth is geothermal energy. The earth’s formative core and the eventual decay of materials produce radioactive energy inside the earth’s crust. This is a renewable energy resource that produces electricity in many countries.
Renewable energy is an option that should be tapped into with full vigour because we cannot wait for the non-renewable resources to run out first before we take a step.