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Energies that are found in nature can be classified into two sections, renewable and non-renewable energies. Out of these two, the renewable energy is produced over time and through natural processes. Renewable energies are capable of being constantly replenished over time. Renewable energy can be obtained from the three major sources present in nature that is, through the air, water and sunlight. The rural regions get highly benefitted from the renewable energy power plants. Renewable energies are highly useful in the long process of sustenance.
What is meant by renewable energy?
Renewable energy source is found all over the geographical region of the earth. It is mostly found more in the amount compared to the used conventional sources of energy like oil and gas are mostly concentrated in very particular regions. As opined by Twidell (2021), the sources of renewable energy are mostly found in natural sources like air, water, sunlight etc. These renewable sources have usages in a vast line of works, for example in the cooling and heating process, electricity and power generation etc.
The eco-friendliness of renewable sources has led to its wide popularity over time. Renewable energies are utilized by many countries in recent times for the long course of sustainable development. According to Infield & Freris, (2020), the usage of renewable energies has its share of benefits; these energies help in the reduction of pollution in the air and thereby reduce the causes of global warming. Renewable energies have their share of positive impacts on the economic structure of the countries.
There are various examples of renewable energies like wind energy, solar energy, geothermal, hydropower energies and biomass energy that are utilized by nations as an unlimited source of power generation since they will not be depleted over time. This energy resource is invaluable as compared to non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels, oil, coal and natural gases.
Figure 1: renewable energy
Renewable energy: Types
Solar energy is one of the foremost examples of renewable energy. The heat energy that is directly generated from the sun is further harnessed with the help of solar collectors. The solar energy that is collected is then further used to provide heat, light and electricity.
Wind energy, as the name suggests is obtained from the wind. This energy is being harvested for hundreds of years. These windmills have been used over time to draw out water from the ground. Large windmills are installed in locations with a constant and strong wind flow, especially in high-altitude regions.
Hydroelectricity is referred to as the process of generation of electricity from water. This energy is an alternative source of energy and is mostly derived from dams and reservoirs. Tidal and wave energy are two major sources of hydropower that are used for the generation of electric power.
Geothermal energy is the form of energy that is obtained from the stored thermal energy of the earth. The heat energy stored in volcanoes and hot springs is used by the industries for heating and other purposes.
The bioenergy is mostly obtained from the biological remains of the living organisms. This energy is derived from biomass, the biomass can further be used for transportation fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel and methane gas.
Figure 2: wind energy
Importance of renewable energy
The usage of renewable energies is important for the long-term sustenance of the planet. These renewable energies are clean and inexhaustible . As opined by Gielen et al. (2019), these energies are pollution-free and they do not contribute to the greenhouse effect.
Over time, the cost-efficiency of the usage of the greenhouse effect has increased drastically as compared to the usage of fossil fuels. Most importantly these energies are replenished over time and hence bear a huge potential for future purposes.
Figure 3: Renewable energy
Renewable energy: uses
Mostly renewable energy is used for the generation of electricity. The solar energy and wind energy harvested in the rural areas are used for agricultural processes, generation of electricity, water heating etc. Solar energy is used in the process of artificial photosynthesis as well. According to Qazi et al. (2019), the stored solar energy provides is also a major source of heating and light generation. The bio plants use bio energies for heating buildings and act as power supply units in nearby industries. Biomass energy is used in the process of conversion of biofuels, it can also be used for the preparation of transportation fuels such as ethanol, and biodiesel and generates methane gas.
Renewable energies are highly sought after in recent times. The world is gradually shifting toward the usage of this eco-friendly source of energy which will help combat the causes of global warming and will help in sustaining human evolution with a clean source of energy. Renewable sources like sunlight, air and water are used in the process of generation of heat, electricity and light. These energies are gradually becoming more cost-efficient and countries are also investing in the usage of these energies for economic and several environmental benefits.
Q1. What are the sources of renewable energy?
Ans. Renewable energy is generated from natural sources that are replenishable. They are are seven major types of renewable energies, solar energy, wind and hydroelectric energy, biomass energy, fuel and hydrogen gas, geothermal power and tidal energy.
Q2. What is the importance of the usage of renewable energy?
Ans. Alternative energy is useful as an alternate source of energy because these energies are widely spread and found in abundance as compared to fossil fuels. Usage of renewable energy will reduce the prevalent greenhouse effect and the effects of global warming.
Q3. What are the two major types of hydro powers?
Ans. Tidal power and wave power are two major types of hydropower. The first converts the energy of tides and the second converts the surface energy of ocean waves and generates power.
Q4. What is the use of biomass?
Ans. Biomass is useful for generating electricity. It is also used for the production of transportation fuels, like biodiesel and ethanol.
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- Name two sources of energy that you think are renewable. Give reason for your choice.
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